By Melissa Nelms
Confirmation is a journey. It’s an opportunity for students and their families to learn about their faith, the roots of Christianity, and how to profess and live out their faith in community. For some, it’s the next step in a journey they’ve been on since their baptism as an infant. For some, it’s the first step in their journey to follow Jesus. For others, it’s a return to the journey after a time of searching and wandering. For Kian Hickey and his family, the Confirmation journey fell into this third category.
Kian and his older brothers, Ryan and Sean, were baptized as babies. However, after the boys were baptized their family fell into the habit of attending worship only on Easter and Christmas. They came to church with family at holidays, but they never really felt at home in the church.
About four years ago, the Hickey family began to seriously search for a church home. Kian said his parents initiated the search for a church, while he and his brothers weren’t all that interested. When they first found Acts 2, they began by coming at Easter and Christmas, and while they slowly became more regular in their attendance, their lives remained mostly unchanged. Kian said, “It was normal life. Go to school. Go home.” Then, last year, he and his brother Ryan were invited to participate in Confirmation as 6thand 9thgraders, and they accepted the invitation.
“After Confirmation I started noticing little things that God was doing. God was showing up in unexpected places,” said Kian. He began to learn about God, and to his surprise, it wasn’t boring. The students played games and engaged in discussions that made the learning fun and interesting. Confirmation mentors Bill Waugh and Noah Lillis led Kian’s table group of 6thgrade boys and helped them wrestle with ideas like the Trinity in a way that made sense, for which Kian was grateful. For Kian, learning about the Trinity was a breakthrough moment: “The three big pieces – Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God all one being. It was mind-blowing. It made me realize how important God is and how much he does to help the humans he created.”
Beyond the learning, Kian found friends. Seeing the same five boys every week helped him build new and meaningful relationships. They saw each other every Sunday and talked about what they were learning and doing together. Kian described it as sharing life.
Not only did he find new relationships with the guys in his table group, but he also had the opportunity to grow closer to his older brother. It was a journey they took together as a family, and Kian felt like he wasn’t alone because they were doing it together. Since the family joined in February and the boys were confirmed in March, Kian’s dad has been more eager to come to church and his mom has been happier now that they come more regularly. Even Kian gets excited about attending now. “[God] was trying to point me in the right direction. From church is just the thing that I go to. I’m here and it helps me take notice of who He is – who He really is.”
Now, when he reflects on his baptism and his journey through Confirmation, Kian says, “It made me realize baptism is more than just putting water on a baby’s head or being dunked in a tank. Jesus is my savior. He’s protecting me. Confirmation helps you realize that you want to be one with Christ.”
So if you and your family have been wondering if Confirmation is the right next step for you, Kian says, “Do confirmation! It helps a lot. It can strengthen your bond with other people. It can create new bonds with other people. It’s fun. You get to do a lot of cool stuff. And you get closer to God.”
Classes for adults and youth begin this Sunday, September 9that 10:45 a.m. in the portable buildings. Come start the journey. Explore your faith, connect with your roots, and put them into action as we strive to be radical Christ followers together.