During the 2017-2018 ministry year, St. James will be piloting an innovative approach to Confirmation.
The purpose of Learner Directed Confirmation (LDC) is to provide a faith formation experience to youth that will encourage within them a desire to be life-long, faith learners. Faith is not something that you can master in three years; Faith takes a lifetime of questioning, exploring, forming, challenging, and nurturing. LDC seeks to en-culture within youth the processes, attitudes, and strategies that will equip them for life-long faith formation beyond the day that they affirm their baptismal faith.
How will it work?
Learner Directed Confirmation small group:
For this pilot, we will gather a group of four to six youth of various ages and an equal number of adults (who are themselves, life-long faith learners). They will be called the LDC small group. The LDC small group will meet each week on Wednesday night. They will do a weekly check-in, share progress on the LDC plans, and salt/light. Students and adult can choose to work on projects or attend the general confirmation class (if this fulfills one of the requirements or they are interested in the speaker/topic). Once a month, the LDC small group will be serving alongside the general confirmation small groups during the Comfort Meal Pack. The LDC small group will also participate in the Winter Confirmation Retreat.
Learner Directed Confirmation plan:
Students will work with parents, LDC adults, and pastor to formulate their ‘LDC Plan’ for meeting the basic learning objectives of Confirmation. This plan will be unique to the student, incorporating their learning styles, preferences, talents, and interests. They will work at their own pace and have the freedom to explore learning through reading, art, and projects.Once the student fulfills their established goals as clearly stated in the plan, they will be eligible to affirm their baptismal faith. It may take two or three years. It could even take more. The goal is not to finish confirmation but rather to move at a pace that encultures the student’s life-long faith learning.
How do I take part?
A student can elect to become part of LDC at any point. They will receive credit for work done in the general Confirmation Ministry. It can easily accommodate students who move into the area during mid-year, and a variety of learning abilities.
Learner Directed Confirmation special project:
In January, the pastor will assign a book/movie to the LDC small group. The group of youth and adults will need to work together to formulate a response. The projects will explore the biblical and theological underpinnings of the work. Learners can complete projects in smaller groups or as part of the whole group. Projects will be celebrated and presented to the congregation at large.
St. James will pilot the LDC concept for the Confirmation Ministry year 2017-2018. This innovative approach is being developed at St. James and to our knowledge has not been done before. At the end of the year, LDC students, parents, LDC adults, and the pastor will provide an evaluation. Like we have done with the general Confirmation Ministry, we will build on successes, adjust weaknesses, and make it better together.