Confirmation is Coming

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On Sunday, March 18, Bishop John Guernsey is coming to visit our congregation to confirm people in our congregation. You might be wondering what Confirmation is all about, why it is helpful, and how you might participate in confirmation.

What is Confirmation?

“After making a mature commitment to my baptismal covenant with God, I receive the laying on of the bishop’s hands with prayer.” (ACNA Catechism, Question 118)

“Confirmation is the rite through which we make a public declaration of our faith in Jesus Christ and are strengthened by the Holy Spirit to live out that faith in our lives and in the context of our church community. When the bishop confirms you, he asks you to reaffirm the covenant of your baptism; then he lays hands on you and prays that the Holy Spirit would strengthen, empower, and sustain you. In many ways it’s pretty simple. It’s also very powerful.” Rev. Erin Bair

Why is Confirmation helpful?

“In confirmation, God strengthens the work of the Holy Spirit in me for his daily increase in my Christian life and ministry.” (ACNA Catechism, Question 119)

3 Good Reasons to be Confirmed:

  • To Get Connected. Join the global and historic body of Christ, through the Anglican Communion, and identify with the larger company of saints. The Anglican Communion is a rich, global mosaic, comprised of may tribes, tongues, and nations. It is a church exploding with new life in many areas of the world.
  • To Be Blessed. Receiving the laying on of hands from our Bishop and prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your life. Since the early church, leaders were commissioned for ministry by the laying on of hands, one generation to the next, all the way down to our Bishop, and then to you.
  • To Confirm your Baptismal Vows. If you were baptized as an infant, this is an opportunity to present yourself publicly as a follower of Christ in the company of his people, or renew your vows (if you were baptized later in life).

How can I be Confirmed?
If you would like to be confirmed, we are hosting a 3 week class (Feb. 25, March 4, & March 11) on Sunday evenings from 5:00-6:30 PM to prepare for the confirmation service on Sunday, March 18. This class is a requirement to be confirmed.

Want to Learn More about Confirmation?
Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic Policy on Confirmation, Reception and Reaffirmation

 

Confirmation – What, Why, How?

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On Sunday, March 26, Bishop John Guernsey is coming to visit our congregation to confirm several people in our congregation. If you are wondering what Confirmation is all about, why it is helpful, and how you might participate – Here is a short introduction to Confirmation:

What is Confirmation?

“After making a mature commitment to my baptismal covenant with God, I receive the laying on of the bishop’s hands with prayer.” (ACNA Catechism, Question 118)

“Confirmation is the rite through which we make a public declaration of our faith in Jesus Christ and are strengthened by the Holy Spirit to live out that faith in our lives and in the context of our church community. When the bishop confirms you, he asks you to reaffirm the covenant of your baptism; then he lays hands on you and prays that the Holy Spirit would strengthen, empower, and sustain you. In many ways it’s pretty simple. It’s also very powerful.” Rev. Erin Bair

Why is Confirmation helpful?
“In confirmation, God strengthens the work of the Holy Spirit in me for his daily increase in my Christian life and ministry.” (ACNA Catechism, Question 119)

3 Good Reasons to be Confirmed:

  • To Get Connected. Join the global and historic body of Christ, through the Anglican Communion, and identify with the larger company of saints. The Anglican Communion is a rich, global mosaic, comprised of may tribes, tongues, and nations. It is a church exploding with new life in many areas of the world.
  • To Be Blessed. Receiving the laying on of hands from our Bishop and prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your life. Since the early church, leaders were commissioned for ministry by the laying on of hands, one generation to the next, all the way down to our Bishop, and then to you.
  • To Confirm your Baptismal Vows. If you were baptized as an infant, this is an opportunity to present yourself publicly as a follower of Christ in the company of his people, or renew your vows (if you were baptized later in life).

How can I be Confirmed?

If you would like to be confirmed, we are hosting a 3 week class (March 5, 12, & 19) on Sunday evenings from 5-6:30 PM to prepare for the confirmation service on Sunday, March 26. This class is a requirement to be confirmed.

