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PD 2016: Wondering about Confirmation

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Confirmation is a ministry with a long history, yet what is the place of confirmation today? Wondering about Confirmation will suggest ways confirmation can continue to be an adaptive and vital congregation ministry in the 21st century.

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PD 2016: Wondering about Confirmation

  1. 1. The Practice Discipleship Initiative September 8, 2016 Welcome!
  2. 2. Introducing… Dawn Trautman dawntrautman.com The Practice Discipleship Initiative September 8, 2016
  3. 3. The Practice Discipleship Initiative September 8, 2016 Practice Discipleship Initiative Leadership Development for the sake of Faith Formation
  4. 4. The Practice Discipleship Initiative September 8, 2016 • Wondering Creatively • Wondering About the Church • Wondering Through Service Learning • Wondering with Children and Youth • Wondering About Confirmation • Wondering in Prayer • Wondering at Creation Wonder
  5. 5. The Practice Discipleship Initiative September 8, 2016 Introducing… Wondering about Confirmation Dr. Terri Elton Luther Seminary
  6. 6. Wondering about Confirmation Terri Martinson Elton Luther Seminary
  7. 7. Our Insights and Experiences with Confirmation 1. Write a definition of Confirmation. 2. Think about two practices important to confirmation and why.
  8. 8. Learnings from this Session 4 ideas from this session: • Within the Lutheran church, confirmation is not a sacrament. • Confirmation is a ministry with a rich and varied tradition within the Lutheran church. • Confirmation has been an adaptive ministry, adjusting to the needs of the church and its context. • What do this mean for us today? as the ELCA? as synods? for our congregation? Might confirmation be a treasure worth rethinking?
  9. 9. Expanding our understanding of Confirmation 4 perspectives: • the ELCA • theological • historical • missional
  10. 10. ELCA definition“Confirmation ministry is a pastoral and educational ministry of the church that helps the baptized through Word and Sacrament to identify more deeply with the Christian community and participate more fully in its mission.” The Confirmation Ministry Task Force Report – adopted by the third biennial Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA on September 1, 1993.
  11. 11. Discussion • How does this definition of confirmation fit with your understanding? • What would you add or change?
  12. 12. ELCA vision Confirmation ministry is an opportunity for congregations to renew the vision of living by grace, grounded in Baptism. This vision is especially important for ministry with young Christians, but it has lifelong implications. Through identity with the baptized community, we grow in mission, discipleship, and our vocations in daily life. The Confirmation Ministry Task Force Report – adopted by the third biennial Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA on September 1, 1993.
  13. 13. Wonder What is the role of the congregation in affirming youth in Christian faithfulness with an emphasis on lifelong learning and discipleship?
  14. 14. Discussion • What are ways your congregation is affirming youth in their Christian faith? • What is the difference between seeing confirmation as an end to learning versus one step in a lifelong process of learning? • How would you help students discover what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus?
  15. 15. Confirmation is not a sacrament. Lutherans understand sacraments to be an earthly element made holy by God commanded by Christ that serve as a means of grace. …but is grounded in our understanding of the sacraments.
  16. 16. theological perspective a theology of confirmation grows out of our understanding of baptism. God names and claims us as children of God.
  17. 17. theological perspective a theology of confirmation is connected to our understanding of Word and sacrament. We are people loved and forgiven, created to live in community.
  18. 18. theological perspective a theology of confirmation emerges out of our understanding of God’s mission in the world. We discover purpose and mission as we participate in God’s mission in the world .
  19. 19. the point of confirmation ministry is living a life of faith based on loving God and loving our neighbor theological perspective
  20. 20. Discussion • Using these three theological concepts, name practices important to confirmation ministry. • How are these theological concepts similar or different to your understanding of confirmation? • What insights do you have about confirmation when you connect the ELCA’s definition of confirmation and these three theological concepts?
