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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Confirmation: a best practice to consider

A couple of posts ago I have a picture of Emma's party. In talking with others, I think I need to tell you more about that "party" and recommend it to churches, pastors and parents as a wonderful "best practice" to consider.
Emma's parents decided to have 2 parties for her 15th birthday: one with her friends, a traditional birthday party and a separate one for some chosen and significant adults in her life. We were all asked to bring a book to give her to build her adult library and words of advice to her. There were only 5 couples and a single friend who came. We had desert and light conversation. Then we were gathered together and Emma chose the wrapped gifts and we had to share with her why the books and notes were valuable to us and what we wished for her as she entered into adulthood.
It was tender, it was silly, it was deep, it was intense. Emma knew that evening that this bunch of adults loved her and cared for her growth as one of them, as another adult. We gave her permission to come to us, visit with us as friends on the journey.
Then at the end of the evening we had her sit in a chair in the center of the room and we all laid hands on her and prayed for her. I was given the privilege of closing in prayer as her pastor.
As this evening was progressing I thought: this is what confirmation should be! This was a glimpse of confirmation at it's best. So I would commend to you this very simple and elegant practice of inviting a small circle of spiritually healthy adults to surround your child on the afternoon of Confirmation Sunday and present her/him with a single important book to build their adult library that they can take with them.
What did I give? Imitation of Christ by aKempis.

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