There were 17, 8th graders who participated in the confirmation this year. 17 is the most we have ever had in one group. This group has always been a big one. When they were in 2nd grade (our first year at our church) they were all given bibles. At that time there were 22 of them. They have since lost several kids to different churches and different things, but have always remained a large group.
To kick off their confirmation, they had an overnight retreat at the church. Fun was had by all!! They shopped for ingredients and prepared breakfast the following morning for their chaperones.
|Group picture after shopping|
|Worship Service during retreat|
They had to serve their church on several different occasions. Ryan served during a session meeting. He served when we prepared and served Worship Snacks as a family and he did worship snack with his mentor. He poured the baptism font water two different Sundays and had to attend several church meetings with his mentor. He had to present a statement of faith that he wrote with the assistance of his mentor. Plus he had to attend all of the confirmation classes which were typically two Sundays a month. Finally, he attended a session meeting where they voted to accept the confirmands or not. He was accepted.
|Another way he served the church is by playing the drums during a song at church one Sunday. The choir director asked if he would mind playing and he played along with another young man who is also a percussionist. It was fantastic!!|
The confirmation group was asked to do various things throughout the year. Massanutten Cares is a program in which our church, Massanutten Presbyterian, participates in cleaning up the church area and our neighboring Presbyterian camp and home (Sunnyside) as needed. Ryan's group ended up at Sunnyside cleaning out an outdoor/covered sanctuary. The girls and I were at the Sunnyside chapel at the same time. We were rehearsing for the "Middles" youth group service at Sunnyside the following Sunday.
|The sanctuary cleaning crew--Ryan is off to the right, next to Jan--an advisor.|
|Ryan spent most of his time sweeping the billions of leaves that had blown in the sanctuary over the winter.|
|Ryan and Adam having a little cleaning break time.|
|Hungry youth chowing down on pizza at Vitos. Ryan is on the right side of the table next to Adam (kid in green shirt)|
The Confirmation ceremony was very emotional as I became aware of how my child is getting older. I know logically that he is almost 14, but the things he does to show me he is 14 is always a wake up call for me. I still often think of him as a 5 year old. :)
Here are pictures from the confirmation ceremony. In July he leaves on his first Mission Trip to Greenbriar West Virginia. The confirmation group will be staying in a church in Greenbriar and will be helping in rebuilding the damage done by the floods.
|Here is the group filing back down the aisle to go sit while they waited for their part of the service.|
|This is Ryan's mentor, Don Enslin, putting the cross around Ryan's neck. This happened after he was blessed and they were official members of the church. This part was particularly emotional.|
|The group was so big so they were kind of crammed up there. It was funny, the other side of the front of the church barley had any kids in it. Not sure why this side was so packed. Obviously this was during a prayer.|
|Confirmation group candle "Live the Light" back in the winter|
|Lydia and Emily's "Middles" youth group "Live the Light" back in the winter.|