Last night was really cool. I got invited to the Confirmation dinner at our church where I sat down to a meal with several friends. The meal was a good time but the key event of the night was the presentation of the statements of faith by the 8th grade students that had completed the confirmation class.
Ok, what is a confirmation class? It's a class that spans several months in which young people are confirming their baptisms. A very large number of families in our church baptize children when they are infants or toddlers. Most people that age aren't really in a position to make an affirmation of what baptism represents. So, starting at 8th grade, the young folks are able to take the confirmation class in order to "confirm" their baptism and their acceptance of their faith.
The class incorporates pairing the youth with a more mature mentor and several classroom sessions on church history, doctrine, biblical teaching, and open discussion about following Jesus. At the end of the period, the Youth (called confirmands) put together their statement of faith and present it to a collection of church elders, clergy, and advisors. That's what happened after the dinner.
It was an amazing time. I have known many of the confirmands since they were toddlers and watched them grow up. It was great to see and hear their statements. I was blown away by how these young men and women talked about the concept of faith and how it has and does impact their realities. Too see that a group of people often characterized as ADD or immature could approach something with this much insight and caring was very inspiring to me.
Along with being very happy for these young people, I was challenged to take a deeper look at how I express my faith. How do I talk about it? How do my actions reflect what I do/don't believe? How do I server God in my home, my work, and elsewhere in my life? Do people see God in my life or is He a well kept secret?
Not sure what the answers are to all of these questions. As I dig into them more over the next days and weeks, I'll post more about them.
Have you ever developed a "faith statement?" What struggles have you had trying to describe your faith to someone?
On the scale
I'm 2 weeks into doing a 5K training program and have run about 11 miles in the past week and a half. That seems to have helped move things along as the scale reported this today:
Another pound towards the goal of 200lbs. That also brings the pledge amount to $40: $20 for Love146 and $20 for To Write Love On Her Arms. These are two great organizations and if you feel called to help support one or both of them, please let me know what you would like to pledge - a flat amount, a number of dollars per pound I lose, etc. Thanks in advance....
Photo credit to The U.S. National Archives on flickr.com.