  21. 21. Confirmation has been an adaptive ministry adjusting to the needs of the church and its context. Luther Lindberg in Confirmation: Engaging Lutheran Foundations and Practices notes, “confirmation has been a tangled web, a maze of confusion, a complicated and controverted practice since the beginning. Even though its practice has been taken seriously – perhaps too seriously – for centuries, its theology and meaning have seldom been clear.” (43-44)
  22. 22. the freedom connected with confirmation is a gift of the Lutheran church and it makes confirmation ministry confusing. confirmation has not been one thing historical perspective
  23. 23. a quick history
  24. 24. historical perspective • connects confirmation with baptism and lifts up the role the individual has in embracing or committing to a life with Christ. • more about God and focused on the confirmand receiving the Holy Spirit. • reaffirmation of baptism and the unfolding life of faith within the confirmand. clusters of understandings
  25. 25. Discussion Take the cards from the opening activity, mix them up, and redistribute them among groups. Have people within the groups read the definitions and discern which of the three views would the definitions fall into. When finished discuss: • How did these definitions align with the ELCA’s definition? How did they differ? What insights did you learn about confirmation?
  26. 26. Confirmation has been an adaptive ministry adjusting to the needs of the church and its context. The adaptive aspect of confirmation is as important today as it was for the early church and in the time of the Reformation. Perhaps this is a time for rethinking confirmation.
  27. 27. The religious landscape in the United States has shifted. • The United States finds itself in a time when faith formation needs to be intentional and • the Christian church is having to learn new ways of being community and forming faith. missional perspective
  28. 28. Wonder How can the church help people discover a Christian way of life in the 21st century?
  29. 29. Discussion • What shifts are you seeing in your context? What impact are those shifts having on faith formation? • How is your congregation adapting to the changing culture? What might those adaptations mean for confirmation? • What would it entail to rethink confirmation within this environment?
  30. 30. what does all of this mean? What is the role of the congregation in affirming youth in Christian faithfulness with an emphasis on lifelong learning and discipleship?
  31. 31. Confirmation as: • beginning, rather than completion • a ministry of the congregation (or connecting ministry), rather than an isolated ministry • catalyst for lifelong faith formation, rather than the whole encyclopedia of doctrine • communal endeavor, rather than individual journey
  32. 32. There is more than one right answer to confirmation ministry!
  33. 33. Resources • theconfirmationproject.org • Rethinking Confirmation videos at Luther Seminary’s You Tube channel • Confirmation: Engaging Lutheran Foundations and Practices, Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1999 • 1993 ELCA resources – Six Models of Confirmation Ministry and Tools for Teaching Confirmation by Ken Smith • Elton, Terri, “What is Faith Formation in a Missional Age?” in Lifelong Faith Journal, vol. 7.4, winter 2013. http://www.lifelongfaith.com/journal.html • Shallue, Diane, “Faith Formation in a Missional Age – Continuing the Conversation” in Lifelong Faith Journal, vol. 8.3, spring/summer 2015. http://www.lifelongfaith.com/journal.html
  34. 34. www.practicediscipleship.org Download and Share Archived Webinars Free Curriculum and Videos Local Practice Discipleship Events The Practice Discipleship Initiative September 8, 2016
  35. 35. The Practice Discipleship Initiative September 8, 2016 The Mobile Network • Streaming videos of education events • Interactive Prayer Wall • News and Events • Local Network Finder • Now the Entire Bible • Discover Our Mission, Vision, History, Leadership Teams and More • Ministries • Contact Info
  36. 36. The Practice Discipleship Initiative September 8, 2016 “Practice Discipleship Initiative” @elcapd Follow us on Social Media…
  37. 37. Tuesday, September 20th 1pm CDT The Practice Discipleship Initiative September 8, 2016
  38. 38. www.practicediscipleship.org Next Practice Discipleship Webinar Dr. Mindy Makant Lenoir-Rhyne University Thursday, October 13th 1pm CDT Wondering in Prayer
  39. 39. The Practice Discipleship Initiative September 8, 2016 Thank you for joining us!

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