Want to Learn More about Confirmation?

-Nathan Dickerson

Confirmation 2016

seedssoilWhat is this Confirmation Thing All About?

Last Sunday several members of our Restoration family were confirmed or received into the Anglican tradition! While it is a blessing to hear of God’s gracious working, confirmation may confuse those who did not grow up in a tradition which practiced confirmation and infant baptism. It is likely that many at Restoration come to our community with similar questions and I would like to try to break down why confirmation is good and helpful. While we as Anglicans believe that Christianity is far greater than Anglicanism, we also believe that the Anglican tradition offers a beautiful expression of the body of Christ into which a Christian will grow in the grace and knowledge of God.

Why be Confirmed if I am Already a Member at Restoration? 

Being a member at Restoration is a great thing! We are blessed with a loving, godly, and diverse community. However, membership doth not an Anglican make. So what is the spiritual benefit to being Anglican? Becoming Anglican through confirmation/reception will benefit your life in Christ in at least three ways: we need tangible signs of God’s grace, we need to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit, and your testimony will encourage other Christians.

God’s Sacramental Grace

God’s love often meets us in very tangible ways: a hug, an encouraging word, an unexpected kindness shown to us. God’s attributes and actions are often felt through very tangible, sacramental deeds upon which we look back as an outward sign of an inward spiritual grace. Two such sacraments were given by Christ in the Holy Scriptures: Holy Communion and Baptism (cf. To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism, no. 104). Although only two were mentioned in Scripture, the Anglican tradition has commonly included other Sacraments: confirmation, absolution, ordination, marriage, and the anointing of the sick (cf. To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism, no. 116). It is the Bishop’s joy as well as his Apostolic ministry to lay hands on Christians after their baptism and to pray for a daily increase of the Holy Spirit and empowerment for Christian service (2 Timothy 1:6-7; Acts 8:14-17; 19:6; cf. To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism, nos. 118-119). Confirmation and reception are tangible and outward signs of what God is doing spiritually within us. On days in which we feel overwhelmed, or as though we have failed in our tasks as a father, husband, wife, employee, etc., we can look back not only to our standing as a child of God, but to the moment when we professed our faith in Christ before His church and when the Bishop laid his hands on our head and prayed, “Almighty and everliving God, we ask you to strengthen this your servant for witness and ministry, through the power of your Holy Spirit. Daily increase in him/her the gift of your grace and the fruit of your Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Be Filled with the Spirit

Not only do we (in our frailty) need an outward sign of God’s grace, but the Scriptures also exhort us to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). I imagine that we would all like to see the Holy Spirit at work more powerfully in our daily walk with Christ! Confirmation invites us to grow into the fullness of the Holy Spirit through the Anglican tradition more fully each and every day.

Stories of God’s Faithfulness

Finally, other Christians are blessed when they hear public testimony of God’s saving help. God uses the stories of redemption and restoration in our lives to awaken some out of their spiritual slumber and to encourage others who have grown weakened and frustrated by failed expectations. Those being received, confirmed, or reaffirming their baptismal vows are a testimony of the God who loves us and desires for us to experience His saving help and fulness of joy! Please continue to pray for those in our community who were confirmed or received last Sunday: Ryan Bettwy, Matt Hoppe, Becky Mohr, Dietrich Kuhlmann, Meredith Lloyd, and Michael Dodson. As you see these folks around Restoration, why don’t you ask them to share a bit of their story with you? It is so good to hear how God has brought us all along on our journeys.

Please note that this is a very abbreviated blog entry about confirmation and more information can be found in our Diocesan policy on Confirmation, Reception and Reaffirmation. Also note that the Anglican Church in North America has produced a catechism which can be downloaded here for free!

Going deeper

confirmation picWe’ve just begun a new year, a time where we pause to take stock of our lives.  If you’ve been reflecting on where you are in your growth as a follower of Jesus, maybe you feel like there are some ways you could go deeper in your understanding of what our faith teaches.  Maybe you have questions like:

  • Does it really make sense to believe that there is one God but with three “persons”?
  • I keep hearing about the Book of Common Prayer, but I don’t really know why we use it and it seems intimidating.
  • Why do we baptize babies who have no idea what they believe?
  • What do I say when people ask me why I would be part of a church that was started by some king (Henry VIII) who really just wanted a divorce (I would offer you a slightly different interpretation of the history)?

If these kinds of questions have been on your mind, then I’d love to invite you to be part of the small group that I’ll be leading starting on January 22.   We’ll explore the basics of our faith like the trinity, scripture, prayer, the origin of our creeds, and the history of the Anglican Church.  Some of our time will involve learning new information, and we’ll also spend time praying for and supporting each other in understanding what these concepts mean for our lives.

This small group will also serve as preparation for confirmation.  If you’re wondering what that is, the simple answer is that it is a rite in which a baptized Christian makes a public declaration of his/her faith.  Whether you were baptized as a child or an adult, confirmation is an important step in the Christian life when you reaffirm that you intend to follow Christ in the context of our church community.  There is a time of preparation (my small group – did I mention you should join it?), after which the bishop comes and lays his hands on you to pray for the Holy Spirit to strengthen you and to signify that you are part of a church that extends far beyond Restoration.

If you would like to be confirmed, you must be part of this small group.  But the small group is open to everyone, whether or not you’re interested in confirmation.  We’ll meet on Thursday nights, 7:30-9pm, at my house in Cherrydale.

You can sign up on the church website this Sunday, when registration for Tri1 small groups begins.  Feel free to let me know if you have any questions (clay@restorationarlington.org).  I look forward to getting to know you and exploring the beauty of our faith together.

Clay

 

 

 

Anglican — what’s that?

I’ve been told by Liz and David that shameless self-promotion of our small groups is perfectly acceptable, so here goes:

You should really join my small group.

David with fellow Anglicans in Nairobi

David with fellow Anglicans in Nairobi

Why? Because we’re going to be talking about what it means to be Anglican. After all, it’s a third of our name. The “Restoration” part comes from the big project God is up to in the world, and the “Church” part is pretty self-evident. But that whole “Anglican” bit? Not so much.

“Anglican” is part of our name. And it’s the name of our denomination. But it’s more than that. I describe Anglicanism as a particular way of being a Christian. It’s certainly not the only way of being a Christian. But it’s a really good one. And at Restoration, it shapes our worship, grounds our theology, provides a pattern to our spiritual lives, and connects us to an entire community of Christians throughout the world.

So why would you want to learn more about what it means to be Anglican?

  • You, like me, are kind of a church nerd, and just think this stuff is interesting. [Crickets…]
  • You really like Restoration, but you don’t really know why we do a lot of the stuff we do (like reciting scripted prayers, or baptizing babies, or making the sign of the cross, or having Communion every week). You’d like to learn more about the church, what we believe, where all this stuff came from, and why it’s relevant today.
  • You’ve decided Restoration is where you belong, and you’d like to take the next step in your faith commitment — by being confirmed.

What’s it mean to be confirmed? I’ve written about it more extensively here and here (ignore the date-specific details — the posts are a couple of years old), but the brief explanation is that confirmation is an opportunity to make a public declaration of your Christian faith, to express your desire to live out that faith in an Anglican context, and to have a bishop lay hands on you and pray for you to be strengthened by the Holy Spirit for the work God has called you to do. It’s a powerful experience.

Greg, a Restoration member who was confirmed last year, described why he was choosing to be confirmed:

My time at Restoration has truly cemented much of the transformation that was begun in 2005.  Restoration truly has been a source of healing from wounds that I am still identifying. Communing with fellow members weekly, hearing the word from David, singing as a community with Matt, and our fellowship with Erin, has given me a taste of the redemptive beauty of the body that Christ suffered and died to create. The intimacy that Elaine and I shared with Ray and BJ during pre-marital counseling offered a glimpse of the type of fellowship described of the Churches in Acts. And, perhaps most important of all, I am astonished by the beauty that is the Anglican liturgy and the manifestations of our faith at Restoration. My confirmation in the Anglican Church of North America is the next step of God’s redemption of my life.

If you’ve experienced something like Greg has during your time at Restoration, then confirmation might be a great next step for you.

Bishop John Guernsey will be visiting Restoration on March 30, 2014, and he will celebrate confirmations then. If you would like to be confirmed, you must be part of this small group. But the small group is open to everyone, whether or not you’re interested in confirmation. We’ll meet Monday evenings beginning on January 27 from 7:30 – 9:00 pm in the Library at Little Falls.

So go ahead and register today! Questions? Leave a comment below, or hop over here and choose “Confirmation” from the drop-down menu.

– Erin

Another Fun Weekend…

Hi Restoration,

Hope you have had a great week.  I really enjoyed looking out over the lawn last Sunday evening and seeing so many of you munching and talking and chasing and laughing.  A beautiful sight.

This weekend, our bishop, John Guernsey, will join us to worship, to preach the Scriptures, and to lead us at the Lord’s Table.  Here is why I am thankful that God has given our church this particular shepherd:

  • Bishop John is dependent on the Lord in prayer and has modeled for us what prayer-full leadership looks like.
  • He loves the global Anglican church and always has stories of how God is working around the world.
  • He is a thoughtful critic of culture and his insights help me to connect the dots between ‘stuff Jesus said’ and ‘stuff happening around me.’
  • I really appreciated his blog post on the tragedy at the Boston Marathon.  His connection between people running towards the victims to help and our churches running towards those who are far from God was particularly inspiring.

On Sunday, Bishop John will be confirming a few Restoration people.  I love confirmation!  It is exactly what it says–  someone stands and says to their community, “I want to confirm the vows that were made on my behalf at baptism.  I want to confirm before my friends and ‘fellow followers of Jesus’ that I believe Jesus is the only one who can forgive me and He’s the best one to lead me.”  You will hear some of each person’s story.  These get me so fired up!  After they are done, Bishop John will put his hands on their head and pray these powerful words:

Strengthen, O Lord, your servant with your Holy Spirit; empower him/her for your service; and sustain him/her all the days of his/her life.

Don’t we ALL want someone praying these things for us?  That we would know God’s presence through His Spirit and that we would use our gifts to be a part of what He is doing.  Yep!

After the service ends, we’ll have dinner together.  The weather is supposed to be lovely, so we will eat out on the lawn–  lots of space!

Encouragement…

This has been an emotionally hard week for lots of us:  the tragedy in Boston, the tragedy in Texas, the hard fight about gun legislation (no matter where you fall, the fight took a lot of energy), the news about The Falls Church property, the challenges in our own vocational world, the complexity of relationship.  Over and over I have returned to these words from Peter:

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  [2Peter 1:3]

It is a comfort to know there are resources that are always available to me.  God has provided everything that I need to do the tasks and to be the kind of person that He wants me to be.

Thank you, God.  I’ll cling to you.

-David

scrubbing off the ash…

Remember that you are dust.  And to dust you shall return.

I loved worshiping with Restoration yesterday.  3 services at 6:30am, noon, and 7:30pm.  I love getting to see people in the midst of their work day.  I love starting the day in prayer and singing with Restoration peeps.  Last night was a profound quiet and waiting on the Holy Spirit.

I told a story from a friend, Mark Buchanan.  He writes about a millwright in a factory near his church.  He was the best this factory had ever seen.  He was unerring in his ability to hone in on the exact trouble spot in a machine, and then he was swift and sure in repairing it.  The other employees notice that this man would always leave the lunchroom 10 minutes before everyone else.  At first they thought he was going for a smoke, to check his email or something.  But one day they followed him.  What he found was the maintenance mechanic standing in the middle of the machine room, eyes closed, LISTENING.  “In the silence, in the absence of workers working and talking, he could tune his ears to catch the most subtle pitch and timber, cadence and inflection of those machines,  He could hear what was working well and what wasn’t.  And he could locate the problem.”

 Buchanan writes:

Our lives swarm with noise and in the din there is no place for listening.  We know there are problems.  Things keep breaking down all the time, but we have no idea how to remedy it.  Silence is for listening.

As you scrub off the ash, my prayer for Restoration is that you would create space during this Lent to listen.  We are talking a lot about spiritual formation–  yet, so much of it is just paying attention.  As you give up chocolate or booze or TV, may you have space to listen–  not just exercise discipline.

 

Show Me The Way by Henri Nouwen

During the season of Lent, our Discipleship Task Force has recommended that Restoration read a book together.  On Ash Wednesday we handed out over 100 copies of Show Me The Way by Henri Nouwen.  It contains readings, scripture, and prayers for every day of Lent.  We will have more on Sunday.  [interesting side note–  you’ll notice that Amazon is now taking 7-10 days to ship the book, because we bought them all :)]  Please take one and join us in this corporate discipline.  If you would like to off-set the cost of the book, a donation of $10 is suggested, but definitely not required.  We want everyone who will use it to take it.

And here’s 2 minutes on ash wednesday…

 

Confirmation Class

I am teaching a 3 week class in March [March 6,13,27].  In our tradition, if you were baptized as a baby, there comes a time when you need to stand in front of your community and say, this IS what I believe–  to confirm your baptismal vows.  There will be an opportunity to do this on April 22 (age high school and up).  This class is required for confirmation.  But the class is also a great reminder/intro to the Gospel, to Anglicanism.  It’s a chance to get to know more of what we believe at Restoration.  Everyone is invited to participate if they would like.  The first week will be on Romans 5-8.  The second week on Anglican history, polity, and current issues.  The third week on the Eucharist.  I love these conversations.  If you want to participate, please email Becky to rsvp.

-David

Of bishops and bagels

Sunday is a big day at Restoration!  Our bishop, David Bena, will be visiting us. Bishop Bena has been a great supporter of Restoration, and we’re excited that he’ll be here again to see all the great things that are happening in our church.  He’ll be preaching, doing confirmations, and celebrating the Eucharist.  It’s gonna be great!

We’re also hosting an after-church reception at Boulevard Woodgrill, at 2901 Wilson Blvd. in Clarendon. Come by for coffee, pastries, and a chance to meet new people and catch up with old friends.  It’s also a great time to meet Bishop Bena and get to know the wise, faithful man who provides oversight to David and our church.  We’ll get started after the 8:30 church and keep on rolling for the 10:00 crowd to join after their service wraps up.  Come find us in the private dining room downstairs.

Lots happening on Sunday–can’t wait to see you all then!

Quick Vid about Confirmation

One of my best friends is the Rector of Christ Church Austin, TX.  They are getting ready to have confirmations too!  Here is a little video he did with his bishop, Phil Jones.  Ignore all the stuff about classes, dates, and locations–  unless you are moving to ATX.  But listen to Bishop Jones talk about what confirmation is.  Hope it inspires you to be confirmed at Restoration on February 28.

Strengthen, Empower, Sustain: Confirmation

Our bishop, David Bena, will be visiting Restoration in a couple of weeks, on February 28th. One of the things he’ll do while he’s here is confirmations. Basically, confirmation is a chance for you to publicly profess for your faith in Jesus Christ and to express your desire to live out that faith corporately in the Anglican church. Bishop Bena will also pray individually for you to be strengthened in the Holy Spirit, empowered for God’s service, and sustained by God’s power. From my own experience of being confirmed a couple of years ago, it’s both a simple and a really powerful experience.

Want to know more? Check out these two blog posts on confirmation from last spring:

If you’re interested in being confirmed on the 28th — or if you have any questions about it — please let me know no later than Wednesday, February 11th. You can email me directly or reach me through the contact form.

Wondering what a bishop is in the first place? Check out this great piece that David wrote about our Anglican church structure. (More interesting than it sounds, I promise!)

One final important point: you don’t have to be confirmed to be a member of Restoration. What’s involved in membership? That’s another story

© Copyright Restoration Anglican Church