(Scroll to bottom for links to Catechesis Corner thoughts by Pastor Gless)
Confirmation is a public rite of the church preceded by a period of instruction designed to help baptized Christians identify with the life and mission of the Christian Community. Prior to admission to the Lord's Supper, it is necessary to be instructed in the Christian faith (1 Cor 11:28). The rite of confirmation provides an opportunity for the individual Christian, relying on God's promise given in Holy Baptism, to make a personal public confession of the faith and a lifelong pledge of fidelity to Christ.
The members, teachers and the pastors of Zion Lutheran Church and School hold confirmation to be a privilege and a priority in the life of our children (and any adults going through the process). One of the hallmarks of our Lutheran heritage has been our tradition of thorough biblical and doctrinal instruction to equip us for daily living and witness to Christ. We take very seriously the command of our Lord in Matthew 28:18-20 "to go make disciples teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." As such, we endeavor to train children (and adults) in the way of the Lord so that when he or she is old (or older) they will not turn from it (Proverbs 22:6).
Our confirmation process (also called catechesis) for adult or youth centers on the truth of the Holy Scriptures and is taught based on the six chief parts of Luther's Small Catechism along with a Christians worship life as they highlight the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.
Integral to the teaching of the faith, especially for young catechumens, is the partnership of church and home. Proverbs 6:20-22 says: "20 My son, keep your father's commands and do not forsake your mother's teaching. 21 Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. 22 When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you."
The fundamental message of Proverbs 6 is that the teachings of the faith are intimately connected with daily life. The words of mothers, fathers, and other caregivers impact the lives of our children as they go on their way and as they begin and end their daily routines.
When parents have a solid relationship with their children, one where they can share their faith, teach the faith, and live the faith together in the HOME, it will have a far greater lasting impact than any influence a pastor or teacher may have on your child's life. Certainly we see pastors and teachers to be important in a child's life, but the point is - as the BIBLE says - Moms and Dads are the most formative people in a child's faith and life.
As a church we understand this. Thus we recognize that our church and parochial school are in partnership with the homes of our members where preaching, teaching, and living of the good news of Jesus Christ also takes place. Accordingly, we have structured our confirmation curriculum to intentionally reflect that partnership and provide opportunities for catechumens and parents to share in the fullness of the confirmation experience and together grow in their faith.