This year our congregation has been blessed with another group of dedicated students who have been working through the 8-week confirmation course. These students include Kayla Cornett, Azyre Donahue, Claire Hovey, Alec Seifert, Noah Tompkins, Melissa Wallace, and Erik Winter. As our class is preparing to wrap up, I wanted to share a little bit about what they’ve been learning and doing as a part of the course. On the wall in Fellowship Hall you may have already noticed an unusual tree that has been sprouting up week by week. This tree, (left), has been a project the youth have been adding to little by little. One of the first activities the youth engage in as we begin our classes each week is to reflect upon what they learned or experienced during the previous class. Jesus’ words in John 15:5 ("I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”) have been a continual theme of the class, and students are reminded often of how Christ is the vine or trunk, and together we are growing through Him.
At the beginning of the 8-week course we had nothing but a bare trunk in the center of our paper. Each week we have slowly added branches, then leaves, and now our fruit, which will bring the tree to completion. On each added item you can see where the youth have written things that have stood out to them from previous classes-- showing, yes, they are indeed learning something! While a tree or a vine can be symbolic in many ways, I think it is a great visual representation of how these six students have continually grown together.
Throughout the eight weeks we covered many topics that help to ground our students with a knowledge of both the Bible and the United Methodist Church. We’ve covered the three persons of the Trinity, the creation story, sin and our need for redemption, the three types of grace given to us, the seasons of the church calendar, and much, much more. In all honesty, I find myself learning and growing right along with the students as together we are digging deeper into both the Bible and our United Methodist Church history. Although classes will wrapping up around Easter, these students are not quite yet finished. They will be attending Summer Games University in July to further grow and sustain their faith. It will then be our pleasure to present to you our confirmands on Confirmation Sunday this coming August (August 23)!