Before participating in the confirmation class at SJD, I definitely had some skepticism going into the course. What if these people were crazy religious? What if they weren’t accepting? What if I didn’t believe in the same ideals that we were being taught?

All these issues flooded my mind before I became a part of the group; however, I can now say with confidence that none of these fears ever proved to be true. A class that I originally chose to take in order to please my mom ended up gifting me with three of my best friends. This study provided a fun and entertaining way to help us better understand our faith, while also providing me with a great reason to see friends that I might not have the opportunity to see.

Looking back on this class, I can say that I feel more connected to my church, I understand my faith more, and I have found myself forming new friendships that I might never have had the opportunity to enjoy.

Max Finkelstein, 9th grade

Confirmation can bring up a flood of memories for people. The majority of those memories would not likely be described as "invigorating." For many of us, having to do something we are unaccustomed to can feel awkward - even intimidating. As a new parent, it was exasperating to have to think about childcare scenarios for everything Kimberly and I would be doing for the next decade and a half, yet exasperating or not, we have to deal with it. Many of our students experience similar emotions at the start of confirmation class. They are encouraged to think about what it is that they believe about God, themselves, and life in general. Whether or not we want to think about these things, they are topics we need to address.

Many of our students are using parts of their brains and "soul muscles" that are unaccustomed to being used, yet at the start of the process we encourage our students to lean into "the awkward." As the class progresses, we see many of our students becoming more at ease with the tension. I dare say, some students actually enjoy the thoughtful process we create for them. Our aim is to provide enough space and guidance to give students an opportunity to have confirmation be an authentic life event, as well as give them tools to continue their spiritual journey.

Dan Gannon, Director of Youth Ministries

8th grade students are invited in the fall to take a series of Sunday morning classes and related activities that lead to confirmation at a special service in the spring. This is one way we are living into the vision of deeply forming faith in our children and youth. Look for more of this - in 2019!