Confirmation/church membership training is open to everyone who will be 12 years of age or older by Confirmation Sunday. At the pastor’s discretion, this minimum age requirement may be waved for those who are exceptionally mature. There is no maximum age for confirmation. All who choose to become full members of the church are expected to live by their membership vows, including the one that asks, “As a member of this congregation, will you faithfully participate in its ministries by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness?” Those who complete confirmation training but choose not to become full members at that time will be issued a certificate of completion but will not be expected to fulfill the vows of full membership.
Philosophy of Confirmation
Confirmation/church membership training is not “the class for joining the church.” It is, instead, an inquiry into the Bible, the history and teachings of our Christian faith, the structure and beliefs of The United Methodist Church, the theory and practice of personal and public worship – including baptism, communion, confirmation, weddings, and funerals – and the meaning of church membership. By the end of this class, students will have the knowledge and experience necessary to decide for themselves if they are ready to become full members of the First United Methodist Church of Harrisburg. If that decision is “Yes,” great! If it is “No” or “Not yet,” that’s great too. Any decision made about church membership will be based upon a full understanding of what membership is all about. Our pastor’s classes are exhaustive, exhausting, and fun. To help with the process, the following items are required:
Items Needed for Confirmation
- $20 tuition for supplies, refreshments, and party. (This fee may be waved in cases of financial hardship. Please see the pastor for more details.)
- A copy of The Student Bible (New International Version) or the NIV Adventure Bible. Other versions may be used, but either of these will make confirmation easier. This Bible will receive a lot of hard use and so confirmation students should not use a family heirloom or special presentation Bible.
- A 3-ring binder, filler papers, and several pencils, mechanical pencils, or pens. Pencils are better because they allow for easier change and correction.
- A copy of the most current edition of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church. The church will furnish loaner copies of this book at no charge to those who wish to use them. Students who wish to purchase their own copy may do so through the pastor.
Confirmation/church membership training will be held in the Youth Room on the upper level of Wesley Center unless otherwise noted.
Meeting dates and times will be set after the pastor has met with confirmation students and their parents at a scheduled information session. A detailed Confirmation Topic and Assignment List will then be provided to all students and parents, including a detailed breakdown of meeting dates, times, topics, and assignments. Please contact the pastor or church office for more details.
All Confirmation/Church Membership Students Are Expected To
- Be on time and ready to start at the beginning of each class.
- Complete all assignments and turn them in on time.
- Behave properly during all regular and special meetings.
- Be present at every session. Sick days and absences excused by the pastor are to be made up as soon as possible to avoid slipping behind. Students are expected to work school activities, sports, etc. around confirmation as much as possible.
- Support the First United Methodist Church of Harrisburg by attending Sunday school and worship every Sunday morning. If students are out of town on a Sunday morning, they are asked to attend worship and Sunday school where they are visiting and bring back a bulletin or note from the pastor or Sunday school teacher as proof. The church they visit can be of any denomination.
- Support the First United Methodist Church of Harrisburg by praying for it every day. A sample prayer will be distributed during the first session of confirmation, but students are encouraged to write and use their own prayers if they wish.
- Support the First United Methodist Church of Harrisburg by giving at least 10% of their personal income to God through the church (see Malachi 6:1-2 and Luke 16:9-15).
- Support the First United Methodist Church of Harrisburg by participating in as many church service projects as possible.
Should a Student’s Behavior Prove Uncontrollable
- He or she will be sent home immediately.
- He or she will not be permitted to attend another confirmation session until his or her parents or guardians have met with the pastor and the problem resolved.
- All work missed during this time is to be made up.
From time to time, special educational opportunities for confirmation students may arise. When they do, the pastor will inform the class and encourage them to participate. These opportunities may include retreats, church meetings, and field trips to museums, annual conference institutions, nearby mission sites and/or churches of other denominations or religions.
There’s a reason for everything we do in confirmation.
If you don’t understand, please ask!