Confirmation Camp Learnings
During the first weekend in March, I had the pleasure of taking our confirmation students to Pocono Plateau for confirmation camp. A few of the students were nervous and were looking for ways to get out of going. Once we got there, they all started to perk up and have fun with each other and other groups.
There were three main sessions all pointing to discovering who God is. The first, “Discover your God-Given Identity,” was eye-opening to the leaders who went and encouraging to the students. They first called out names and phrases that other people have said to them or about them. The things that were said were troubling to say the least, especially as some seemed to be coming from adults in their lives. One example from the full group was, "The day you were born was the worst day of my life." These words and phrases have wormed their way into the identity of our students. We began to unravel those identities by exploring God’s Word to find out who they are in God’s eyes. Of all the life-giving words they heard, these are the ones our youth claimed for themselves and wore on a name tag for the day: holy, worthy, empowered, healed, loved, not alone, purified, new.
The next two sessions were equally crucial for them to experience in their journey. The second session was about discovering God's love for them. We talked about grace in all its forms: prevenient (on the porch), justifying (walking through the door), and sanctifying (living with Christ). In our small group time, we talked about where they were in this metaphor. Answers ranged from being on the porch to being on the threshold almost ready to head in, or in the foyer, but afraid to go further. In the third session, students discovered their place in God's body, the Church. As they struggle to find their place, our lesson as leaders is that they are not the future of the Church; they are very much the Church's present.
I want to thank you for your support for these students over the last year. Your prayers and your giving to the church has enabled amazing work through the confirmation program and beyond. I have seen our students grow in maturity in life and faith. I hope that you will continue to pray for these students and the ministries that change their lives. If you want to be a part of these ministries in any way or want to learn more about this trip, please reach out to me, and I'll buy you a coffee.
This article can be found in the April 2019 Newsletter