Lutheran Family Confirmation
A Life-Long Process
When a child is baptized, Christian parents and sponsors promise to place in the child’s hands the Holy Scriptures, take them to worship services in God’s house, and assist them in their Christian growth through attendance at Sunday School and Confirmation classes.
Christian growth is a life-long process. At Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Regina, this process begins early, we encourage parents to bring their children to Sunday School. As our young people are leaving elementary school, they begin a two-year process of Confirmation. Confirmation instruction is intended to prepare them to confirm the faith that began in them on the day of their Baptism.
Information for Students and their Parents
A good resource for finding Bible verses or Bible references is at the Bible Gateway website. You can access the site here.
The Family Confirmation Concept
Pastor Defoe teaches the second year class. In the fall of 2004, as a one-year pilot project, Mount Olive investigated the Family Confirmation concept. After the first year of the program, the Board of Education recommended to council that this program be an ongoing ministry of the congregation. Pastor Defoe's experience with Family Confirmation began in the fall of 1993, at Zion Lutheran Church in Wetaskiwin, Alberta. That year, 18 students and their parents were part of the program. In the subsequent 10 years, 65 students attended classes with their parents. Pastor Defoe taught a series of 30 lessons over 30 weeks, with Confirmation Sunday usually falling on or around the festival of Pentecost (mid-May each year.)
The first half of the second-year lessons deals with Old Testament material, including a study of the Ten Commandments and various prophecies about Christ and their fulfillment. The second half of the lessons deals with Christ in his various roles and includes basic Lutheran teachings on Holy Baptism, Holy Communion, worship, evangelism and the like. Each week, students are asked to do some memory work. References to Luther's Small Catechism are found throughout the lessons.
The goal of Family Confirmation is to directly involve parents in the Christian Education of their children. Parents are asked to attend classes with their children and assist their children in doing their confirmation lessons at home. Although parents are not called upon to participate in class discussions (unless they choose to do so!) Pastor Defoe has discovered that their presence and participation -- at home and in class -- has a powerful, positive, and long-term impact on their children.
Pastor Defoe has found that once parents understand the rationale behind the program, they experience firsthand the great value of being directly involved in their child's Christian Education. Students, for their part, appreciate the fact that their parents care enough to be involved. Parents who have been involved in the program tend to be its most eloquent supporters. Experience has taught that Family Confirmation is a very important means by which the Christian faith can be taken back into the home, enabling parents to fulfill Martin Luther's admonition that they teach these things to their children at home. This program provides a positive environment within which the basics of the Christian faith can be effectively taught.
Many congregations, in Canada and elsewhere, both Lutheran and other denominations, have inquired about this program, and many are presently using it. More information is available by contacting Pastor Defoe at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Regina, 306-591-4240, or send him an .
At Mount Olive Lutheran Church, we believe that our children and youth are a precious gift from God. With God’s help, in our Confirmation Classes, we teach our young people what it means to be a Christian and how to live as a Christian in a non-Christian world.
Preview or Download Lessons
Lessons are available from Pastor Terry Defoe. Please contact him at The Family Confirmation concept was discussed in the May / June 2003 issue of The Canadian Lutheran, the official publication of the Lutheran Church Canada.You can view the article by clicking here.