Our confirmation program is a two-year process that begins at the start of seventh grade. Eighth graders who have met the expectations for class attendance (Sol Café – Explorers), worship attendance, and participation in service opportunities and youth group activities are eligible to be confirmed at the close of the school year. We aim to provide the faith foundation needed to prepare them for their life journey. The youth are welcomed into the congregation as full members during our confirmation Sunday in late spring.
Expectations for Youth
So, what are the minimum guidelines for the two-year path to confirmation? We turn to FUMC’s Journey Statement for guidance: Know God. Love Others. Serve the World.
- Sol Café Explorers Class Attendance: 2/3 participation minimum (yes, attendance is taken). We have approximately 24 classes per year, and over two years a possible 48 classes. Therefore, over two years youth would attend at least 32 classes.
- Attend Worship (downtown, 9:30 service) at least six times. (Be sure to note attendance in the welcome folder when it is passed!) As part of these six worship experiences, at least one should be at each of the three services offered by our church: Sunday 9:30, Sunday 11:15, and Saturday, 5:00 at Green Wood.
- Attend Sunday evening youth fellowship (UMYF) at least four times (click here for more info)
- Attend one fall retreat and one SoulFull retreat (click here for more retreat info)
- Participate in at least two visits to other faith communities (group visit dates are announced in direct email communication with families; you can also do this on your own and self-report)
Serve the World
- Participate in a minimum of 8 hours of mission work associated with this church. This can easily be completed by participating in the mission trips to Appalachia (four-day spring break family trip) or Zeba (annual 7th & 8th grade trip to the upper peninsula, typically happens one week in June or July).
- You could also earn hours by participating in the CROP Walk (October), serving at Cass Community Center (youth group day trip to Detroit in November), serving lunch at the J.O.Y. luncheon (a day school is closed in late Jan. or early Feb.), serving at FiSH FRI (third Fridays family service night), and/or the weekly L.O.V.E. Thy Neighbor (sack lunch preparation for homeless). And remember, you have two years to complete this!
We will track these expectations and report a couple times a year. Families are highly encouraged to self-report activities as well.
Expectations for Parents
Parent support and involvement is a large key to the success of this youth program! Reported in the book Sticky Faith (© 2011) “…research in the sociology of religion suggests that the most important social influence in shaping young people’s religious lives is the religious life modeled and taught to them by their parents.” (Based on a nationwide telephone survey of over 3,000 teens and their parents.)
We invite you to participate in our exploration:
- Parents are highly encouraged to continue the faith conversations at home. We will send home ideas to jump start the conversation. Sticky Faith reports that only about 12% of teens have regular faith/life issues dialogues with their mom, and only about 5% have them with their dad.
- Parents will be asked to drive/chaperone the group when we visit other faith communities (we are planning several trips during the year).
- Parents will occasionally be invited to participate in class on Sunday mornings (such as when we look at baptism).
- Be a fly on the wall on Sunday morning! Volunteer to provide Sol Café refreshments on a Sunday morning this year. (There’s a link in the weekly Youth Matters email.)
Our goal in Sol Café (and UMYF as well), is not to teach your children what to think, but to teach them how to think…giving them tools (such as the Wesley Quadrilateral: scripture-reason-tradition-experience) and opportunities to practice and build their skills.
Thank you for making your children’s spiritual growth a priority in your family life. Please contact us if you have any questions about the confirmation process.