As we prepare for heading back to school amidst the new schedules of a changed world, Confirmation instruction classes will also be resuming at the church this fall. But of course there will be some changes compared with previous years.
First, there will be no entering class this fall. This will accomplish a few goals. One is that our class size, with only the returning students, will be smaller and therefore safer for all. Another is that when the next group of kids begins their confirmation journey next year their class size will still be small, and they will have more chance to have the kind of interactions and group activities that have been part of Confirmation in the past--a richer experience. Also there are educational advantages to having Confirmation at a slightly older age.
For those who are continuing their Confirmation journey, read on!
Classes will resume for ongoing Confirmands on second and fourth Wednesday evenings. Those dates will be: September 9, September 23, October 14, October 28, November 11, November 25, December 9.
Classes will be structured differently than in the past. Alas! we won't be able to start our time with a meal together anymore. Boisterous, high-contact games are also out. Instead we'll sit down directly for learning time. Because we're subtracting a couple of elements that we had last year, the whole weekly period of Confirmation will be shorter: 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm.
This is a Bible year in our curriculum. That means we'll be getting more deeply acquainted with the stories and themes of scripture. I'll be using a program called Echo: the Story, which lays the emphasis on scripture as story. Class exercises are designed for creative and personal engagement with the Bible. Alongside this program, there will be readings and lessons on the contents of the Bible - the nuts and bolts.
Classes will be held at the church in the fellowship hall for the maximum ability to create a safe physical distance from each other.
For those completing their Confirmation journey (you were in second year last year), keep reading for important information!
The pandemic, sadly, interfered with the last leg of your journey, the final months of classes and Confirmation Sunday itself. This means students didn't have an opportunity to prepare or present their Faith Expressions to the community. Also we lost the ability to have students participate in worship as readers, ushers, assistants, etc. However, another opportunity is coming!
Confirmation Sunday is now planned for October 25. By that time we anticipate being able to host up to 50 people in our worship space. This will be a chance for our students and their families to mark an important milestone in the development of their faith.
In preparation for Confirmation Sunday, I would like to meet with our senior Confirmands, once as a group and then as individuals in followup, to help them begin to prepare their Faith Expressions. In the group time I will explain what the Faith Expression is about, and then they will have time to prepare their individual Expression and talk about it with me. On Confirmation Sunday they will each have a moment to present their Faith Expression to the congregation (families gathered in-person, the rest of the congreation online). I'd like to tentatively book that group time for 6:00pm-7:30pm, Wednesday, September 16. If not everybody is able to gather at this time, we can look at alternative times: a Sunday after church, or a Sunday evening in September.
Also in preparation for Confirmation Sunday, and in fulfilment of the requirement to build congregational connection and participation, I would like for each of our Senior Confirmands to read in church in the coming two months. If you are reading online click here to sign up. Or you can go to the church website and click the links until you find the signup sheet. Or you can simply contact the pastor to reserve your date. You are welcome to either come to the church for in-person worship to read, or to read from home through Zoom.
If anyone has questions or needs clarification on anything, please be in touch with Pastor Kristian by phone (587.581.4154) or email: [email protected].