Confirmation Class
Service Time: 9:00 AM - In Person (reservations requested) ~~ 10:30 AM - On Facebook
4 Northcrest Dr Clifton Park, New York 12065-2714 - Phone: 518.371.2226

Confirmation Class

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Letters and Revelation (May)

Please do THREE of the following, including the one starred.  Get the reporting sheet here.

Reading

The book of Revelation is filled with strange imagery and circular stories. The purpose is to share hope with the people who are being persecuted. While they may suffer, Jesus triumphs over evil and promises the final heaven for all who endure.

The genre of the literature is called apocalyptic writing. Read these passages from Revelation to get a taste of what that looks and sounds like.

Revelation 1:1-20                          Revelation 5:6-14                          Revelation 7:9-17  

Revelation 12:1-6, 13-17              Revelation 17:1-18                        Revelation 21:1-8

Revelation 22:1-21

What is one thing that jumps out at you as you read? How do you hear these stories? Do they sound hopeful, scary, dark, or something else? How do you think they sounded to early Christians who were being persecuted for their faith (especially Revelation 21)?

 

Writing

Write a letter of encouragement to yourself from God. What would God say to you right now? What do you need to hear from God at this point? Put the letter in an envelope and keep it somewhere you can see it for a month. Next month, open the letter and hear those words of encouragement. Are they still valid?

 

Listening*

Much of the music of our church comes directly from Revelation. Choose 5 songs from the list below to listen to, if possible pick two that you think you recognize and three that you don’t. Once you listen to them, see if you can figure out where in Revelation they come from. Google will be a big help here.

For All the Saints                           Jesus, Still Lead On                        All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name

O Day Full of Grace                       Lift High the Cross                         Crown Him with Many Crowns

How Great Thou Art                      Shall We Gather at the River       A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Jerusalem, My Happy Home       Lead on, O King Eternal                Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

 

Watching

The shortest letter in the Bible is Philemon. Paul writes this personal letter (not written to a congregation) to a wealthy business man who became a Christian because of Paul a while ago.

Watch this brief video of the back story: The Story of PHILEMON - YouTube

Now listen to the letter of Philemon as it is read here.  Put yourself in the shoes of Philemon hearing this letter from his mentor and friend Paul. What do you think you would do if you were Philemon? Would Paul’s letter persuade you to forgive Onesimus or not?

 

Creating

FAMILY Come up with three phrases to communicate: One Bible verse, one common phrase, one quotation. For each one, use a single piece of paper to make a drawing or several small pictures to communicate your phrase. No written words allowed

Invite your family to do the same thing. Trade papers to see if you can sort out everyone’s messages. When would drawing be the best way to communicate? When would it make communication harder?

 

Doing

Revelation means the making know of something that is previously unknown or secret. The book of Revelation is Jesus’ way of telling John and the churches about something that they didn’t know before about God and the world.

Where do you see God’s revelation happening around you right now? Think about several places or events that show you God revealed. Now find a way to share that revelation with others. This could be a story, picture, video, or anything else that helps you share your revelation of God with the class or your family.

 

Paul’s Theology, Romans, 1&2 Corinthians and Galatians (April)

Please do THREE of the following, including the one starred.  Get the reporting sheet here.

Reading

Paul’s theology includes many topics.  We discussed some of the most important ones in class.  There are others that stand out in his writings as well.  Read these passages, and answer the question about each group of readings.

Legalism – Romans 4:9-14, Galatians 3:10-13 – Old Testament purity was not as important to Paul as we might think.  What did Paul suggest was the real key to righteousness?

Freedom in Christ – Romans 6:5-14, 1 Corinthians 10:1-22, Galatians 5:1 – What is one issue that Paul writes about here that still seems important in our church?  What is one issue you never think about?

Roles – 1 Corinthians 7:14-16, 1 Corinthians 12:14-26 – Paul was fairly radical when it came to women’s roles.  He treated women as equals and partners in spreading the faith.  What are three things you like to do that do not follow traditional gender roles?  How can these interests help people in your faith community?

