CONFIRMATION (7th-10th Grade)
Our confirmation program begins the summer before 7th Grade with youth attending Confirmation Camp at Sugar Creek Bible Camp in Ferryville, WI. Classes begin in 7th Grade and focus on preparing students to affirm the promises that were made by their parents and sponsors when they were baptized. The Confirmation program is designed to create opportunities for interaction and fellowship as well as learning and service. Small Group Guides are utilized to become a part of each youth’s Faith Web.
- Courses focus on the foundations of the ELCA faith: the Bible; Luther’s Small Catechism; and worship and prayer.
- A capstone faith statement project, which allows the student to tell the story of his or her faith development, as well as his or her plans to continue to grow in faith in the future, is assembled by youth during the fall of 10th Grade.
- During summers, youth have six lessons to complete with a parent (summer after 7th grade) or with a mentor (summer after 8th grade).
- Periodic fellowship and service events at the church and off-site are an additional piece of the confirmation experience.
Confirmation classes for 7th and 8th grade youth typically meet on Wednesday nights from 6:30pm until 7:30pm from the first Wednesday after Sunday School starts until the end of May. Pastor Paul leads the 8th grade class through the Bible and Jen leads the 7th graders through Luther’s Small Catechism. Small group guides help guide conversation that takes the youth through the FAITH5 and helps them apply what they’ve learned to their daily life. If you are interested in being a small group guide, please let either Pastor Paul or Jen know.
Learning doesn’t end during the summer. The summer before 7th grade, youth are encouraged to attend Confirmation Camp at Sugar Creek Bible Camp in Ferryville, WI. Camperships are available to help offset the cost of camp if that is too much of a drain on family finances. The youth engage in all aspects of camp with the exception of Bible Study. Instead of having their counselor lead them through the Bible study time, Jen spends time getting to know the youth, assessing their current knowledge, and engaging in activities.
The summer between 7th and 8th grade, families engage in six conversations that are designed to help each other learn more about the faith of their parents and share struggles they may have. Each of the six lessons has a small assignment that is reported to Jen through the Remind App.
The summer between 8th and 9th grade involves six lessons again, but this time they are designed for a youth to engage in with an adult mentor.
During the summer between 9th and 10th grade, youth will meet with Jen to work on their capstone project – their Faith Statement. This is a time when youth will be searching through family photographs for memories of baptism, communion, Sunday school, camp, volunteering at church, and any other moments that contributed to their faith formation. They also will choose a Bible verse that resonates with them. The writing component will consist of how they plan to keep the promises they will confirm at their Affirmation of Baptism:
live among God’s faithful people;
hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s Supper;
proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed;
serve all people following the example of Jesus; and
strive for justice and peace in all the earth.
Youth are confirmed on Reformation Sunday, the last Sunday in October, of their 10th grade year.
If you are interested in being a part of the St. John’s Confirmation program, or for more information about confirmation and middle school programs, please contact Jen Kooistra, Director of Youth, Family and Education Ministries. Registration includes a form that both the youth and adults fill out. We also require your profile to be up-to-date in our online church community. Details can be found in the middle of the Youth General Information page.
HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH
The Youth of St. John’s will gather on the 3rd Sundays of each month to participate in a synod-wide Rise Up Night. These events are hosted at various congregations and locations throughout the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin of the ELCA. Because travel times will vary, the time frame of these events will change each month. Be sure to watch the calendar and newsletter for specific details.
*Minneapolis 2021 – ELCA Youth Gathering – June 29th through July 3rd, 2021*
Every three years, the ELCA has an event that brings over 30,000 high school youth together to celebrate who they are, serve a community, and challenge them to grow. In 2021, The Gathering will be held in our backyard, Minneapolis. If you are a Freshman, Sophomore, or Junior in high school this fall, YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO ATTEND this amazing Gathering!!! The cost is generally around $1000-$1200/youth, but families are typically only responsible for $300 or less as long as they participate in the fundraising events. Watch for details, the preparation starts NOW.