Tonight we spent time going over the purpose of CREW and celebrated our year together through songs and games. Continue reading past the jump to learn what the CREW youth learned about the purpose of confirmation before the 8th graders are confirmed on May 21st at 6:30pm.
What a great year of CREW!! This year has been a journey of growth and discovery from the waters of baptism and enfolded into weekly worship and praise! In all of our activities, class time, and relationships, CREW became an important way to grow more deeply into our baptismal promises.
CREW is much more than what happened in this large group classroom. I hope that it was a vibrant connection between you, your small group, your family, and the congregation. We’ve shared what we’ve learned each week with your families so that faith could begin to speak into the very heart of our daily lives.
Outside of the church walls, “confirmation” is a run of the mill word associated with the idea of verification – we choose to receive confirmation when a package has arrived, a reservation is made, or an order has shipped. Inside church, however, the word “confirmation” is used quite differently and often means slightly different things.
Most often, “confirmation” is used to describe the entire two year educational process which prepares youth for the Affirmation of Baptism service and the life of discipleship that follows. During that time a student is said to be in or going to confirmation. The Latin word for confirmation literally means “to strengthen”. When we pair that with the word “faith” we produce an appropriate definition of “confirmation”. Used in this way – it’s a time to strengthen faith.
“Confirmation” is also used to describe a special worship service that concludes this time of faith-strengthening. Youth look forward to being confirmed at the end of 8th grade (in just 10 days). In the ELW this service is called Affirmation of Baptism, a rite of passage which reminds us and the congregation of the covenant made at our baptism – both God’s promise to us and our call to live out those promises.
Martin Luther, the founder of our church, reminds us that the Christian life is one of daily dying and rising with Christ in the waters of baptism. In this sense, “confirmation” is something that never stops happening! It all begins with the sacrament of baptism where we’re washed with water, marked with the cross of Christ, and filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a public celebration. It’s “confirmed” in the Affirmation of Baptism service (in which you say, “YES!” to your baptism), and it continues in the daily renewal of our commitment to trusting our lives to God.
In other words, confirmation is not an end, but a beginning. Everything we do in CREW helps to deepen our faith by pointing towards the only question that matters in the right of Affirmation of baptism. At the end of your two years in CREW you have the opportunity to stand before the congregation and take on the baptismal promises your parents made for you at your baptism.
During the Affirmation of Baptism liturgy, candidates will be asked to “profess faith in Christ Jesus, reject sin, and confess the faith of the church.” Then – and perhaps more importantly – you will be asked:
“Do you intend to continue in the covenant God made with you in holy baptism:
- To live among God’s faithful people,
- To hear the word of God and share 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?
CREW, Eikon, and the rest of the congregation are here to help you understand the vivid picture that this questions paints, and to equip you to say yes to this call everyday in a way that will continue to change your life and help you to continue to live a life where you Grow in Faith, Share Jesus Christ, and Serve Others.