A Letter To The 2020 Confirmation Class

Our long-awaited Confirmation Sunday FINALLY happened this morning!  It took some careful planning, but we showed up, wore our masks and CELEBRATED our eight confirmands who worked hard this year and waited patiently for their moment.

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And what a moment it was. <3

Here is my annual letter to the confirmation class!  Enjoy …

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Sarah Weaver
Rehoboth Congregational Church
Rehoboth, MA
October 18, 2020

Acts 2:1-21

A Letter to the 2019-2020 Confirmation Class

Dear Faith, Sara, Nick, Becky, Bethany, Liv, Jacob and Camryn.

I am so sorry.  This was not how this was supposed to end.

I was putting the gathering music together yesterday and remembered that we took a photo of you all at the end of our first confirmation class last fall.  I went looking for that photo to include it in the music; when I found it, I started to cry.  It was the eight of you, all huddled together for a photo – inside – big smiles – no masks. This photo was taken on October 20, 2019 – almost one year ago today; today, when we are finally able to gather for your confirmation – outside – distanced – and with masks.

So much has changed this year.

And I am sorry.  I am sorry that we did not have a clear understanding of what we were going to do back in March, I am sorry that it took me so long to figure out how we were going to gather for your confirmation, I am sorry that we had to have our last couple of classes on Zoom and I am sorry that the world is just turned upside down right now and that you guys are caught in the middle of our – the adults that surround you – very limited knowledge about how to handle life in a pandemic.

You might have figured this out already, but we do not really know what we are doing.

But here we are – we moved mountains and masked up and spread six feet apart so that we can finally bear witness to the moment where you affirm your baptismal vows and officially join the Rehoboth Congregational Church.

So here’s the deal:  I know the world is kind of a mess right now.  But please do not lose faith.

Please do not lose faith in the people that are trying to bring us to the other side of this pandemic or the people who are trying to safely help us resume some semblance of normal life in the meantime.  Please do not lose faith in your church that is stumbling its way through covid-life through trial and error – sometimes having great success and sometimes having the live feed of worship interrupted because the pastor forgot to put her phone on do not disturb and she got a phone call during her sermon.

Most importantly – please do not lose faith in God.  Please do not lose faith in our creating, redeeming and sustaining God.  Our God who is here with us, walking with us on this crazy journey.  Our God who is weeping alongside us as we lose things and opportunities and milestones and people to this virus.  Our God who wants us to care for one another and work together as the Body of Christ to slow the spread.  Our God who wants us – who needs us now more than ever – to boldly and courageously proclaim the Gospel so that world can have hope.

Faith, Sara, Nick, Becky, Bethany, Liv, Jacob and Camryn – be part of that hope.

Stick around and help us figure out how to do church right now.  I know it is bizarre and a lot of the things that you love to do, as a group, are not on the list of approved activities right now.  But the work we are doing is so important and so necessary and we need you.  We need you to help us do church; to figure out how to be safe right now, but also still be meaningful, relevant and accessible to all.  We need you to be part of our church – our village – as we offer hope, comfort and healing to those in need.  We need to hear your voices because they matter and because they are valued and because we, as a church, are stronger because of them.

Please do not go anywhere.  Have faith that we will get to the other side of this, that we will learn a lot along the way and that we will emerge stronger on the other side.

And you know what?  I said at the beginning of this letter that this was not how this was supposed to end.  But confirmation really is not the end – it is actually the beginning.  So, as strange as it seems, today is the first day of a new chapter of your journey of faith – one you likely will never forget!

So even though it was not the moment I envisioned back in September – enjoy this moment.  Enjoy the handmade masks.  Enjoy the beautiful fresh air.  Enjoy being livestreamed to everyone watching at home (I know a lot of people pull worship up on their TVs, so you’re on TV!).  Know that everyone in the church has been praying for you and is so happy to be part of this with you.

Faith, Sara, Nick, Becky, Bethany, Liv, Jacob and Camryn – you are so loved.  And we are all so proud of you.

Thanks be to God!
Amen.

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