In/Out – Galations 3:27-29 – Paul was always addressing questions of who is in and who is out in the Christian church.  Can you think of groups that might feel excluded from the Christian faith or from a specific church?

 

Writing

FAMILY  Write a movie script about our church.  Brainstorm what kind of story you want to tell (comedy, drama, action romance, other?).  Come up with a title for your movie.  Think up at least three main characters and outline a two our three page script.  Use your family to help you and assign roles and practice your story.  Share it!  Use your phone to video it and share it with the group when we meet next.

 

Listening

The church in Galatia was dealing with conflicts and problems.  Talk with a family member or church member about a conflict that they remember in the church.  What was the disagreement about?  How was it resolved?  What kind of fall-out was there?  Does the conflict feel to you like it was a big deal or a small deal?  If you had been there, where would you have chosen to make your stand?

 

Watching

Be on the look out for messages about God that you see in your daily life – church signs, billboards, TV shows, commercials, T-shirts, bumper stickers, etc.  What messages about God or the church do these things communicate to the people who see them?  Are any of them more or less effective that others?

 

Creating*

Create a map of your life.  This could be a visual representation, a timeline, or something else that works for you.  Mark the highlights and lowlights of your life.  Think about and write down what each highlight or lowlight reveals about who God is and how God is acting in your life.  These moments are part of your theology and faith journey.

 

Doing

Paul talks often about the spiritual gifts that people are given by God.  Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 to find some of the spiritual gifts Paul is clear about. 

Create postcards for 5 different people.  Decorate one side, and on the other side, write to them about a gift you see in them.  What are they good at?  How have they been there for you?  What is one thing you see them doing well that inspires others?  How have their gifts helped you learn about your gifts or become a better person?  Make sure to give your cards to the person they are meant for. 

Acts, Early Church and Paul (March)

Please do THREE of the following, including the one starred.  Get the reporting sheet here.

Reading

The book of Acts is a continuation in some ways of Luke’s gospel. Like in the gospel of Luke, people who are outside the “in crowd” are often given important roles to play. Non-Jewish people and women are a few of those groups. Choose one of these groups to read a little it more about.

If you choose the gentiles (non-Jewish people), read Acts 10, Acts 13:44-52, Acts 14:8-23, and Acts 15:1-21. How did the gentiles first hear the Good News of Jesus? What is the church’s decision about whether they first needed to convert to Judism before becoming a Christian? How does this effect us today (we are not Jewish)?

If you choose to read more about women in Acts, read Acts 16:14-15, Acts 9:36-42, Acts 12:6-16, Acts 21:8-9, Acts 18:1-3, 18, 24-26. List at least four things that these women did or were involved in with the early church. How does their leadership and service effect us today?

 

Writing

A church is not just a building. It’s you and your friends and your families. It’s all the people who gather to hear the Word, take part in the sacraments, and encourage one another in the faith.

If you had to start a church from scratch what would you include to help the community thrive? What would be important? What would you leave out or leave behind from what you currently experience? Write about your new church. What it would be called, how it would look, how it would function, and what would be important to the new church.

 

Listening

Talk to someone you know about a special trip they took to several locations. Where and when did they go? What was the travel like? Who did they go with? What were some of the best and worst parts of their trip? What do you think Paul’s missionary journeys were like, traveling all over the known world with friends to share the good news of Jesus?

 

Watching

FAMILY Pick a reality tv show that focuses on a makeover and watch an episode. How was the show’s makeover similar to what happened to Saul/Paul? How was it different? What do you think it was like for Paul to change so completely?

 

*Creating

FAMILY Follow the directions to fold a flat piece of paper into a drinking cup. Invite your family to make cups as well. Give them a try with some water. Now have everyone decorate their cup with some of their talents and skills, even ones that you might not think of as your strongest traits. Place your cups somewhere in your house to remind you and your family that like Paul, you all have many and various skills that may not all be obvious yet.

