Four youth are committed to the Confirmation program this winter and spring and began meeting in late December.
This program has all of the core conversation/exploration components accustomed to in this congregation, though it is structured a bit differently, relying on some Conference resources to make the program more robust in response to our, and Pastor Stacey’s, capacity to facilitate the program. Topics will include: understanding membership in the local church, the United Church of Christ and the diversity of faith expression through the denomination, the life and ministry of Jesus, the basics of faith traditions beyond Christianity, the differences between Christian faith traditions, personal relationships with God and Christ, understanding discernment in the church and in life, and more. It will include service learning, worship leadership, relationship building within this congregation, and connecting with faithful young people from UCC churches in the SNEUCC and the NH Conferences.
The structure will include the partnering of a young person with a mentor from this congregation. These pairings will be made by matching interests and personalities between adults and youth. Parents/guardians and youth will help in identifying who will be asked to serve in this capacity. Mentors and parents will be asked to assist in chaperoning components of the program outside of this church—a few in-person meetings with youth of the NH Conference (one of these meetings will be focused on worship leadership, another on service learning, and another on celebrating the journey these youth are embarking on together with an overnight in ME and a worship service on a boat). As well, a retreat with the Southern New England Conference will help connect our young people to this Conference’s Outdoor Ministry Program and invite them to take a “deep dive” into their personal faith and relationship with God and Christ.
The end of the program will include a choice for the young person to be Confirmed as a member of this church, to affirm their Baptismal Vows, or to receive a blessing at this rite of passage in maturing in their faith. The Christian Ed team feels it is important that no matter the decision made by each young person with their families, they be celebrated and embraced for where they are on their spiritual journey.