We had an incredible Confirmation Sunday! Here is my annual letter to the confirmation class …
(Post-prayer as selfie as we lined up for the procession.)
Rehoboth Congregational Church
May 17, 2015
Letter To The 2015 Confirmation Class
Dear Jack, Justin, Emily, Cameron, Ryan, Hannah, Tim, Tom and Ryan,
Two years ago, most of you moved from the 5th & 6th grade class to the Sadie Perry Room for 7th & 8th grade Church School. For two years, your teachers told me the same thing over and over again: These kids can be a handful sometimes, but they are also pretty funny and they actually really smart. This year, I finally understood what they were talking about.
Whether we were sharing a meal together, getting to know one another through silly icebreaker games, learning about the bible, the Christian faith and our church, debating over who was going to offer the prayer before dinner, worshiping together, wrestling with challenging questions, asking one another to hold our loved ones in prayer, leading worship together or acting out the entire Book of Genesis with props from the Children’s Day photo booth, suffice is to say we covered a lot of ground this year. You all showed your wisdom, your wit, your humor and your thoughtfulness.
I can honestly say that I never sat through one of our confirmation classes without laughing hysterically at some point at something one of you said or did. But I can also even more honestly say that I never left one of our confirmation classes without feeling inspired, hopeful and truly grateful for the opportunity to be able to walk with you all on your journeys of faith.
Today you are being confirmed. This means you will confirm the baptismal vows that people took on your behalf when you were younger. This means you will state publically – in front of God and your church family – that you want to stick around and see how this whole faith thing can work in your life. This means you know in your heart that while you are not perfect, that God’s love is more powerful than your imperfections and that God’s grace will transform you in incredible ways. This means that you are ready to listen to who and where and what God is calling you to be – and that you are ready to take the next step on your journey of faith.
I am so looking forward to seeing where each of your journeys will take you. You are smart, talented, funny, caring and thoughtful. You are athletes, you are musicians and you are writers. You work with technology and you work with your hands. You show compassion towards your friends and your families and with one another. As members of this church, you each will bring something so unique and so special to this community that we all love so much.
So before you make this commitment, I have one thing to ask of you: Don’t go anywhere. Please. Stick around and see what it is like to be an active part of this community. Allow God to transform your gifts and your talents into powerful ministries in this church.
I know you all are very busy. This is probably the first time since the beginning of the year that all nine of you are actually together. You are very involved in school activities, sports and community programs. You balance more activities and face more pressure than most of the adults sitting around you today. I love hearing about those activities and am so proud of the ways that you are fulfilled and thriving in different parts of your lives.
But this church needs you. We – the members of the Rehoboth Congregational Church – all need you. We need your minds, your passions and your talents. We need your faith and your questions and your sense of humor. We need your new ideas and your innovation. We need you to stick around and figure out what God is calling us to do together.
So stick around. Do not come to this church because your parents are making you; come to this church because God is calling you to.
Come to this church because this is where your friends are, where your church family is. Come to this church because this church is stronger and more faithful with you than it is without you. Come to this church to help you find balance in your life, to be free from the pressures of the outside world and so that you can be reminded week after week that you are a blessed and loved child of God.
Come to this church and be part of this community. We are not perfect. We do not have all the answers. But we do the best we can to dwell in God’s love, to love and support one another and to practice the Good News of the resurrection both inside the walls of our church and outside in the community.
So on behalf of this congregation, I am thrilled and honored to say: Welcome! Welcome to this church. Welcome to this community. Welcome to this beautifully imperfect, unapologetically authentic, grace-filled and abundantly blessed community of faith.
I cannot wait to see what the future holds for all of us.
Thanks be to God!