 

Doing

One of the missions that Prince of Peace supports is the Educacion Popular en Salud (EPES) program in Chile. Do a little research on this program to learn about what they do and how it happens. You can find their official website here: EPES — Educación Popular en Salud. (Don’t get discouraged. See if your browser will translate it for you.)

Now take some time to write to Karen Anderson, (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) the missionary that Prince of Peace has supported for more than 40 years who began the program. Introduce yourself as a member of Prince of Peace in Clifton Park and ask her about how her work is about spreading the gospel of Jesus, what challenges she faces, and what is something she is really excited about that is happening. See if she is able to respond to you.

 

Jesus, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (February)

Please do THREE of the following, including the one starred.  Get the reporting sheet here.

*Reading

Each of the gospels tells the story of Jesus, but each one tells the story a little differently. Read the resurrection story from all four gospels (Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-49, and John 20:1-23) and fill in the chart on the reporting sheet. Notice what is the same and what is different about each of the stories.

Writing

FAMILY  Write a Mad Lib to share with your family. Create a story but leave out key nouns, verbs, adjectives, names, etc. Invite your family to fill in the blanks without knowing the story (“give me a noun, a name, a verb”). Then, read back their answers to them without the story. Was it a fun reading? What is missing from that? Discuss with your family what they are missing and what would make the activity better. Finally read back the story they created. How important is context and details when telling a story?

Listening

There are lots of church services available online now. Find two sermons that are not from Prince of Peace and from two different churches. Listen to each one and think especially about how Jesus is described. Write down all the ways that you heard Jesus talked about during the sermon. Did the different churches talk about Jesus in different ways? How are you used to hearing about Jesus?

 

Watching

FAMILY  The gospel of Matthew is written to people who are primarily Jewish. Many Jewish people do not believe that Jesus meets the promises of what the Messiah was supposed to be. Matthew uses his telling of Jesus’ life to try and shift their thinking. Visit this website and check out some optical illusions that force you to shift your perspective. Share it with your family and see how well or not well they can shift their perspective.  Then watch this video with a few more illusions. How hard or easy was it for you to see the different illusions? Did you find this activity fun or frustrating?

 

Creating

Read Luke 15. Choose one of the items that was lost in these stories. Create a lost poster for the lost item. Include what was lost, where it was last seen, a phone number to call (get creative!), and the reward for finding it (be sure to check the reading for this information, Luke 15:6. Luke 15:9 and Luke 15:22-23)

 

Doing

Visit a store or restaurant, any business will work. Do your best to not think about anything you know about the company. Try to see everything there like you are seeing it for the first time. Look at the signs and staging of everything. What do these things tell you about the business? What would you assume if this is all you knew about the company?

Try the same thing with our church. See if you can find a way to visit the church and walk around. If not, do your best to remember whatever you can about Prince of Peace, the signs, and the way things work. Once again, do your best to not think about stuff you know beside what you see. What does what you see tell you about what we believe, think, or do as a congregation?

 

 Time of Rome, Maps, New Testament (January)

Please do THREE of the following, including the one starred.  Get the reporting sheet here.

Reading

The apocrypha is a group of books that Roman Catholics and Orthodox churches include in the Bible. Most protestant denominations do not. However, this group of books were written in the time between the Old and New Testaments. Some of the books add to stories already in the Bible, like Daniel and Esther. Others are completely different stories. Choose one of the books of the apocrypha and read 7 or 8 chapters. What is the story about? Does it tell you anything about what was important to the people in the times between the Old and New Testaments? If so, what?

 

*Writing

Take a look at this world map (find it here). Use the maps in the back of your Bible to color and label where New Testament Israel is. Next, choose a different color to color and label the entire Roman empire from Jesus’ day. Find, color, and label Egypt as well. Look at a modern map. What countries are in this area today? List them on the side of your map.

On this larger map of Israel (find it here), label some of the important cities that Jesus visited during his travels. Include Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Bethany, and Sidon and Tyre. Hint: one of the maps at the back of your Bible can help you with this.

 

Listening

Ask three different people about their memories of a major event that happened before your time. It might be the moon landing, 9/11, the assassination of John F. Kennedy or some other major historical event before you were born. Ask them what they remember and how it has made a difference in their life.

