Confirmation Class Expectations: 2020-2021 School Year
Luther’s Small Catechism
The Bible (New Revised Standard Version, Revised Standard Version, or New International Version please)
You should have a Bible already. If not, we will make sure you have one. This year, we will be focusing specifically on the catechism, and each student will be provided with a copy, which they should bring to class each week. If you have a smartphone, and your parents’ permission to do so, you may use the Catechism app instead of the paper copy. Make sure you get the app called “Luther’s Small Catechism” with the developer listed as Publishing House ELCA. The icon is red and looks like this:
- Regular worship attendance and participation
Attendance: It is important to regularly attend worship. I understand that some of you have seasonal commitments, like sports, and others might still have concerns about attending worship in person. If either of those things are the case, please make sure I am aware, so that we can find other ways to fulfill this expectation. All of our congregations’ worship services are streamed live online, so you have opportunities to participate in worship virtually any time if you can’t be here in person.
Participation: You are expected to help with worship monthly or at least 12 times between now and next October, when most of you will be confirmed. There are several ways you could help with worship, so there are options for those who might not be comfortable being in front of the congregation:
- Acolyte (light candles)
- Communion assistant
- Lector (read lessons)
- Livestreaming Tech (run the computer and/or camera for the worship services)
- Regular class attendance
We’ll talk more about attendance expectations, but basically I want you to make your best effort to show up for church and confirmation. If you do need to miss a confirmation class, please try to let me know ahead of time. Alternative materials for those who are unable to attend class will be posted at https://stjohnsandstpauls.org/education/confirmation/
- Special Assignments:
Several times throughout the year we will have special assignments designed to meet different interests and learning styles. As in previous years, we will once again prepare “Cloud of Witnesses” reports for All Saints Sunday as our first special assignment.
- Social Media Project
We also will have a special class project throughout the year of creating an illustrated version of the small catechism as an Instragram account: @smallcatechism. Each class, when we talk about a section of the catechism, students will be asked to take a picture illustrating that section.
It’s good to find time to pray every day. I don’t need to know what you prayed about and when, I’m just hoping you will do it. Actually, this is an invitation, not a rule.
- Bible reading
Read the Bible. Read some scripture at least every week. Be prepared to share what you read, and either a question or a thought you had about what you read each time that we meet.
- Active participation in the life of the church
I want you to figure out what I mean by “active participation in the life of the church.” We all have different gifts. Maybe you’ll want to get on the schedule of readers for worship, or help with ushering. If you have skills with video, photography, or technology, I’d love to have someone help out with the online worship stream! Or maybe you can help the building and grounds committee take care of the church. I can help you find something that suits your interests, but I want you to figure out a way to get involved with something(s).
- Know the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles’ Creed.
I’m not going to ask you to know the entire Catechism by heart. I am going to ask you to know the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer by heart before you get confirmed. You probably already know the Lord’s Prayer. We can work on the Creed—it’s not too long, and not that hard to learn. If you really struggle with memorizing things, talk to me.
- Special events:
There are two major events that you should plan on marking on your calendar: The synod confirmation retreat, Jan. 14th– 16th at Camp Ewalu, and the ELCA Youth Gathering July 24th– 28th in Minneapolis.
I don’t want to waste your time. Obviously, some people will find some nights of confirmation more interesting than others, but if you are starting to feel like you’re not getting anything out of all of this, let me know!! Seriously, I’m not easily offended. I won’t be upset if you tell me it’s not working for you. I will be upset if we get to the end of the year, and you hated confirmation the whole time and didn’t learn anything, but you never said anything to me. We all have different interests and different learning styles. It’s super important to me that confirmation is not just a hoop you have to jump through. The lessons you can learn from the catechism and scripture are things that can be helpful the whole rest of your life.
- Ask questions.
Questions are 100% welcome and encouraged.
*If you do happen to memorize the entire Catechism, let me know. There will be a super awesome prize for that, which I haven’t decided on yet.