Stories from the First Confirmation Service at Trinity Church
Bishop Ken & Father Matt with a confirmand as others await their visit
When you think of "Pentecost" or the "Holy Spirit" (or the even more mysteriously named "Holy Ghost"), what do you think of? Extraordinary feelings? Supernatural knowledge? Out-of-body experiences?
What if the Holy Spirit's extraordinary playground was actually our ordinary lives, with our ordinary church services, our ordinary family members, and our ordinary prayers? In the book of Isaiah, the "Spirit of the Lord" shows up as the One who both gives words and power to God's suffering servant, AND is the one who is gently, patiently, guiding and managing creation. The Spirit fills both roles - one role of guiding people in extraordinary ways - and also a different role of inhabiting routine and filling our "everyday" with his presence.
At Confirmation last Sunday evening, we experienced both.
I (Julie) confessed afterwards, when we were all having dessert together on the lawn, that I wasn't expecting much. In fact, why would we need a bishop to confirm people - isn't this just clericalism? (Clericalism: increasing the power of a religious hierarchy). I was so wrong.
Here are some of the reports of those who were confirmed, their parents, friends, and grandparents.
From some of the teenagers who were confirmed ...
"To me, it was meaningful for many reasons. One of them was that it was such an eye opener. Before I was confirmed, I was skeptical about what God does on earth. I assumed everything that happened in the bible happened then, and for some reason, does not happen now. Now I have a true understanding about how much the Holy Spirit is in all things. It's there constantly, and it's constantly giving reminders to EVERYONE about how to live in christ. I thought miracles only happened in the bible, but during my confirmation I witnessed 16 of them, and I now realize that they happen constantly even now.
Another reason it was meaningful was that I got the honor to see all my friends confirmed, which was super cool. It was amazing to witness every one of the people up there getting confirmed experience, a truly life changing moment."
"For me confirmation was so incredible because firstly it showed how much God loves us, cares for us, and wants us to thrive. He would take the time to give such a personal message to us to help us be the best we can be. He loves us so much and that was so evident on Sunday. The second thing was well I had never seen the spirit so clearly working so obviously. I was watching miracles happen in front of my eyes."
From others being confirmed ...
"Confirmation gave me a deeper embodied sense of fitting into the Body of Christ. Having my wife and another friend holding me and praying for me and then Bishop Ken laying his hands on my head. I sensed the deep connection to those around me, it’s not just about my faith, but God at work in and through His whole Church."
"As for confirmation, I would say the most meaningful part was watching the youth receive love and wisdom from holy spirit!! And how so much of that came through the family praying closely around them."
"It was a sacred moment, to be sealed with the Holy Spirit by the laying on of Bishop Ken’s hands. To hear words of identity and affirmation and encouragement to use the gifts God has placed within me. To join afresh the priesthood of believers, carrying God’s very Spirit into this world. It is an honor and a privilege!"
"I want rivers of living water to flow from within me."
From the parents ...
"Confirmation was a beautiful spirit filled service and I want to go back and do it all over again! All of our kids experienced the warmth and presence of the Spirit through the love of Gods people and have continued to talk and reflect all week long. I am confident they will remember and reflect on this throughout their lives. As their parents we are so comforted to witness them actively assuming responsibility of their faith without doubt.... Ben said to me with authority as it was almost his turn to be confirmed... “I Am Ready”.
"As a parent I was blessed seeing and experiencing the support of our community of believers in nurturing the faith journey of our child."
From the perspective of the grandparents ...
“We at Trinity are a multi-generational and diverse community. At this past Sunday’s Confirmation service we were privileged to pray with and for our grandchildren, to stand up with them and others both young and old. Going forward we know we may not always be physically present with our grandchildren but we know you will be there for them and for each other and that is a great encouragement to us. Together we will continue in prayer for all those we love as the communion of saints both here on earth and in heaven.”
Trinity Church - I hope this whets your appetite to be confirmed!
Why wouldn't we want our friends, family, pastor, and bishop to pray particularly for us? Why don't we do this more often for one another? Why is this "ordinary" service not a pattern for our daily lives and relationships? As Bishop Ken reminded us, this is the opposite of clericalism! This is the ordination not of priests or special offices, but this is our highest ordination - because this is the ordination of the church.
Looking forward with great expectation to next year,
Living a Techwise Life with Andy and Amy Crouch // June 11
Families! On June 11th, we invite you to join author and cultural analyst Andy Crouch and his daughter, Amy Crouch to talk about the Techwise Life. Together they wrote a book entitled My Tech-Wise Life: Growing Up and Making Choices in a World of Devices. We hope you will join us to discuss this different paradigm for using technology which allows us to flourish. Register here.
Newcomers Dinner // Friday, June 18
Our next Newcomers Dinner is set for Friday, June 18. If you are new to our church in the last year, and haven't attended one of our newcomers dinners, we'd love to have you. This one will be potluck style. Our host will call you and tell you the side dish to bring. Please sign up here.
Evensong Services This Summer at Trinity // Save the Date(s)
Saturday June 26 @ 7pm
Sunday July 25 @ 7pm
Sunday August 29 @ 7pm
The whole service is designed to “tuck us into bed” with classical choral music, as well as wonderful Scriptures about rest, God’s protection, and the hope that we will wake again in the morning. More about the history of Evensong here... Keep on the lookout for more info and signups...
Backyard Church + Brunch Club // Last Sunday of the Month in Summer
This Summer (June 27, July 25, August 29) on the last Sunday of the month, we're trying something new. Well...not quite new, but more like a combination of two things we've done in the past. Instead of gathering at church for regular services, we will be gathering in host homes around the parish for a shortened liturgy that leads into a potluck brunch. It's a combination of Backyard Church (last Summer anyone?) and something we used to do a few years ago called Brunch Club (any Trinity veterans out there?). In a few weeks, you'll be able to sign up for a home nearest to you. But in the meantime, we wanted to get those dates on your calendar.