We are trying something different for our Faith Statements this year! In the past we have asked the youth in 8th grade to attend a weekend retreat and have a time of reflection and writing their faith statements in preparation for the Affirmation of Baptism in the fall of their 9th grade year. While this weekend retreat has been a great time to focus on our faith, we felt there was a piece missing: families. Youth would come back from the weekend with their statement of faith and sometimes families would read it and sometimes not.
The National Study of Youth and Religion concludes that the best way for youth to become more serious about religious faith is for parents to become more serious about theirs. Parent religiosity during the teenage years was an even stronger predictor of young people's faith in emerging adulthood. Research is nearly unanimous on this point: parents/guardians matter most in shaping the religious lives of their children.
Do your children know why you go to church? Do they know your story and how Jesus changed your life? Is going to church changing your life? How is faith bearing fruit in your life? As the number one influencer on your child's faith, they need to know these things!
This is where Family Faith Statements play an important role. On Wednesday, April 22nd, we are holding our next Family Night for Confirmation Ministry and we are inviting families to come and start the process of writing a Family Faith Statement. We will have more instructions and conversations surrounding the questions below, but you can start by thinking about these before you attend the meeting!
The hope for these Faith Statements is to give your family a foundation to build on throughout the following years. We will have students write their faith statements every year of Confirmation, coming back to their statements from years past and adding, changing and discussing what they believe.
1. What are some descriptive words that help you define God?
2. What are some important beliefs about God and the church?
3. What are some descriptive words that help you define Jesus?
4. What are some important beliefs about Jesus?
5. What are some descriptive words that help you define the Holy Spirit?
6. What are some important beliefs about the Holy Spirit?
Share a high and a low from the past week.
Answer this question again: “I am… (noun)”— something that describes you, or how you are feeling right now, other than your name!
John 6:27-35 (NRSV)
27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
What does it mean that Jesus says, “I am the Bread of Life”? How can Jesus be this source of satisfaction for us?
How does experiencing Jesus as “the Bread of Life” help us to know God more fully?
Dear God, thank you for bringing us all here today to learn more about you through your son Jesus. Help us to remember that even when we feel like we don’t do enough to honor you, you accept us just as we are because you made us and love us. Let us be constant reminders to each other that we are enough. In your name we pray. Amen.
May the Bread of Life give you what you need today and always.
Share a High and Low from the past week.
Finish this sentence: " I Am...(noun)" --something that describes you, or how you are feeling right now.
Exodus 3: 13-14 The Divine Name Revealed
13 But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
What do you think of God’s response of “I Am Who I Am”? What is God saying?
Do you think we learn more about God with this cryptic answer than we would have learned if the answer had just been “God”? Why is this? What is the difference between these two types of answers?
Dear God, thank you for bringing us here to this place. Help us to open our eyes, our ears, our minds, and our spirits to understand who you are and to know you. Please be with us as we draw near to you and closer to each other. In your Son’s
holy name, we pray. Amen.
(Name), just as God spoke to Moses, may God speak to you.
Share a high from the past week.
Share a low from the past week.
Parents/Guardians be sure to share as well!
6th Grade- Lesson 10- Creed- Is the Holy Spirit a person or wind or fire or what?
7th Grade- Lesson 10- Discipleship- Why should I pray the Lord's Prayer when it feels like I'm just going through the motions?
8th Grade- Session 9: Miracles
6th Grade- What surprised you in today's lesson? How does it feel to know that the Holy Spirit works in unpredictable and uncontrollable ways?
7th Grade- Is God's Kingdom in the future? Could it be here now? Is it important to know the Lord's Prayer by heart? Why? Why not?
8th Grade- Why do you think Jesus performed miracles? What do you think this entire story shows us about Jesus? What does this story say about US?...about You?...about God?
Lord, be with us this week and help us to better understand your teachings in our lives and to see you at work in the world around us. Amen.
(Name), you are a Child of God! (As you say these words to each other, mark them with the Cross on the forehead, a reminder of your baptism)
This week our youth helped fill food bags for Kids Against Hunger! Thanks to church volunteer Marcy Shie for leading this venture. Here is some more information about Kids Against Hunger.
Kids Against Hunger
The mission of Kids Against Hunger, a humanitarian food-aid organization, is to significantly reduce the number of hungry children in the USA and to feed starving children throughout the world. Kids Against Hunger is not affiliated with or restricted to a particular religious group and does not discriminate on any basis when distributing its meals.
The beauty of the food formulation is its simplicity. It is made from four readily available, dry ingredients that are easy to package, keep for long periods, and require only boiling with water to prepare. Despite the simplicity of the food’s content, it is a nutritionally complex and well balanced meal.
Share a high and a low from the week so far.
35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’
Where did you see God at work today?
Who was involved?
How did you do God's work today?
Do you think your work helped to fulfill this Bible verse? If so, how?
Thank you God for providing us opportunities to serve those in need. Use this experience to remind us of those who are in need and to respond to their needs with your love. Amen.
(Name), you are a Child of God!
What is this?
Weekly posts pertaining to the Confirmation Lessons for the week. A great way for families to have conversations of faith at home, on the road, or around a meal.