Confirmation is a discipleship process for youth in the Presbyterian Church. It is a joint responsibility of the pastors and the Director of Youth Ministry, who structure the program, and parents and mentors, who help youth think about their faith and complete the requirements of the program. In the purest sense, it is a follow up to infant baptism, during which parents have made a commitment to raise their child in the “love and admonition of the Lord,” and have taught and encouraged faith in their child throughout his or her life. In this sense, the youth is “confirming” a faith that has already been developing in them for many years, and Confirmation is the opportunity to publicly make known their own commitment to following Jesus Christ. This is the primary goal of Confirmation, with a secondary goal being incorporating that youth into the body of Christ as a member of GBPC.
There are two classroom portions of our Confirmation program. The first is offered in the fall, and focuses on gaining an overview of the entire Bible and reading through the gospel of Luke. In January, the second portion of the class focuses on church history and what it means to be Presbyterian. The classroom portion is taught by one of the pastors, the Director of Youth Ministries, or an elder.
The strength of our Confirmation program is the relationship that a youth forms with a mentor, which is the third component of the confirmation process. Meeting together 8-10 times, the mentor and student they talk about Christian beliefs, what it means to be part of a church, and how to follow Jesus Christ. They also pray together and begin to form a relationship that we hope will continue beyond the Confirmation period.
A Confirmation Retreat will provide an opportunity to form and deepen relationships with other youth, to become better acquainted with the Director of Youth Ministry and GBPC youth ministry opportunities, and to have that time away from normal schedules and activities so that it is easier to have a meaningful encounter with Christ and to really make a commitment to following Him.
Finally, youth participating in Confirmation will write a Statement of Faith, a summary of what he or she has learned during the process and the commitments they plan to make in their own personal lives and to the church. If you did not receive a Confirmation letter in the mail and you or your child are interested in participating in Confirmation, there are additional letters in the narthex or available from the Director of Youth Ministries, Andrew Marshall,