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More About Trinity's 6/7/8 Confirmation

7/8 Confirmation Is Now 6/7/8 Confirmation!

6/7/8 Confirmation Began Wednesday, October 4, 2017

This past October, 7/8 Confirmation became 6/7/8 Confirmation as our new 6th graders joined the current ministry led by Monty Lysne and a committed group of volunteer leaders. This large-group/small-group system blends learning, service, and fellowship to present a more complete Confirmation/faith formation experience, going beyond simply Confirmation instruction in to Confirmation ministry with kids and families. Topics are presented to the large group, then grade-specific small groups break off to discuss and “unpack” the concepts together. This allows for kids of different ages to explore the subject where they are developmentally.

No Changes for 2017's 7th-9th Graders
As we transition in to this new grade grouping, this year’s 7th, 8th and 9th graders will see no change to their current schedule. This year’s 7th and 8th graders will still have two years with Monty, and 9th graders will have a year with Sr. High Coordinator Kelsey Crusinberry and will affirm their faith on Confirmation Day in the spring of the 9th grade year. In short, if you had a child entering 7th – 9th grades this fall, your schedule will not change from what has happened in the recent past: 7/8 grades with Monty, 9th grade with Kelsey, and Confirmation day in the spring of the 9th grade year.

Subtle Changes for 2017's 6th Graders
Along with moving upstairs to join Confirmation, this year’s 6th grade class will be the first to go through a subtle change to their Confirmation journey. With three years of Confirmation ministry completed by the end of 8th grade, this group will affirm their faith on Confirmation Day in the fall of their 9th grade year, not spring as it is currently. This will be the first class to do so, and this will be the normal schedule moving forward.

Various studies have been done concerning the benefits of the Middle School model for kids, and we’re confident our existing Confirmation system already connects well with the more holistic Middle School philosophy. It is the hope of the Trinity CYF staff that the changes to the local schools and the upcoming changes to Trinity’s Confirmation program will be a blessing to the families and kids involved.


6/7/8 Confirmation Program Information Continued

Schedule
We meet from 6:15-7:30 PM on most Wednesdays, October–April in the Worship Center and Garden Room at Trinity. Confirmation Day 2018 for our 9th grade learners will be Sunday, April 29 at 2 PM in the Worship Center at Trinity.

Set Up
Our system is a large-group/small-group set up, with a large group presentation followed by small group check in and conversation about the topic taught. Each child is put in a small group of about 6-8 with a caring adult leader at the center. We strive for much more than simply instruction—we want kids to learn, of course, but we also want kids to connect with each other in small groups and share the Highs and Lows in their life. In short, we want our program to be about ministry as much as instruction. Our program has four main parts that make it as complete a ministry as possible:

Learning
Trinity uses Faith Inkubators' "Head to the Heart" materials and we cover the basics of the Lutheran Small Catechism and the Bible. We are currently on a two-year rotation with Old Testament/New Testament in Year 1, and Luther and the Small Catechism/Lutheran Life in Year 2. A third year in the rotation will be added in Fall 2019. We try to teach in engaging ways that cover all learning styles: art, music, video, skits are all involved to help get our teaching across.

Service
At various times of the year, we plan for service opportunities for our kids in small groups. (Check out our First Annual Urban Immersion Retreat in Minneapolis over MEA Break, 2017.)If we want a child to learn how to be a servant, we think it best to help them serve! In the past, we’ve been a part of meal packing, fundraiser breakfasts, the Lutefisk and Meatball dinner, Mexico Mission support, and other various events. Each year presents different opportunities to serve. Any ideas for us? Let us know!

Play
In a small group, fun experiences bond you together and allow you to tell good stories about one another. With this closeness comes more honest conversations in small group. Each year we schedule various events simply for fun that kids and their small groups can be a part of. In the past, we’ve had a bonfire, a sledding day, a ski trip, and other various things.

The Home
We believe very strongly that parents/caregivers need to be a central part of the Confirmation journey. We don’t want to run another “drop off” program where parents are not part of the process. Admittedly, this is not something the church has emphasized very much in the last couple of decades. We’ve fostered a process where only the “professionals” talk to kids about faith, which is strange because various studies show us that no one is a bigger influence on the faith of a child than a parent. We do realize that planning intentional time to talk about faith can be a tough and even uncomfortable proposition. Many parents don’t feel qualified or the least bit comfortable talking about faith. Keep in mind that it’s not as important to worry about what you say as it is to simply take the time to try and say it. Your kids may not remember the subject of your conversation, but they will remember that you took the time to try. We stand ready to train and equip you with the motivation and the tools for you to begin regular faith talk in your home.

Along those lines, we send out a weekly email with updates on what we are talking about at church and include a “Taking Faith Home” sheet to help guide you in starting some regular caring conversations in the home. We also schedule various “Impact Parenting” sessions during the year so you can get together with other parents for practical advice from various professional child development specialists. In short, we don’t want to replace you as an influencer of faith for your child. We want to partner together with you—blurring the lines between church and home—so your child has the most positive and powerful Confirmation journey possible!

Expectations
Confirmation is not a sacrament in the Lutheran tradition. That is to say, it is not “required.” However, the Children, Youth, and Family Ministry Team at Trinity work very hard to provide the most complete, faithful and meaningful Confirmation Ministry program possible. If you and your child join us in this journey, we do have some expectations from you both:

  1. Regular attendance on Wednesday nights. We realize that sports and other events sometimes overlap with our Wednesday sessions, and that is truly unfortunate. For the integrity of the program and for fairness to all involved, we expect your child to attend as much as they possibly can. If more than five sessions of the approximately 20 planned sessions are missed, a one-on-one conversation with 7/8 Confirmation Specialist Monty Lysne will be scheduled to put in place a roadmap for program involvement and completion.
  2. A Bible or Bible app to be brought each Wednesday. We frequently look at various verses in the Bible as we make our way through our teaching time. Each child needs to have access to a Bible in order to do this. We prefer the NRSV, NIV or The Message translations. If you don’t have a Bible, we’d be thrilled to get you one for free. Just let us know.
  3. Folders/binders to be collected. A handout will be issued for each session, and kids are required to keep these sheets in the provided folders/binders so we can access them later in the year. It’s also nice when these folders come home, because parents can see what we've been up to!
  4. Regular family conversations at home. As mentioned, a major part of our program centers on conversations at home. We will train and equip you for these conversations with various non-threatening tools, such as Growing Faith at Home sheets and the FAITH5. Even if it is only asking your child about his/her highs and lows of the day—that is valuable time that we encourage you to schedule.
  5. Regular worship on Sundays. Although we have no specific requirement for attending church, we strongly encourage you to make worship (at Trinity or elsewhere) an important and regular part of your family life.
  6. Respectful behavior on Wednesdays. We want to have fun, but not get too crazy on Wednesdays. Please remind your child to act accordingly each session.
  7. Parent Small Group Leaders. A key part of our small group ministry is to keep it just that: small! Please prayerfully consider your availability to lead a small group of kids, either by yourself or with a partner. We’ll equip you and train you for all you need to know (Bible expertise is not required!)

We are thrilled to be able to partner with you and your child on the Confirmation journey, and are ready to help in any way we can. We’re going to have a great year! If you have any questions, please contact Monty Lysne at Trinity at mlysne@trinitylc.org or 651-323-1324.

9th Grade Confirmation Information

Details on our 9th grade Confirmation program can be found here.