What is Confirmation? You’ll notice that Confirmation has the word “firm” in it. Confirmation
is a time when you have the opportunity to make a firm decision whether you will claim the name “Christian” for yourself and
whether you will offer your prayers, presence, gifts and service as a member of the United Methodist Church.
Some of you may have been baptized as an infant, for instance. Confirmation would be a time you
could claim for yourself the vows your parents once made on your behalf.
If you’ve never been baptized, at the end of Confirmation, you may choose to be baptized and
claim the name “Christian” for yourself. Confirmation may be repeated so it may be a time of reaffirmation of one’s faith.
Such a decision would be your choice.
Confirmation preparation is a class for pre–teens (usually sixth grade and up), teens and adults who are interested in publicly
affirming the call on their lives to be disciples of Christ. The class helps the attendees gain important insight to the aspects of
one’s faith: Baptism, Holy Communion, Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the history of the Christian church, and the history of the
United Methodist Church.
The class is designed to prepare the attendees to answer the all–important question: “Do you confess Jesus
Christ as your Savior, put your whole trust in His grace, and promise to serve Him as your Lord, in union with the church which
Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races?”
Confirmation class is also an opportunity to be confirmed as full members of the church rather than baptized members. However, the
decision to be confirmed is just that — a decision, a choice. It is not required.
Two things should be noted here: One, Confirmation is not becoming a member of the church. Baptism
already celebrated that! When you were baptized you became a bapized member of the church. When you are confirmed and made a public
affirmation of the faith of the church as being your own faith you then become a full professing member of the church.
The difference between Baptized Members and Full Professing Members of the chruch is Full Professing
members have the privilege and responsibility of the governance (can vote on the board and hold office) of the church, are counted in
statistics of church membership, and other such matters. To be a “full professing member” is to make a statement of commitment and participation in a community of
disciples. Being a “full professing member” expresses continuing action both within the faith community and in the world. It is a statement
about an individual’s ongoing relationship and commitment to God and the church through Jesus Christ.
Two, Confirmation is a person’s first public affirmation of the faith of the church as being his or her
own faith. In other words, once Confirmed you are taking responsibility for living as a member of the body of Christ and for fulfilling
God’s purposes. An infant who is baptized cannot make a personal profession of faith as a part of the sacrament. Therefore, as the
young person is nurtured and matures so as to be able to respond to God’s grace, conscious faith and intentional commitment are
necessary. Such a person must come to claim the faith of the Church proclaimed in baptism as her or his own faith.
Would you like to ask the pastor a question about confirmation