Now think about a major historical event you remember, something like the pandemic, and consider how you think this event might change how you live or what you believe.

 

Watching

Think about a TV show or movie that depends on another TV show or movie in order to make sense. Try watching an episode of a TV show you’ve never seen starting in the middle of a season or series. Was it easy or hard to figure out what was happening without the previous episodes?

Would you say the New Testament is a spin-off of the Old Testament? A sequel? Part two of a series? How important do you think it is to know something about the Old Testament when you read the New Testament?

 

Creating

FAMILY   On a piece of paper (no bigger than 11x17), invite your family to join you in drawing some of your and their favorite activities and places. Each person can draw their own favorite activities and places but try and do it all at the same time on that one piece of paper.

How did it go? Did you have to negotiate space and elbow room? Did one person get more space than others?

The Holy Land, the place where Jesus’ life and the New Testament focuses attention is home to three major religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. They often have trouble living in peace as they attempt to share sacred spaces and land. What makes it difficult to share sacred space with others?

 

Doing

FAMILY   Have a crazy utensil meal at your home. (This is a fun activity we sometimes do at camp.) Choose a meal and then choose some of the wackiest kitchen utensils and tools you can find in your kitchen. Give one crazy utensil to each person as their “silverware” for the meal. Enjoy your dinner! Afterwards, think with your family about how easy or frustrating it was to have the wrong tools or missing tools for something as simple as eating a meal.

 

 Psalms, Wisdom Liturature, and Job (December)

Please do THREE of these options including the one starred.  Get the reporting sheet here.

*Reading

The books of wisdom are Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job, Psalms, and the Song of Solomon (also sometimes called Song of Songs). Choose one of these books to do some reading in.

If you choose Proverbs or Psalms, choose any 8 chapters to read.

If you choose Job, read chapters 1-3, 38-42.

If you choose Ecclesiastes read chapters 1-3 and 9-12.

If you choose Song of Songs, read the whole thing (it is only 8 chapters).

What is one thing you learned about the book as you read? Did you find the poetry interesting or difficult to understand? Why?

 

Writing

Do a little reporting this week: interview 5 people and ask them to share their wisest words of wisdom. Follow up by asking why those words are so important to them. Put your findings together in a news story.

 

Watching

Watch the music videos for Turn Turn Turn by the Byrds(an adaptation of Ecclesiastes 3), and Song of Solomon by Melody Niche (an adaptation of Song of Solomon).

As you watch, what lyrics or phrases stand out to you? What do you hear in the words? Why do you think these Bible readings are labeled as wisdom?

 

Listening

Listen to the radio (any station), choose 4 songs you hear to look up the lyrics and see if you can categorize them as one of the four types of psalms (thanksgiving, lament, praise, or miscellaneous).

 

Creating

At the end of Job, God and Job both talk about how amazing the world that God created is. Create a collage of some of God’s spectacular creation. You can use whatever media you would like (photos, art, actual pieces of creation, or anything else) to create your work of art.

 

Doing

Make a list of people you know are suffering or having a hard time right now. They might be friends, family members, church members, or others that you have heard about who could use a pick-me-up.

Pick one person off your list to offer support or words of encouragement to and determine how best to do that. Think about what you would want to hear or receive if you were in their shoes. It may be someone could use a card, or a phone call, or a gift card, or a specific item to make their lives a little easier. Do what you think is best to support them during their difficult time.

 

Babylonian Captivity and the Prophets (November)

Please do THREE of these options including the one starred.  Get the reporting sheet here.

Reading

The call story of many of the prophets have a similar pattern to them. There is a divine encounter, and introduction or greeting, an objection to the call, a commissioning statement, and a sign of empowerment. Look up 2 of the following readings about the prophets and read the passage listed.

Isaiah 6:1-13,  Jeremiah 1:4-19,  Ezekiel 1:1-3:11,  Daniel 10:2-21

THEN

Fill in the chart on the recording sheet with a brief description of the part of the story that matches each part of the pattern and where you found it in the Bible.

