The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Confirmation: A new look

What should we keep? Change?

It’s not your grandmother’s confirmation” (June, page 24 in the print edition) reminded me of my confirmation years. It was there that I memorized hymns, Bible passages and the catechism. In the article Nancy Going says: “If the church honored that reality (faith is people-oriented and experiential), confirmation ... would be a different process than stuffing information into kids’ heads for three years.” In my father’s final days, I recited the Bible verses and hymns that were stuffed into my head to comfort him and me. On Sept. 11 as I crossed the bridge from Manhattan to Queens with masses of frightened people, I prayed the hymns and passages I had memorized in confirmation. Whenever I feel doubt or fear, it’s the words learned so many years ago that give me peace. To this day I try live out my faith in the light of being called, enlightened, sanctified and preserved by the Spirit. I’m grateful for what was “stuffed into my head” at the ages of 11 to 13. Let’s remember that we’re nourishing young Christians for the present—and building on their baptismal foundation for their future.

Eileen Smith
Wayne, N.J.

Learning the creeds and teachings of the Lutheran church can be somewhat dry at times. Is that bad? Must our kids always be entertained? Pastors should be offering hands-on Christian activities at the same time, such as working at the food kitchen or participating in worship by baking the bread for theeucharist. If kids are to demonstrate some knowledge of Lutheran theology and how we are to act as Christians in this world, let’s keep confirmation where it is. Kids want to belong,and confirmation is a rite of belonging to God and to the Lutheran church.

Sue Benson
Versailles, Ky.

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February issue


Embracing diversity