Monday, September 9, 2019

2019-2020 Confirmation Letter

Fall 2019- Spring 2020

 Dear Parents and Confirmands,

Greetings in the Name of Jesus our Lord!

Confirmation Classes will begin on Saturday, September 21, 2019 from 9:00am to 10:30am in the Undercroft of the Church.  We will be engaging all of our deacons as well as lay teachers to assist me in teaching the required classes.

This class is intended for students entering the Seventh Grade through the Ninth Grade.  It is a two year program (7th and 8th) with Confirmands being Confirmed on Reformation Sunday of their Ninth Grade Year (this year, October 27 at the 11am Service).

It is important that you understand the requirements of this program and that you make every effort to fulfill them.  This is in order to maintain the integrity of the program and provide you with information that is most important to your Spiritual growth.

The Priority of Confirmation
The famed author, C.S. Lewis once stated, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”  We take this quote to be absolutely true.  And we also believe that Christianity is true- that God the Father loved us so much that He sent us Jesus to live, die and rise again that we might have life in Him now, and eternal life hereafter. Therefore, we feel that out of all of the instruction you/your child receive in school, this class is even more important.
Understanding this, in order to participate in Confirmation, the first requirement is that this class is a Priority for you and your child. That means it should become before other activities, sporting events, or all of the other demands placed on our children today.  Occasional absences are certainly excusable, but pattern absences or absences over a long period of time due to other commitments disqualifies a child for this program.  Please know this going into the program. You may certainly speak with the pastor if you have special circumstances; this is not to put undue pressure on you or your child, but to stress its priority and importance.

The Importance of Weekly Worship
An old adage that comes to mind is, “If a farmer doesn’t farm, is he still a farmer?”  The same can be asked about Christians who do not attend church regularly.  Confirmation is intended to expand the faith of our children, not create it.  True faith can only be received, strengthened and grow by regularly worshiping the Lord each Lord’s Day.  Attendance of Confirmands in worship is taken- not to be legalistic, but as a reminder that one cannot complete the Confirmation program without actively participating in worship.  Parents are also encouraged to worship with their Confirmand.   Not only does this set the example and obey the Lord’s Commandments, but attending will be uplifting and faith-building for you.  If you’ve “slipped” in your attendance, there is no better time to come back and join us!

The following requirements apply this year:
In addition to attending Confirmation classes, students are required to attend Worship Services regularly. There are ample opportunities each week: Each Saturday Evening at 5:30pm, and Each Sunday at 8am and 11am.

Additionally there are a total of 10 Midweek Evening Services at 7pm during Advent and Lent.  Advent Services take place on Wednesdays, December 4, 11, and 18. Lenten Services take place on Ash Wednesday (February 260 and Wednesdays March 4, 11, 18, 25, and April 1 (No service on April 8).   Ideally you should attend both on Sunday and on Wednesday evenings.

Holy Week is a very special time of the Church year where we trace the steps of Jesus as He goes to the Cross and rises from the dead.  Students should attend services during Holy Week.  Attendance at the Great Vigil of Easter, Saturday, April 11 at  5:30pm is mandatory. Please plan for this now. Much of the liturgy that is used each week in Church finds its beginning at the Easter Vigil—the oldest existing liturgical service that the Church possesses.

Reception of the Eucharist
Additionally, students in Confirmation will participate in the training necessary to begin receiving Holy Communion.  Some students have completed this prior to becoming a Confirmand.  Those who have not will begin receiving communion on PALM SUNDAY, April 5, 2020.  Please mark this on your calendars now.  It is also included on the Confirmation Schedule.  Students who have already begun receiving will also attend these classes as a review of our belief and practice of Holy Communion as Lutherans.

Acolyte Program
Each Confirmand is asked to serve as an Acolyte. All Confirmands will be trained as acolytes and will be scheduled to serve at Sunday and Special Services. As we do not have that many Confirmation Students, we will open the acolyte schedule also to those in 5th and 6th Grades who have enrolled in the Early Communion program.   This not only allows you/your child to serve, but familiarizes him/her with the Liturgies of the Church.

While demanding, the Confirmation program is designed to assist in making you/your child’s faith in Jesus Christ the most important aspect of his/her life. Over the years, we have found that these requirements have worked, and have greatly assisted us in meeting the goal given by Jesus to “Make disciples of all nations.”

In Christ,