This week we are sharing two new portraits, one is a collaboration between two United Methodist pastors and the other is a program that integrates a confirmation equivalent practice into an AME context.
Two United Methodist Church pastors in California were frustrated with attendance and retention problems in their confirmation ministry programs, so they turned to a form of ministry that they both loved and knew was effective: summer camp. Their innovative confirmation camp model at Lake Tahoe has revitalized their stagnant programs, and it provides a powerful example for emulation. The keys to the success of their program included intentional community building, extended separation from the home environment, and a recreational environment that prioritized experiential learning. You can learn about this creative collaboration through this congregational portrait written by Jacob Sorenson.
In the city of North Las Vegas, Rev. Ralph Williamson has developed the curriculum “Developing Your Spiritual Understanding” to do just that for youth. This curriculum grew out of his own awareness of the need for youth discipleship to include a rite of passage like confirmation. In this congregational portrait, Shonda Gladden exposes how confirmation is woven into the larger fabric of spiritual formation at FAME by intentionally attending to the theological, historical, and practical dimensions of a life of faith.
I hope you find these congregational portraits to be an encouraging sign of the vibrant activity of the Holy Spirit!