Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Confirmation Epiphany

Talking about the joys of teaching confirmation and doing it are two separate experiences. I can wax eloquently at a conference of other pastors about how rich a relationship I have with my confirmands. But on a Tuesday afternoon from 4:30-6:00 it can be a taxing time on the best of days. These students, 7th and 8th graders, have already had a long day at school and are loaded with homework....and are hungry, perpetually, unfillably hungry. Their minds and bodies don't always dance together, and little girls scream and flirt with the boys at the same time, who are so clueless they don't know whether to be flattered or to kick them back! There are moments of clarity and longer periods of high energy movement. So I don't always know what's really sticking in their hearts and heads.
Tonight we studied Holy Communion and decided to set the class in the sanctuary around the bread and the cup. We talked about worship (using the Kierkegaard model) and what a sacrament is and isn't. We had open questions that became amazingly astute and perceptive. Then Lisa Holmlund gathered the class around the steps and elements and we sang for a while together. Most of the students sang, some with their eyes closed and hands upturned. When it came time for the words of institution and prayer of consecration, the air was thick with energy and alertness. I walked around the circle with the plate and chalice serving them individually by intiction. It was holy intense. Lisa led us in a last song, the Taize song "Jesus Remember Me" and Martha closed in prayer. They got it! it was real and rich!
Then they began to play and jump around, letting out the horses before their parents came for the ride home. Oh so sweet!


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