BY MARIA MAGUIRE, DIRECTOR OF YOUTH MINISTRY
First off, thank you to everyone for the very warm welcome to St. Peter’s. I loved the welcome reception, with the delicious cake and balloons; and I loved meeting each of you. I feel very appreciated and cared for by the community. If I have not met you yet, I look forward to meeting you and to serving God’s church together.
Last Sunday morning, fourteen youth and their families gathered for the first meeting of the 2017-2018 Confirmation Class. This group of eager eighth graders will be exploring questions of faith in a nine-month course. After learning and discerning, they will decide whether to renew their Baptismal Vows, which, in most cases, were taken on their behalf as infants. This mature profession of faith will mark their transition into Christian adulthood.
While discussing the syllabus, the Confirmands and parents voiced questions of faith and doubt. They pondered about the Trinity, prayer, Jesus Christ, and other divine mysteries. One parent remarked that the questions never end. Indeed, while Confirmands will not finish the course with all the answers in tow, they will nevertheless commit to keep asking them on their journey with Christ.
On April 22, the Bishop will come to confirm those who wish to renew their vows. As the prayer book states, Confirmands will affirm their renunciation of evil and renew their commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The community will then vow to do all in their power to support the newly Confirmed in their life with Christ.
If you are a parishioner present on Confirmation day, you will commit to supporting these Confirmands in their walk with Christ. So why not start now, during this exciting time of discernment? Families of Confirmands will invest in them by attending worship services together, asking how class discussions went, and nourishing their own prayer lives. If you’re not a parent or family member, how can you support these young people journeying into adulthood? I wonder what God might say if you hold them in prayer.
Here are some ideas: If you notice a youth or family you have not yet met, introduce yourself! (We have several youth new to the parish!) If a youth is reading a lesson or ushering, stop and tell them what a wonderful job they did after the service. And come to our Bake Sale on October 22! Ask how our class is going. We hope to see you there. Further yet, to support all youth in their faith development at St. Peter’s, come hang out with us at the Youth Kickoff Fundraiser on October 1, which will fund the 2018 Mission Trip and other youth events!