pd 2016: wondering about confirmation

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Wondering about Confirmation

The Practice Discipleship InitiativeSeptember 8, 2016Welcome!

Introducing

Dawn Trautmandawntrautman.comThe Practice Discipleship InitiativeSeptember 8, 2016

The Practice Discipleship InitiativeSeptember 8, 2016

Practice Discipleship InitiativeLeadership Development for the sake of Faith Formation

The Practice Discipleship InitiativeSeptember 8, 2016Wondering CreativelyWondering About the ChurchWondering Through Service LearningWondering with Children and YouthWondering About ConfirmationWondering in PrayerWondering at CreationWonder

The Practice Discipleship InitiativeSeptember 8, 2016IntroducingWondering about ConfirmationDr. Terri EltonLuther Seminary

Wondering about ConfirmationTerri Martinson EltonLuther Seminary

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Our Insights and Experiences with Confirmation

Write a definition of Confirmation.Think about two practices important to confirmation and why.

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Learnings from this Session4 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?

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Expanding our understanding of Confirmation

4 perspectives:the ELCAtheologicalhistoricalmissional

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ELCA definitionConfirmation 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.

DiscussionHow does this definition of confirmation fit with your understanding? What would you add or change?

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ELCA visionConfirmation 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.

WonderWhat is the role of the congregation in affirming youth in Christian faithfulness with an emphasis on lifelong learning and discipleship?

DiscussionWhat 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?

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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.

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theological perspective

a theology of confirmation grows out of our understanding of baptism.God names and claims us as children of God.

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theological perspectivea theology of confirmation is connected to our understanding of Word and sacrament.

We are people loved and forgiven, created to live in community.

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theological perspectivea theology of confirmation emerges out of our understanding of Gods mission in the world.We discover purpose and mission as we participate in Gods mission in the world .

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the point of confirmation ministry is living a life of faith based on loving God and loving our neighbor theological perspective

DiscussionUsing 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 ELCAs definition of confirmation and these three theological concepts?

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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)

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the freedom connected with confirmation is a gift of the Lutheran church and it makes confirmation ministry confusing. confirmation has not been one thinghistorical perspective

a quick history

historical perspectiveconnects 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

DiscussionTake 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 ELCAs definition? How did they differ? What insights did you learn about confirmation?

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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.

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The religious landscape in the United States has shifted. The United States finds itself in a time when faith formation needs to be intentional andthe Christian church is having to learn new ways of being community and forming faith. missional perspective

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WonderHow can the church help people discover a Christian way of life in the 21st century?

DiscussionWhat 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?

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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?

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Confirmation as:

beginning, rather than completiona 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

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There is more than one right answer to confirmation ministry!

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Resourcestheconfirmationproject.org Rethinking Confirmation videos at Luther Seminarys You Tube channelConfirmation: Engaging Lutheran Foundations and Practices, Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1999 1993 ELCA resources Six Models of Confirmation Ministry and Tools for Teaching Confirmation by Ken SmithElton, 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

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