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Friday, February 19, 2010

deep(er) thoughts - confirmation

Some days I have more deep thoughts than others... and a full weekend prompted reflection on a number of things.

The weekend (incl. Monday): confirmation retreat, Valentine's Day guest sermon on "The Five Love Languages," and a presbytery meeting.

Here are the thoughts on confirmation - briefly and in a bloggy nutshell.


Over the weekend we had our confirmation retreat. Confirmation meets every other year and lasts for the school year. We spend the fall and winter going through the Gospel of John, and go on retreat in February. It's an opportunity to make or renew faith in and a commitment to Christ in the private setting of pastor and peers - with the opportunity in May to do so more publicly before the whole congregation.

There were many precious moments, which are not for public consumption. What I do want to reflect on is the 'range' of students in the class this year. In planning the lessons for the weekend I recognized that we had a number of students who had grown up in the church and in Christian families, but we also had a number (about 1/3 of the total) who come to church or youth group on their own and are relatively (or very) new to Christianity. When I started this "Deep(er)..." trilogy from the weekend, I was simply going to reflect on that range of experience.

With this post as the third in the series, and coming after the Ash Wednesday reflection, I see this range of experience as one fruit of a missional expression of being the Church. Our missional identify has been growing about as slowly as a child develops (think years!), so sometimes I am slow to recognize the fruit of it, but I do see the current make-up of the class as a fruit of a missional identity. Said another way, a developing missional identity isn't measured like you measure a successful BBQ fund-raiser ("Hey, we got 250 people and raised $2500!!). Rather, a developing missional identity (at least at the stage where we seem to be) looks kind of like a confirmation student - growing in fits and starts, with some awkwardness, but also with some glimmers of real maturity, purpose, and calling that make the angels sing.

For more on developing a missional identity or on our particular approach to confirmation, please contact me at robert@gspc.net.

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