Tomorrow is Confirmation Sunday at Northaven. That’s always a special day in the life of the church. But this year, the day will have even deeper roots and meaning for me, personally. Of the five kids we’ll confirm in their Christian faith, I will have baptised all of them. Emma will be tomorrow. All the rest from when they were infants, and from when I first came to Northaven.
Here’s a few pictures. (Yes, that guy in the white alb actually is me, first baptizing Zoe, then Bronwyn…)
But the roots get even deeper. Dennise and me have known one of these kid’s Dads since we were at SMU. And Dennise has known another of the Dads since they were in high school. I did the weddings for two of these couples.
So, as I said, the day will be filled with special meaning for me, personally. It’s an extremely rare thing for any Methodist pastor to be able to have this kind of connection with a group of kids like this, and I’m very aware of this. And deeply grateful.
When folks join Northaven, they are asked the standard questions that all new members are asked. But, as you might imagine if you know Northaven, we’ve added a little to that liturgy too. In addition to the pastor asking questions, laypeople stand in the midst of the congregation and also ask the perspective new members some questions. One is “Will you seek out opportunities to grow spiritually?”
But my favorite is another. During the liturgy of new members joining, one of our children and youth stands from among the congregation and asks the question:
“Will you love the children and youth of this church help us grow?”
That’s what confirmation is about, really. It’s an outward and visible sign of this inward commitment that we ask of all church members…to help our children grow in their faith…to walk beside them and mentor them as they grow into wonderful young adults. Every single church member plays a part. From those who teach them Sunday School, to those who simply give them an encouraging smile in the hallway.
That commitment is especially visible on a special day like Confirmation Sunday. And I know I speak for all of us when I say that it’s been a great joy to love these children and watch them grow. And it will be even a greater joy to watch the young adults they become in these next few years too.