These questions often come up during teen years when youth are asserting independence and forming identity on several fronts. John Westerhoff identified this as the searching phase of faith and further named that it is important for each of us to wrestle with questions in order to develop mature or ‘owned’ faith.
Though they sometimes feel like a rejection of faith, adult mentors are called to honor the queries, to respond with openness, to testify to the mystery and the truths of faith, and to model a commitment to growth. We must also be honest with youth and acknowledge that the journey has ebb-and-flow moments; sometimes we are sure about our beliefs and sometimes we have doubts.
Congregations offer a variety of confirmation experiences to complete the covenant they establish with families when a child is baptized. Confirmation is an invitation to follow the teachings of Jesus and embrace full membership in a community of faith. Hopefully, this step is not an endpoint, but instead a milestone that launches youth into a deeper relationship with God and a meaningful life of discipleship. The Southern New England Conference seeks to support followers of all ages that they may live the love and justice of Jesus.
The pandemic has put constraints on many of our faith formation programs, both in the local church and at the conference. Normally we would be preparing to welcome youth to overnight retreats at Silver Lake or Craigville Conference Center in the next month. As an adaptation, the Faith Formation team has developed a series of Nurturing Faith Confirmation Enrichment programs to bring youth and their leaders together via zoom. We invite you to register early as space is limited for these sessions!
- Interfaith Exploration on February 21 FULL!
- Many Faces of Discipleship (at Super Saturday) on March 20
- UCC Values and the 6 Ws on April 25
Image by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay
Debby Kirk is the Faith Formation Team Leader of the Southern New England Conference. She serves on the Faith Formation Team and oversees the Youth and Young Adult Ministries programs of the Conference. She organizes leadership development programs ...