In the United Methodist Church, confirmation is an important event in the life of a parishioner. But what does it mean and how is it practiced?
Many people familiar with Christianity will have heard of baptism. An act of acknowledging God’s love for all people, baptism symbolizes a person’s ‘adoption’ into the family of God. Differences occur between Christian traditions on the way in which baptism is done and the ages of a persons who can be baptized. In the United Methodist tradition, multiple forms are allowed and people of all ages, including infants, can be baptised.
Confirmation is a process, most often for youth, in which believers engage in a period of study and service, during which they are encouraged to ask questions about the bible or church teachings and practices, explore other faith traditions, and learn to articulate what faith means to them personally. Then in an act of worship, they affirm their faith for themselves. This is especially true for those who were baptized as infants or children whose parents or sponsors made vows of faith for them.
Essentially, confirmation is a time for young people to learn that a living and vibrant faith means to ask questions, to have doubts, to disagree, and to explore. It provides a foundation for the life-long learning and growing. At the end of the day, it is about them coming into a deeper relationship with God, a bolder walk with Jesus and a life inspired by the Spirit.
First United Methodist Church of Pasadena is located at 500 East Colorado Boulevard, in Pasadena. For more information, call (626) 796-0157 or visit http://fumcpasadena.org.