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Today Was Confirmation

Today was confirmation. 

I preached at a youth retreat to confirmands, lived out my confirmation vows, and confirmed my calling again. Yes, I am using this word in as many ways as possible… Welcome to a grammar lesson with Hannah! Be prepared to understand “confirmation” as a noun, a proper noun, and verb by the end of this post.

Proper noun: “a person who is to undergo the religious rite of confirmation.” 

Today I preached at a youth retreat to a group of about 80 confirmands. They were from several churches across the state and ages 6th-12th grade. This is such an important time for these students as they undergo the rite of passage into adulthood, claiming their faith as their own, and choosing to live out their faith. Like baptism, it is a public declaration of what they believe. I like to think of it as similar to coming-of-age traditions found in other cultures, such as a quinceañera or a bar or bat mitzvah. It was confirmation.

Noun: “(in the Christian Church) the rite at which a baptized person, especially one baptized as an infant, affirms Christian belief and is admitted as a full member of the Church.”

Noun: “a solemn promise.”
Verb: “dedicate to someone or something, especially a deity.”

One of the confirmation vows I took nearly twenty years ago was “To faithfully participate in [The United Methodist Church] ministries by my prayers, my presence, my gifts, my service, and my witness.” Since I took this vow, I have not necessarily lived it out as a member of the UMC. I attended a Christian church, a Reformed church, a Nazarene church, and a Wesleyan church, looking for either specific leaders to follow or a church whose mission I wanted to be part of. Just like there are good teachers and bad teachers, good doctors and bad doctors, there are also good church leaders and bad church leaders. To me, that was more important to look for than a specific denomination. 

But as I preached this weekend, I lived out this vow of support for the United Methodist Church. I honored my faith heritage and used my gifts and service to help develop the students there. It was confirmation.

Verb: “state with assurance that a report or fact is true, make formally valid.”

Preaching and teaching have always been my calling. I’ve really never had a fear of public speaking. I like to share information, asking and answering questions. I enjoy being a resource to help others. 

While preparing for the retreat, I grabbed the Bible I used all through high school and found the names of my cabin mates from a UMC retreat years ago. In reading those names, I realized the full-circle moment of faith that this weekend was for me. Preaching and teaching, serving this community, using my gifts in the same context that I learned my own… Doing the work God has called me to do was affirmation once again that my purpose is in serving this way. It was confirmation.

Today was confirmation. 

My calling was re-confirmed as I preached to confirmands while fulfilling my confirmation vows. 

Thanks for making this a part of your day!
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