It might not occur to you to attend the reading of faith statements by Confirmands other than your own children. But last Thursday everyone was deeply touched as they shared their tender, growing faith. It was the strongest, deepest offering of faith statements across the board since I came here. Three will share on Sunday morning. But they could all stand tall in our pulpit, telling of their budding faith in God. May I share some of the greatest hits, favorite parts, from the rest of them?
Ellie Brennan: “Faith is knowing that no matter how long you’ve been gone, you can always come home. Faith is knowing that if you ever get lost, your friends will be there to help you find your way back. Faith is knowing that it’s okay to be lost, because if we didn’t get lost we’d never know what we were looking for. I’m still finding my faith, but I’m thankful that my friends and family are helping me find it.”
Matthew Freeman: “I see God as a savior and a helper to all, by allowing us to live our own lives but helping us to correct our mistakes along the way. I see myself as an adult making choices about schools, jobs, and family and having God at my side still helping me with all of it. Knowing that He is always there by my side, allows me to feel confident in my decisions. I know that there will be times in my life when I will be challenged, and my faith in God will help me to find the right path and a solid future. I know who I am and where I’m going with God at my side….Without God and his Son, Jesus, our world would not be the same.”
Lauren Sulger: “For me, God is someone not only to pray to, but provides me a helping hand: one that guides me through distress and discomfort allowing me to seek the hidden good in everyone and everything. Finding this relationship with God is important for me now and in the future as a guiding light and source of comfort during the inevitable trying times. I am confident that God will be there for me in these times and for that I am grateful. God is my friend and savior.”
Anna Fox: “Our church is a place to pray, to go for support and to help others during rough times. It is a quiet place to think your own thoughts. But church is also like a family, a giant family. There is always a shoulder to lean on, a place to help others. Though we may not know everyone in this large family, indirectly we are all connected by the church. Our community is safe for believers and non-believers because it’s a welcoming family. Our church allows us to reach out to others in need, giving us experiences that represent humanity at its best. These encounters help us understand what we want to do with the gift of life.”
Tyler Cramer: “I didn’t have a perspective on what it all means until now. Before, it was get up on Sunday morning and power through the hour of watching some guy, whom I barely knew, talk about things that I barely understood. Confirmation has changed all of that. I believe in God and Christianity…I believe that my faith means to trust God and know that, when I wake up every day, God will be looking over me…In the beginning of the year, Dale told me that confirmation was my official yes back to God and follow the teachings of Jesus. So I say yes.”
Victoria van Ingen: “I believe that God is the creator of life of earth; that he guides us, heals us, helps us, believes in us, and loves us; that he forgives me and, every one of our sins and wrongdoings; that he helps us to see the bigger picture in life, and to forget the small, unimportant things…I believe that Jesus died on the cross to protect us from our sins; that he is the Son of God; that he died, and then rose again; that he is the teacher, and the one that makes miracles. I believe that faith is to be believed, that to have faith it means you have to trust in God and Jesus. You don’t need to see to believe, you need to feel.”
Ellie Cator: “I have faith in a God that is gracious and has unconditional love. I have faith in a God I can always trust. I have faith in a God who is always there for me, even in my worst times. I have faith in a God who loves all people, even those who don’t believe in him. I have faith that God has led me on the path that I am on today, and will continue leading me on this path. Thank you to everyone.”
Nicholas van Ingen: “I believe in God; I believe in miracles; I believe in the lessons God wants us to learn; I believe God is leading me through life; I believe God has forgiven all my sins; I believe Jesus sacrificed his life for our well-being; I believe I can express my fear, happiness or any other feelings to God; I believe Jesus is the Son of God; I believe there is one God; I believe God is watching over me; I believe God has created earth; I believe God has created me.”
Christian Barnard: “…Jesus taught us how to live life. God created Jesus for that reason, so the people of earth could see a human being that lets people know that mistakes are okay. God in my life means a way for me to rely on him to get me through the tough times and knowing that there is somebody who will always love me, and that is God…I can feed off that love and continue through the tough times and know everything is going to be all right, because God has my back.”
Lindsay Cator: “I’ve been coming to this church for longer than I can remember. I remember how welcomed I felt and I still do. I remember always feeling like I had someone by my side. This was God. Someone said, ‘Look for acts of kindness and that’s God.’ I believe people around the world should believe in God and be kind to each other. I feel God loves us no matter what we do, no matter what our weaknesses are. Kindness gives strength to others, which is what God wants.”
This really gives me hope! Thanks for sharing these wonderful heartfelt thoughts of our youth.
I am in awe of these young people and how articulate and wise they are about faith and God at such a young age. It has taken me a lifetime to figure out some things that they already know. I am copying down some of their comments to remember. So impressive.