Midweek Connection: Confirmation
Hello Confirmation Families!
I'm so glad you're taking some time to explore what our Confirmation program will look like this coming year! As you explore our program and read through some of the basic information, feel free to call or e-mail me if you have additional questions that are not addressed here. My phone number is (402) 895-1500 ext. 213 and my e-mail is Spencer@dsomaha.org.
Spencer Owen, Director of Youth Ministry
How do I signup for classes?
Registration for Midweek Connection: Confirmation can be found by clicking here. You'll be taken to our events page and you can simply click the image "Midweek Connection: Confirmation" where you'll be prompted to enter your phone number. You will receive a verification code via text and then you can fill out the registration information.
What is a Confirmation program?
Our confirmation program is a three year education program for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. This program is designed to give an in-depth look at Lutheran Christian beliefs culminating in a historical church service call The Rite of Confirmation.
The Rite of Confirmation is not a sacrament required by God, a graduation guaranteeing a better seat in heaven (you are saved by the Grace of Jesus, not by your works!), or required to be an active participant in our church and/or our youth programs. The Rite of Confirmation is an opportunity to stand up before the congregation, give a testimony of faith, and vow to God to continue actively living the Christian life through the power of His Holy Spirit.
When should my family begin the Confirmation program?
We encourage families to participate in our confirmation program beginning when their student is in 6th grade and finishing in their 8th grade year. Our education curriculum is designed for this age group and we believe this gives students the best opportunities to create peer relationships.
If your student is older than this age group, please reach out to Spencer for information on private confirmation and high school/young adult programs! If your student is younger than this age group, we encourage you to check out our Midweek classes for kids in Preschool-5th Grade.
What material is the Confirmation program based on?
We focus on three key areas in Confirmation:
1) Biblical literacy in knowing and applying stories from the Bible to their lives today. (6th Grade)
2) Understanding what it means to be a follower of Jesus and our calling as a Christian to learn and grow in our faith, what we define as discipleship. (7th Grade)
3) Studying what we believe as Lutheran's using Luther's Small Catechism and learning how to defend our faith in a sinful world. (8th Grade)
As we look at these three areas, we're intentional about not only covering content, but also building and nurturing relationships and connections with other Christian youth and adult leaders along with the youth's personal relationship with God through prayer and study. Parents play a crucial role - in fact, the most important role! - in modeling and teaching the Christian faith.
What materials are required?
6th Grade - A Bible may be helpful, although not required. Youth will receive a copy of The Story on the first night of class, which is there's to keep.
7th Grade - A Bible (see below if you need recommendations!) Youth will receive the workbook on the first night of class.
8th Grade - A Bible and a copy of Luther's Small Catechism. (Make sure that the Catechism is the 2017 Copyrighted edition from Concordia Publishing House as the questions align with our curriculum. It has a black cover with red binding. Additional copies can be purchased in the registration link if needed.)
For everyday use: Personally, I love the Jesus Centered Bible and it's my "carry around" Bible that easily fits in my bag to go with me when I'm on the move. It can be purchased on Amazon (here's a link!) and there are different colored covers to choose from! This is a New Living Translation (NLT) Bible and is age appropriate for a Middle School reading level. It's written using words that flow a little easier while reading and comprehending, although you'll notice some translation differences between the New International Version (NIV) and the English Standard Version (ESV). The NLT is aligned more closely with the NIV and is a great starter option if you're looking to purchase a Bible.
For additional study/reference: You can't go wrong with the Lutheran Study Bible (here's the link from Concordia Publishing House!) There are different options to choose from like hardbound (what sits on my desk!), compact, leather bound and more. Just an FYI though - it's a little bulkier in size and a tad more expensive than others, but it's an incredible resource. It's geared more toward a higher reading level (ESV) but would be great Bible to grow into, especially for parents looking for Bibles to gift for Confirmation. It has an incredible amount of footnotes with explanations and connections to other Bible passages. It'd be a great investment or even a great addition for your family to use!
What if I can't afford the materials?
Please contact Spencer. We never want our religious education programs to be a financial burden on any family and we will help you access the materials that you need. The registration cost helps offset some of the expense for the workbooks and classroom materials used throughout the year.
When can my student participate in Communion?
We offer a First Communion class two times per year - once in the fall and once in the winter/early Spring. This hour-long class is on a Saturday morning at church and introduces the Sacrament to youth. The class explores what benefit we receive in Communion and our unique Lutheran understanding of what is truly present in this Holy Meal. The first communion class is not meant to be an exhaustive overview of The Sacrament, but instead an introduction and overview with Communion studied more in-depth in the 8th grade Confirmation class. After completing this class, youth are free to take the Sacrament any time it's offered.
The class is open to any Confirmation student (6th, 7th or 8th Grade) and their parents and must be taken once prior to the youth's Confirmation in 8th Grade. Parents and youth should make a decision together on when they believe their youth is prepared for this special meal. It's a decision not to be made lightly, but with guidance from God and His Word, prayer and discussion. Visit dsomaha.org/events to signup for a First Communion class this year.
If you have questions or would like more information on the Confirmation program here at Divine Shepherd, please feel free to Email Spencer Owen, Director of Youth Ministry.