It is my sacred duty as a pastor to assure that our youth are welcomed into the congregation as members and prepared for their faith. In past generations, Confirmation was a time for youth to learn by rote: catechisms, creeds, and other information was force fed so that students could regurgitate these things when called upon. But what rote memorization of facts/theologies/ideas didn’t do was prepare them for their own questions and doubts.
Over the course of many Confirmation classes over the past 15 years or so, what I’ve begun to develop is the process of leading youth into an understanding of God in their own lives and to notice how God is working through and relating to the world even today. We have come to understand God through the Trinity — the revelation of God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. The following skit is the “sermon” that this year’s amazing class of disciples wrote to present to their church family in worship for Confirmation Sunday, Feb. 18. They also presented their very own statements of faith to the session when they were approved for baptism and/or membership.
I feel that our newly Confirmed youth know that their faith journey is just that: a journey. A Life-long journey — not an actual destination (or at least not until their lives are completed)! I couldn’t do this by myself; this is thanks to so many who help with our youth. To Traci Maddox, who served as the Mentor for this class of confirmands; Rochelle Lantermans, Sandra Cormican, Suzie Lovato, Maggie Rainwater, Joe Palmer, and Steve Sears who help with our weekly youth ministries of youTHursday and Tuesday morning breakfasts; the Elders and officers of CEH, and to all of you who welcome them week after week and greet them with open arms and open hearts (and sometimes peppermints): THANK YOU! You are the hands and feet of Christ, the presence of God in the lives of these young disciples, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the impact you have on their understanding of a loving and grace-filled God. Thanks also to open-hearted saints like Sue Perkins, Stephen Eddy, and James Steinbacher, who have helped many of our young disciples find places to serve on Sunday mornings.
I hope you enjoy this skit, as written by our Confirmation class of 2017/2018: Krista Conrad, Dylan Cormican, Emma Lane, and Emily Lantermans.
Krista is confused about who she is. God (Emily), Jesus (Emma), Holy Spirit (Dylan) appear on the scene to reaffirm her identity in and belongingness to the family of God.
Paula: Confirmation is a time where you get to think about who you are and where you belong in the family of God. It’s a time to learn more about our doctrine, your beliefs, and to ask questions. So now I have a question for you, Krista. Who are you?
Krista: Paula! That’s the problem. I’m not even really sure. And I’m definitely not CERTAIN about my faith and beliefs.
Paula: Krista, I know just the person you need to talk with. . . (Paula exits chancel area).
(Emma scoots in on her scooter)
Emma: Hi Krista, Jesus here.
Krista: Wait, like actual Jesus?
Emma: Yes, actual Jesus. You were just talking about me blessing the children. I mean, you read it right from the Bible.
Emma: So I heard you needed some help figuring out who you are.
Krista : I guess. I’m just not exactly sure. I know that I love volleyball, and my family, and my friends. I know that I am getting confirmed later . . . but that’s about it.
Emma: Are you sure that’s it?
Krista: Well. . . I know that my fave color is glitter.
Emma: No, no not that kind of stuff. What do you know about what you believe? What do you know about what you want to do with your life?
Krista: No, I don’t know that, why should I?
Emma: Why should you? WHY SHOULD YOU??????? Because someday that might be all you have. If something tough comes along, knowing what you believe in can make a world of difference. So, what do YOU know?
Krista: I know that I believe in you, and your Dad I guess.
Emma: Good, that is a good start. Now, if I make any kind of lasting impression on you today, let it be this: part of you is still a child; part of all of us is a child. We enter the kingdom of God like a child. You still have things to learn, we all do. I think it would be beneficial to speak to a close friend of mine. *clap clap* I’ll see you later.
(The theme to Star Wars plays as Emma exits, and Emily and Dylan ride in on a holy trike )
Krista: What is even happening? (to congregation) How am I supposed to grow up if I am still seen as a child?
Emily: Hello my child, I have known you for a very long time.
Krista: Wait. . . What? Who the heck are you?
Emily: Oh, ya. (puts on huge white beard) Does this help?
Krista: Oh, so are you like a knock off kind of God?
Emily: Sigh. No. What you are looking at is just the stereotypical image of God. God isn’t actually a human being — that’s the Jesus part of God. God is — uh — less of a physical form kinda thing.
Emily: So that’s who I am. The Creator, the Father, the Mother. You know. So. . . who are you?
Krista: I’m Krista. I don’t know.
Emily: Krista. You are my beloved child. You are my creation; you are fearfully and wonderfully made. I’ve given you so many wonderful gifts. Do you know any of them?
Krista: Um. My dog? My family?
Emily: Those are gifts; but I’m talking about the unique parts of you that make YOU — YOU.
Krista: So, like, my hair?
Emily: NO, you silly goose. You’d still be YOU without those fabulous highlights.I’m talking about your talents and skills and those special gifts you bring to the world.
Krista: Well sometimes, I feel like I don’t bring anything to the world. Or maybe that other people don’t notice what I try to bring.I mean Jesus says that we are supposed to be like children, right? But sometimes when I come to church people avoid me and act like they don’t know what to say to me because I’m not quite still a child, and I’m not yet an adult.
Emily: I’m afraid that sometimes adults can be a little intimidated by “TEEN” agers. You know — the whole tech-savvy, plugged in generation. Sometimes they see you as focused only on your phones or your tablets or computers or apple watches.
Krista: But that’s not me. I don’t focus on that, and right now, I am trying to figure out what I am really like, not just another comment on a screen.
Emily: Exactly. You’re not just a baby; you’re turning into a functioning adult. You are going to need to start figuring this stuff out. I am here to help. Ask me anything.
Krista: Okay: Who Am I? Why Am I Here?
Emily: Krista, you are my child, once again. You are here to help spread my word, and be loved by me, and love others. Even when they look at you like you’re a robot programmed to to say “get out of my room, Mom”
Krista: Okay, I think I’m starting to figure it out. I think I am starting to recognize my purpose in this crazy world.
Emily: Good, I’ve got to go, I have a few small jobs to do, lol. I’m gonna send someone to help you figure out this last bit of the crazy journey. See ya Krista, and may peace be with you.
Krista: WAIT!!! Don’t leave me here alone! ! !
(Emily rides off to the theme from Star Wars, while Dylan creeps up on stage behind Emily. He is wearing a halo and is wrapped in a comforter).
Dylan: You’re never alone Krista, never alone
Krista: What. . . . is. . . HAPPENING???????
Dylan: You may not know me, but I am always here. I am here for all the trials and tribulations of your life. I will be, and am, here for all of it.
Krista: Really? That’s kinda weird.
Dylan: No, its not. I’m here to comfort you! To let you know that you’re okay. I’m here to help you with your faith journey. To help you continue to figure out who you are with God.
Krista: You mean I don’t have to do this alone?
Dylan: You never have to do anything alone Krista! I’m here, we’re all here (Emily and Emma wave from the back of the sanctuary, and krista sees all of them).
Krista: I think I finally figured it out. I figured out that I can be whoever God created me to be, and God will support me. I can be whatever I want through God when I use the gifts I have been given. I can be a small child, or a fully functioning teen, whatever. I just have to remember that God is my everything, and I’m never alone! AMEN!
So proud of each and every one of you. I am so blessed to know you and will always hold you in my heart.
I miss “My kids” very much. I wish I could have been there.
Many blessing to all of our young people.