6th – 8th Grade

Educational Objective for Youths (6th, 7th and 8th Grades)

  • To identify more deeply with the Christian community and participate more fully in its mission – all at increasing levels of biblical and theological awareness.

 

Confirmation

Pastor Paula is a firm believer that Confirmation is not about getting kids “through a program” and instead a time to focus on building a deepened relationship with Jesus as a disciple. We are saved by grace and disciples by decision, and affirming one’s baptism is a time to make that decision for a God who has already saved you by grace. In addition, I believe that one should make that decision when they are more mature and aware of its implications. To that end, I don’t think eighth grade, when kids are going through a whole host a physical/psychological, social changes, is a good time to make that choice. Also, Pastor Pula has noticed over the years that it is better to vary instruction, so that it isn’t a weekly or bi-weekly class like school, and instead, done through a variety of different formats–some classes with parents and as a small group, but also by using mentors, service in the church, and retreats, as well as in conversation with me.

Pastor Paula has thus made some significant changes–both in age and format. Kids will start in 7th grade and each year, 7th-9th, they will have 3 classes with parents and kids as well as a series of mini retreats during the year (3 or 4) in 7th and 8th grade. In 9th grade, they will be paired with a mentor of their choosing, who is a member of Emanuel, with whom they will meet a minimum of 5 or 6 times over the course of the year to talk about faith, using a guided format. In 10th grade, they will have a meeting with their parents and me, as well as the opportunity to complete a devotional/faith reflection coupled with 3 meetings with me, either alone or with a couple of other 10th graders. Throughout the whole program, they will need to commit to 5 service hours a year. Once they feel ready to make a discipleship commitment, they will write a faith statement and affirm their baptism. This program has fewer classes, more flexibility in our busy society, but most

8th Graders being confirmed this year

  • Class with parents at 6:45 PM on Jan 24 and Jan 31.
  • Lent program  (this will be a presentation by Pastor Paula at 6:45 followed by worship at 7:30 PM) Parents and 8th Graders should attend each week. See the “Lent at Emanuel” article in this issue of God With Us.
  • Class at 6:45 PM with parents and 8th Graders on: April 4, April 18, May 2 and May 9.
  • Confirmation Banquet on May 16.
  • Confirmation Retreat on March 16-18.
  • Hands on Hartford Immersion Experience with service event and then lock-in at church–tentatively scheduled for Feb. 17-18.
  • If an 8th Grader will miss more than two of the above, they can make it up at an 8th Graders “mini retreat” from 12 to 2 PM after Worship on February 25 and April 8.
  • Confirmation Sunday, May 20

7th Graders and 8th Graders doing the extended program

  • Class with parents at 6:45 PM on Jan 24 and Jan 31
  • Hands on Hartford Immersion Experience with service event and then lock in at church–tentatively scheduled for Feb. 17-18.
  • Confirmation Retreat on March 16-18.
  • If an 8th Grader will miss more than two of the above, they can make it up at an 8th Graders “mini retreat” from 12 to 2 PM after Worship on February 25 and April 8.
  • Parents of 7th graders should let Pastor Paula know ASAP if those dates do not work for you. If you cannot make those times or the retreat, you can make them up by coming to the Lenten Program and doing the worksheets.

Along with the Emanuel members who serve as Mentors, there are members who serve as Prayer Friends to our confirmation students. Each student has a secret Prayer Friend who remains with him or her throughout the confirmation instruction process. Through prayer, the Prayer Friend has an impact on the life of the student through intercession to God. They pray regularly for their assigned student and send simple correspondence special wishes on birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Their identity remains a secret until they are revealed just days before Affirmation of Baptism Sunday. If you would like more information on serving as a Mentor or Prayer Friend, contact Lance Hansen or Melissa Johnson.

All classes, activities and materials will remind students during this difficult stage of adolescence of God’s merciful acceptance through:

  • Reading Bible stories, taking into account entrance into abstract thinking
  • Confirmation instruction
  • Ministry that helps youth through Word and Sacrament and through response to the good news of the Gospel