At WCC we offer a one-year confirmation class for youth who are in 8th grade or above. The Confirmation program runs from September through May and meets weekly. This program is led by Tyler Yost, Associate Pastor of Children, Family and Youth alongside our dedicated Faith Guides. Each Confirmand also has a Mentor (a church member who is not the parent of another Confirmand) with whom they meet regularly. The program is richly conversational and interactive, and it draws directly on the particular gifts and personality of each Confirmand and of each class, as a whole. In the spring, the class will participate in a weekend retreat, each Confirmand will write a Faith Statement, meet individually with a pastor, and present their Faith Statement to Council.
The goals of our confirmation program are:
Help our Confirmands to experience and recognize God moving in their lives.
Help our Confirmands to grow in their awareness of—and their ability to speak about—their faith experience.
Help our Confirmands to understand what it means to be a part of church (that is, what it means to be part of a devoted community of faith in which each member has a place, purpose, and a mutual responsibility in Christ).
At the end of the Confirmation program, youth have the opportunity to “be confirmed” in the Christian faith by claiming for themselves the promises made by others when they were baptized. Youth who choose to confirm their faith may also choose to then join WCC as full members if they wish.
Confirmation Sunday will celebrate the individual decision of each Confirmand as to whether or not they would like to publicly confirm their faith and join the Church as well as recognize the journey that has brought them to their decision.
Confirmation is not a graduation program from Church School or the church, but rather an opportunity for youth to explore what the next phase of their faith journey might look like. In claiming the promises made when they were baptized, we are not asking youth to continue the faith journey alone, but rather to take ownership of their faith. Our hope is that Confirmation will help youth find places in the Church to which they feel called.
And by the way, these young people do not need to be previously connected to Winnetka Congregational Church to join our Confirmation program.