 

*Writing

Think about some of what we have learned about the prophets of the Old Testament. They are called and often have some resistance to God’s call. They spoke for God to the people and often had difficult messages for the people and kings where they lived, and they often suffered for delivering their message from God.

Now look at the world around you and modern history. Who are other prophets that you see in our modern world? Pick one, do a little research about their lives. See if you can find information about each topic, their sense of call, their message, the community they primarily speak to, and if and how they have suffered for that message. Why would you call them a prophet? Write a brief 1-2 page “research paper” on the prophet you chose including what you learned.

 

Watching

FAMILY   The movie “Bruce Almighty” is not quite about a prophet, but it is about an encounter with God. Watch the movie with your family. See if you can spot certain scenes, like when Bruce asks for a sign and misses many, like the Israelites missing the signs that God wanted them to change their ways, or when Bruce finally figures out that he does indeed have the power of God and what he does with it at first, and then later when he begins to take things more seriously. What messages from God does Bruce have to deliver? Is he a good messenger of God? Why or why not?

 

Listening

Like the Israelite people, many around the world still live in all kinds of captivity. Some are forced into captivity and others, like refugees, make choices that still land them in an environment they can not control or leave. Take some time to listen to the story of a refugee. Click here to hear one.

 I would suggest "Episode Five: Salem’s Story" or "Episode Six: Afaf’s Story" as they are a little shorter. What is one thing you learned about the refugee situation from this person's story? What was most surprising to you?

 

Creating

Create a map. Be as creative as you would like as you think about how to put your life in a map form. Remember, maps use symbols and signs to convey their meaning. Think about, where have you come from? What wrong turns have you made over the years? What road finally got you to the present? Consider how you would symbolize your current location and then draw where you see your future going as well as some of the wrong ways you could go. What might keep you moving in the direction you want?

 

Doing

FAMILY   Think about what it must be like to not have a home or place to call your own. Consider what you might need while on the move or traveling for a long time. Research what current needs are at homeless or women’s shelters in your area and make a donation of some of those items.

  

Law, Judges, Ruth, Esther, and Kings (October)

Please do THREE of these options including the one starred.  Get the reporting sheet here.

Reading

We don’t often hear about the women of the Bible. Choose either the story of Esther or the story of Ruth and read the book in the Bible (neither are super long, don’t worry!). Make a timeline of the events of the story. What is one thing you can learn from these important women of the Bible?

 

Writing

Read about 2 of the judges in the book of Judges. Think about what qualities were important to a judge in those days. Now, create your own story of a judge. Give them a fun name, and then think about what makes them unique (do they have any special abilities), what “battle” they need to fight or problem then need to solve, and then how they would do it.

 

*Watching

Watch the VeggieTale video, King George and the Ducky.  Think about the good parts having a king, and the not so good parts of having a king.

THEN

The greatest king of Israel is King David, but David was not perfect. Watch this summary of David’s life as a king. Before he is a king, David is a lowly shepherd, and then a hero who defeats his enemies. But as a king, David is both a wonderful leader and a sinful human being. What is one thing good that David does while king? What is one really bad thing he does?

 

Listening

Look for someone in your life who may be different from you (ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, different social status, etc.) Talk to them about rules or laws that they find difficult to follow or that discriminate against them in some way. Think about any rules or laws that may discriminate against you or your family. How should any of these rules be made different? Should they even exist at all?

 

Creating

FAMILY Learn about the Jewish festival of Purim and make Hamantaschen, the traditional treats, with your family. Here’s a good recipe.  

Here is a little information about Hamantaschen

Here is a little information about Purim.

 

Doing

FAMILY   In the story of Esther, God is never mentioned, but God is definitely at work. What are some of the ways God is at work in your life? Ask your parents about a time that they knew God was working in their lives.

Who are some of the people that have show you that God is with you when you really needed it? Write a letter to one of these people. Thank them for being a part of your life, and for how they helped you to see God in your life.