Confirmation

Why Confirmation?

Confirmation is an important part of our journey of faith and an important time in the life of the church. It is the time when one takes ownership of your faith and decides if they are ready to make a public commitment to love God, follow Christ, participate in the life of the church, and join in God’s missional work in the word. Here at Fairfax UMC it is our joy to journey with each confirmand, surround them with love, and to help youth discover what it means to claim the name Christian. We aim to help youth see how Methodism can be a faithful way to live as a Christ follower in the world. We are so excited to be on this journey with you and look forward to how God will shape our faith and community together during this adventure.

Presence

Because our confirmation program is only a few months, it is vital for the formation of the confirmand and for the group that each youth commits to coming to all gatherings. Confirmation is a commitment and an important part of our faith journey. We desire, that since it is a time when youth are exploring whether or not to take ownership of their faith and publicly claim the identity of a Christ follower, that youth make the Confirmation Program a priority for these few months. We understand though that life gets in the way and not everyone will be able to make every gathering. If you cannot make a weekly gathering or event, please let Jay know. A youth won’t be “dropped” from Confirmation if they miss a certain amount of gatherings, but youth do need to be consistently present during this program to discern if they are ready to make their covenantal vows to Christ and the Church.

As we strive to offer a holistic and formative confirmation program in these few months, there are several components of confirmation:

  • Weekly gatherings on Sunday mornings from 9:30-10:45am in room 313
  • Students will read 2 Bible studies outside of Sunday mornings as a way of encouraging and engaging in learning and growth outside of weekly gathering time
  • Two Trips: Our confirmands will go on two trips to highlight missional service and spiritual renewal.

The first trip is Feb 6 (it is a Monday, but a day when schools are closed). We will visit the historic Methodist Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and learn about how we can care for homeless youth. We will also be participating with St. Matthews UMC confirmation group

The second trip is Journey Weekend on March 17-19. This is hosted by The Jeremiah Project and is a great weekend retreat filled with worship, community, and a fantastic camp ground for plenty of free time. The cost is $150. Scholarships are available

  • Service – as service is an essential part of the Christian faith, Confirmands will attend one of the youth group’s weekend service trips (Dates TBA)
  • Each confirmand will create a statement of faith, either through writing or artistic expression
  • Each confirmand will work on creating a rhythm of life to share how they will continue in their faith formation, participation in Christian community, and missional service after Confirmation ends
  • Together the confirmation class will come up with and work on a project to offer the church, community, or world
  • Each weekly gathering, confirmands will be introduced to different practices of prayer and/or spiritual practices of our faith
  • There will be two group dinners: one before Confirmation for a time to meet mentors and at the end for a celebration
  • Each confirmand will receive a special Bible as a gift on Confirmation Sunday
  • Each confirmand will have a mentor (see below for more information)

Curriculum

  • For our main curriculum on Sunday mornings, we will be using Colaborate: Methodist Confirmation by Sparkhouse. Colaborate seeks to help youth “develop challenging, lifelong faith through hands-on investigative learning that leads to a deep engagement with the Bible, faith, and what it means to be a Christian.”
  • Each confirmand will receive a student handbook

Mentors

Mentorship is a powerful part of our faith journey. Mentors are people who have been walking Christ’s faith journey for a while and can help encourage, model, offer wisdom and inspire the mentee to take steps of spiritual growth and to have someone the confirmand can confide in

Each youth is invited to find his or her own mentor. If you are not sure who to ask, let Jay know and he will work with you to find the right mentor

The role of the mentor will be:

  • To meet once a month with their confirmand
  • Read the same Bible study as the confirmand and share in conversation and reflection
  • Mentors will come to both dinners
  • Mentors will come on one of the service day opportunities
  • Mentors will help mentee with creating/writing their faith statements and rhythm of life
  • Mentors will take a spiritual gifts assessment along with the confirmand and reflect over it together
  • Mentors will pray weekly for their confirmands

Here are our important dates including weekly gatherings and topics:

Jan 7 – Welcome Dinner and a time to meet mentors

Jan 8 – John Wesley: Part 1 – Formed Through Failure

Jan 15 – John Wesley: Part 2 – Things Are Getting Strange
Bible Study 1 Given Out

Jan 22 – The Growth of Methodism – A Movement Gains Momentum

Jan 29 – The Quadrilateral – How Do We Know

Feb 5 – Grace – Here, There, and Everywhere

Feb 6 – Visit to Methodist Building in Washington, DC

Feb 12 – Perfection – The Perfection Process

Feb 19 – Prayer – Conversations with God

Feb 26 – Free Will and the Omnipresence of God – Who’s In Control? Bible Study 2 Given Out

March 5 – Salvation – Are We There Yet?

March 12 – Holy Communion – Big Deal Meal

March 19 – Journey Weekend – No Confirmation

March 26 – Worship/Service- The Circle of Faith Statement of Faith Guidelines Given Out

April 2 – The General Rules – Do-Gooders

April 9 – The Global Methodist Church – The Great Big Church

April 16 – Easter – No Confirmation

April 23 – Baptism and Confirmation – Diving Deep Statements of Faith Due

April 30 – Covenant Membership Vows – All Done!

May 6 – Confirmation walk through and celebration meal

May 7 – Confirmation Sunday

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