Attention 8th graders and families! Join us on Sunday, 9/23 at 9:45 AM for our Confirmation Orientation. Don’t know what Confirmation is? Not sure if you want to participate? No problem, join us to find out more information! No previous church experience needed. Contact Grace with questions.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This is a big weekend at St. Matthew’s UMC. In addition to all sorts of exciting activities that are happening all weekend long (from ASP tool training to the Club 56 children’s retreat), the biggest event of the weekend happens on Sunday morning at 11:15 when twenty-three of our eighth-grade youth will be confirmed. That’s right, this Sunday is Confirmation Sunday. On that day we will celebrate the faith journey that these young people have made over the last year. During the service, our confirmands will commit to us and to God that they will continue to journey with God and the church in the coming years, we will commit to continue to walk with them on their journey of faith, and we will pray that each of them would be strengthened by the Holy Spirit.
Confirmation is a big deal. It is a big step in the lives of these youth and a big moment in the life of our church. But what exactly is it? Too often, we think of it as the beginning of faith. This is probably (at least partly) because confirmation is associated with receiving full membership rights in the United Methodist Church; after Sunday, our confirmands will be eligible to serve on committees and the like. But, when we take time to think about it, we know that confirmation is not the beginning of faith. God created each of our confirmands and has been journeying with them since before they were born. For those who have been previously baptized, they have been members of the church (though not “voting” members) since baptism. They have all been recipients of God’s grace and members of our faith community long before this Sunday.
Nor is confirmation the end of faith. Too often, we think of confirmation as “graduation” from church, or as something that has little connection to what comes after it. True, confirmation does celebrate the completion of a difficult year of study and represents a major transition in life. But we empty it of much of its meaning when we view it as simply a “destination.” Confirmation is a commitment to the life of faith – to the arduous task of trying to follow Jesus for the rest of your life. Confirmation is intended to lead to renewed and deeper commitment to the way of Jesus. Perhaps it would be better understood as a “refueling station” rather than as a “destination.”
In baptism, God promises to always be with us and makes us a part of the church, the community that is called to be a part of God’s work in the world. In that act, we are given more love and grace than we can possibly imagine; baptism is a sort of love letter from God. Confirmation is a way of responding to God’s love letter with a love letter of our own, promising to seek God and follow Jesus in all that we do. And, even more importantly, confirmation is a time when the whole church prays for the Holy Spirit to give us (especially those who are being confirmed) the strength to live lives that are faithful to the God who we have come to know in Jesus Christ.
In short, it’s kind of a big deal. We hope that you take the time this weekend to check it out.
Brian and Denise
Our next event is on Saturday, Nov. 19th! Confirmands and faith friends are invited to join us for the Walk for Homelessness Walkathon in DC. More information to come!
Please join us during our 11:15 AM service for our Confirmation Commissioning. During this time, we hope to introduce our confirmands to the congregation so they will feel supported, loved and part of our church community. In response, we will invite the congregation to join with our youth on this journey.
Dear all 8th graders and parents: A reminder that our confirmation orientation will be held on Sunday, October 2nd at 9:45 AM. Please be on the lookout for an invitation by mail in the next few weeks! Do you have questions regarding confirmation or the confirmation orientation? Contact our Director of Youth Ministries, Grace at GHan@StMatthewsUMC.org.
Dear Parents: As we start to look forward to the 2011-2012 school year, we are still in search of adult volunteers for Sunday School, Confirmation, and UMYF! If you are interested in helping out with youth ministry or have any additional questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP! Thank You - Grace
At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. [Mark 13:26-27, NIV]
Friday, May 13th:
Saturday, May 14th:
Sunday, May 15th:
Our Director of Youth Ministries, Grace, is about to become a mom for the very first time! We couldn’t be more excited about this little bundle that will soon grace (pun TOTALLY intended) the hallways of St. Matthew’s. Sadly, however, this means we’ll have to temporarily say goodbye to Grace while she heads out on maternity leave. We will miss her terribly but because she is super fantastic, she’s already lined up points of contact, which she reveals in her note to the St. Matthew’s Community:
As you know, my due date is quickly approaching!.. In preparation for my maternity leave, I wanted to let you all know about plans for my leave. I’ll be out of the office for 10 weeks… During that time, many of our youth counselors and teachers have stepped up to help out in the interim. Please see below for contact information for folks
During the second week of May, we are asking each Confirmation student to sign up to meet personally with Pastor Denise. This is not meant to be a test, but a discussion about what you wrote in your individual letters and what it means to join the community of faith generally, specifically at St. Matthew’s. You can sign up for a time here: http://signupgenius.com/go/confirmation20
Questions? Contact Grace.
As part of their confirmation/baptism process, we’ve asked all youth to write a “statement of faith” (or response to God’s love letter) in preparation for Easter. All youth will turn this statement of faith into Rev. Denise Honeycutt by EASTER SUNDAY (April 24th). Please encourage your youth to go over the statement of faith with their faith friends prior to submitting the letter. All confirmands will also meet with Pastor Denise prior to Confirmation Sunday, please keep your eyes peeled for sign ups!
Next Field Trip
Save the Date:
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. [John 15:13 - NIV]
Friday, March 18th:
Saturday, March 19th:
Sunday, March 20th: