During the 11:00 service on May 6, our nine 8th grade confirmands will affirm their baptisms in the rite of confirmation. Karen Hearld, Traci Schon, and myself have enjoyed teaching and serving with Samantha Chilia, Aidan Florio, Jennifer Marvin, Brendan McDonnell, Annabelle Oas, Angel Perez, Samantha Roff, James Scanlon, and Isabella Suchan over the past two years.
I share with you two short excerpts from Isabella’s and Jennifer’s faith statements…
I have stories on experiences that have changed my faith, but they aren't all positive ones. When my grandfather passed away, I was very devastated. I would break down in tears inside my room or in the shower, yelling at God, asking him over and over, “Why?” Why couldn't you have taken my life instead?!" I didn't hear an answer, not yet I hope, or perhaps I foolishly missed it. This moment hurt my faith greatly, and like many things, it takes time to heal. Not all of my stories are sad however, for I do have more good, less melancholy ones. Recently, our class went to 2 nursing homes to throw a service there for each, and it was time to share the peace. At that time, I felt I was full of such joy I was able to quickly and efficiently share the peace with every elder (and worker) inside the room. I was sometimes unaware and would get on one knee, put my hand onto theirs, look into their eyes with a natural gentle smile. I could almost feel the happiness emitting off of them, the same happiness in their eyes like mine. This also made me wonder, was it the Holy Spirit overcoming me? I never felt that way before in my life, but am I too young? I may never know the true answer, but I do know that I made a lot of people happy that day. I do have experiences that change my faith, and more to come in the future, for better or worse. – Isabella Suchan
My faith has helped me in more ways than I know. I've spread my love to people. A lot of people say I'm innocent, loving, and that I would never hurt a fly and that they wish they could have those traits. I like to think God is sending a message through me. For example, people may think "wow, this girl seems so content with her life; I wonder what she's doing." Through this thought, they may come to God.
I've done a bunch of fun things with my Confirmation class/the Church, some I wish my non-Christian friends could experience. For example, Camp Mowana. When I went to camp in 7th grade, I had a blast! I met some strong Christians that were just wonderful people. I learned new praying techniques, new songs, new ways to worship, and fun games to play with Church friends. Luckily there were no major injuries to me or any others that camped there.
After every meal, we learned a new singing prayer, and let me just say, some of them were kind of weird. Two counselors would go up and tell us the words and we would begin to sing. Over the week we would do activities that would strengthen our bond with God and each other. One game we played was more of a trust exercise, we would get blindfolded and someone would lead us to where we needed to go without leading us off a hill. It was kind of hard to trust someone that much.
Other activities I've done with the Church are Redeemer Crisis Center. The whole Confirmation class would carpool down to the center, and right away we would be told something to do. First, everybody would carry gifts out of the trucks and put them in the center. which would be given to kids without presents. Then we would all split up. Some of us would pack bags full of food, some would carry boxes, and some would serve the meal.
My love for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit has only grown. I can’t wait to continue on my church journey after my confirmation. – Jennifer Marvin