Confirmation has been around in Lutheran Churches for a long time, but it is important for us to stop and think about what it is before we begin. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has said: “Confirmation ministry is a pastoral and educational ministry of the church which helps the baptized person through Word and Sacrament to identify more deeply with the Christian community and participate more fully in its mission.”
What does this mean? It means that Confirmation is more than a class, it is more than a two or three year program—it is a ministry through which God is active in your life. Confirmation will help you to feel more at home in the church and teach you ways to be active in the different ministries of the church. Regardless of how old we are, what God wants for us has not begun and will not end with Confirmation. By the grace of God, we continue—each and every day of our lives—to walk our journey of life with God.
The “Rite of Confirmation” or “The Affirmation of your Baptismal Covenant” is a time for people to confirm or affirm the promises made to them by God in their Baptism. This is also a time to publicly announce the understanding of our responsibilities as Christians “to live among God’s faithful people, to hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s Supper, to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, to serve all people, following the example of Jesus, and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth” (“Affirmation of Baptism” service, ELW pg. 235), knowing that we live under the forgiving power of the risen Christ.
Confirmation is a place where young people learn about the promises God has made, why he has made them and how this impacts our lives today. In order to understand this we need to look deeply into the Bible in order to see how God has worked throughout history and still continues to work today, as well as how Dr. Martin Luther has interpreted the meaning of those events in his Small Catechism. This will form the core of Our Redeemer’s Lutheran’s three year plus confirmation program.
Confirmation at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran
Confirmation at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran is designed for students in the 7th, 8th and 9th grades. All three grades will meet together weekly during the school year on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m.10th graders will meet irregularly during the months of September and October of their 10th grade year to prepare them for their actual confirmation. 7th graders will become better acquainted with the Bible, 8th graders will learn Lutheran history, traditions, and the working of the church, while the 9th graders will study Luther’s Small Catechism. 10th graders will work on their faith statements.
Expectations of Confirmation Students & Parents
A. Confirmation students are expected to be at all regularly scheduled class periods. Missing more than five classes (excused or non-excused) may mean that the year has to be retaken thus delaying their confirmation. Students are expected to bring their own appropriate level Bibles and writing materials to each class period. All cell phones must be left at home or turned off during class periods.
B. A 7th grade parent/guardian must attend the first class period each month with their student to receive an overview of what is being taught about the Bible and to prepare them for any homework that may be assigned.
C. At the beginning of the 8th grade each student will select a non-related adult member of the congregation to be a mentor who will promise to meet at least five times with them during each of their 8th and 9th grade years. Discussion guides will be provided for their use during these meetings.
D. During the Bible year of study, all students will memorize the Books of the Bible. During the second year of study all students will memorize the 10 Commandments. During the Catechism year of study, all students will memorize the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer.
E. Since confirmation is meant to identify more deeply with the church through Word and Sacrament, all students are required to turn in 15 sermon noteseach of their 7th through 9th grade years.
F. During the Bible year of study, reading assignments in the Bible will be assigned to be done at home at the end of the first class each month with multiple choice work sheets on the reading which must be completed and turned in at the first class the following month.
G. 10th grade students will be expected to work on their own faith statement and select their own confirmation Bible Verse during their last two months of confirmation.
H. 8th graders may be expected to have an overnight retreat at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, meet with the Synod Bishop in Redwood Falls, and attend a local church council meeting to learn more about the Lutheran church at large.
Assigned Curriculum Materials (provided)
a. “See Through The Scriptures” Student Book & Timeline and handout reading assignment sheets (Bible Study year of Confirmation)
b. “Building the Christian Church,” What Is A Lutheran,” and “My Faith” (Pamphlets used 2nd year of Confirmation)
c. “What Is This” (Used with Mentor 8th and 9th grade years of Confirmation)
d. “Here We Stand” Discussion Worksheets with three ring folder (Used all 3 years of Confirmation)