This past Sunday, sixteen 7th graders publicly confirmed their faith and became members of Glenn. Four were also baptized. Confirmation Sunday is always a special one as family and friends gather in support and joy of the commitment these youth have made.
As the youth journey through two years of confirmation classes before being confirmed, Glenn congregants known as Friends in Faith come alongside them, offering time, encouragement, and a one-on-one space for questions and exploration.
Andrew Johnson has been a Friend in Faith a couple times, most recently with Eli Maughan. Read below for interviews with Andrew and Eli about their experiences in confirmation.
Andrew, how do you see God working in the lives of our youth?
There are some amazing youth at Glenn. I have had the pleasure of being Friends in Faith with Henry McKlin and now Eli Maughan. Both of these guys are so smart and ask great questions during the confirmation classes. They really want to know God and not just say that they do. The youth group is both a nurturing and a challenging place for the youth and both of the confirmands seem to really love that about the group. I remember when the youth made a great video in support of LGBTQ rights, which made my heart so happy!
How does spending time with Glenn’s youth shape your own faith?
I see God in their heart and in their actions. They also keep me on my toes because their worldview is already so much more inclusive than mine was at their age. They want church to be truly open and inviting. They want to love God and share that love with others. They inspire me to live out the Gospel and continue to grow.
What do you see as the goal of the confirmation Friend-in-Faith program?
One goal would be bridging the gap between the youth and the other members of the church through a stronger relationship. Another goal would be for accountability between the youth and the adult. I hope that it helps confirmand to have someone supporting them through the process, as I know that it has been great to have a youth that says hello and is interested in my life. I know that I care very much for Eli and Henry and hope that their faith continues to grow. I hope that they know they can always call me for any reason.
What do you remember about your own confirmation?
I had a great confirmation partner, named Rev. Bill Holt. He and I are still in contact with each other and he has been a great help to me at different stages in my life. I also remember the family and friends that supported me through the process. We had a lot of people attend the confirmation service and I felt so loved at that moment. Knowing that I had my actual family and my church family supporting me, laid a great foundation for me to build a life of faith.
Eli, what is your favorite part of Glenn Church?
I like the community. All the people knowing who you are.
During confirmation, what have you learned about God?
I have learned that God can help you while you go through anything, even if you feel like you can't do it God will help you.
Has having a Friend in Faith in this process been helpful?
Yes, because it gives you an adult to share your feelings with besides your parents.
What will confirming your faith in front of friends and family, and becoming a member of the church, mean to you?
I think that it will allow me to better connect with the people.
Thank you for your reflections, Andrew and Eli!
Are you interested in becoming a Friend in Faith or want to know more about the process? Contact Rev. Blair Setnor to learn more.