Confirmation at St. Luke’s is a two-year process for 7th and 8th graders. Classes are held on Sunday mornings after the 9:30 service, beginning in September and running through May. Sometimes a weekday class is offered for families that have Sunday morning sports that conflict with the class.
Pre-Confirmation (7th grade) concentrates on reading and discussing Bible stories from both the Old and the New Testaments. The object is to ensure that the 7th graders have a reasonable knowledge of the Bible before they go on to Confirmation class, and to get them used to discussing these stories with a teacher and each other, rather than just listening to them. This class as well as the Sunday school classes the precede it, makes use of the Bible in graphic novel form: the Action Bible.
Confirmation Class (8th grade) prepares the candidates for confirmation by the Bishop near the end of the school year. At Confirmation, the 8th graders will take for themselves the vows that were made on their behalf by their parents and godparents when they were baptized; therefore the preparation focuses on exploring what Christians believe and how this translates into leading a Christian life in the 21st century. Every confirmand is required to write a personal belief statement before confirmation and to discuss it privately with the Rector, but it is recognized that this is merely the beginning of a lifelong process in which their beliefs will evolve and mature. What we try to do in Confirmation class is to help the students acquire a foundation of faith that will stand them in good stead later in life.
In addition to attending Sunday classes from September through May, 7th and 8th graders are expected to participate in worship services, preferably playing an active role (maybe as an acolyte or an usher or a reader). They are also required to take part in one of the church’s charitable activities (the Hunger Walk, the Soup Kitchen, Matheny School, or maybe assisting at the church’s Fall Fair or Spring Auction). During the year several outings are arranged so that the confirmands can see other Christian churches in action (Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem and the Westminster Choirs’ carol service at Princeton are favorite locations).