Have you been confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church? Do you want to reaffirm your baptism and confirmation from when you were younger? Not sure what all of this means?
The Episcopal Church offers the Rite of Confirmation as a means for Adults to express to the world and to their worshiping communities their intent and commitment to be an active and engaged member in the ministry of Christ and the mission of God in the world. Many of us were baptized in other traditions or as an infant, and confirmation allows us to recommit to the baptismal life in the context of this tradition, the Episcopal Church. Confirmation is also one of the steps toward becoming a “member in good standing” able to vote in the parish, to stand for vestry, to be married, or to pursue ordination.
If you were confirmed as a Lutheran, Orthodox, or Roman Catholic, but not as an Episcopalian, and you want to live out your faith in the Episcopal Church, you can participate in the same service, in the Rite of Reception – and be received by our bishop into this branch of the Church. Because Lutherans, Orthodox, and Roman Catholics place an importance on the role of the bishop in the rite of confirmation and reception, we can recognize one’s previous confirmation in these traditions, at the hands of an ordained bishop. Bishops in these traditions trace their ministry right back to the first apostles, and are set apart by each of our denominations as a chief pastor and elder. In the Episcopal Church, we find our unity around the ministry of the bishop and it is the bishop that welcomes us into the Episcopal Church.
You might be thinking, “but, I was welcomed at St. John’s on a Sunday morning – am I still not a member?” We believe that being formally welcomed here is important and a vital part of our faith experience. Standing in front of your peers and saying, I’m here with you, and we responding the same, is a necessary step in joining the local community. When you’ve been welcomed, we believe you are members. You worship with us, support us with your time, talent, and financial gifts, and we support you through the ups and downs of life. You can be involved in the ministries and serve on committees and commissions. To honor the Episcopal Church’s theology and rules governing further leadership, as noted earlier, we ask that you also be baptized and confirmed (and/or received) to serve on the vestry or to take the vows of marriage here.
If you are already a confirmed or received member of the Episcopal Church, but have been sensing that your faith needs some renewal, that you need a spark, and a moment to mark your journey towards deepened faith and a new beginning, you may also want to participate in the Rite of Reaffirmation. During this part of the service you will recommit, publicly, to the committed life of faith as a baptized and confirmed Christian, and to the work of joining others in the ministry of Christ and the mission of God.
If you are interested in any of the above, our clergy are eager to meet with you to discuss further and to help you prepare for one of these rites. The next service of Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation will be held in connection with the Bishops visit to the East Metro Mission Area (EMMA), of which we are a part. The service will take place at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 3, 2014, at St. Christopher’s Church in Roseville. If you are interested, please contact our clergy now to prepare for the service. The Reverend Jered Weber-Johnson or The Reverend Kate Bradtmiller.