Sunday, May 16, 2010

Confirmation Sunday: Part #1

Confirmation is embedded into my identity as a pastor. I marked on facebook that this was Confirmation Sunday #30. But that's not quite true. Phil Stenberg allowed me to co-teach confirmation when I was his youth pastor in Northbrook for a couple of years. So I've taught Confirmation in Northbrook, Lafayette, Muskegon, New Brighton and now Santa Barbara...and it only gets more enjoyable for me.
Classes have changed in size from 2 in Muskegon to 30 in New Brighton. This year we had 3 confirmands, with one missing today because of a band trip. So for the first time, we will have a second confirmation during next Sunday worship. In other churches I taught alone or with other staff members. In New Brighton, I taught only one class (2nd year) with a team of teachers. Now in Santa Barbara I've taught with other staff members and now with Martha. It's a new and delightful rhythm teaching with Martha. She uses her creativity to help students fashion a picture of each week's lesson at the end of the lesson. It gets laminated and posted on the wall. By the end of the year we have a string of panels that tells the whole story of the OT and NT.
Teaching confirmation forces me to distill, distill, distill. Get the story straight and simple. Make sure 7th and 8th graders are getting it. That is such a great challenge; to be briefer rather than longer. I feel like confirmation puts Twitter-like restrictions on class content, and that's not all bad.
Afterward we were invited out for lunch with one family and I was overwhelmed again by the privilege of having parents and grandparents thank me for being pastor to their child.


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