Apr 12 2010

Spirit-Filled Community

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit . . .”
— Acts 2:4

Pentecost Sunday, May 23rd, offers us a special Sunday where we can celebrate what it means to be a Spirit-filled community. In addition to observing the birthday of the Christian Church, we will joyously participate in the Rite of Confirmation and the Sacrament of Baptism.

This year’s Confirmation Class has twelve vibrant, gifted members: Bryan Arnold, Tori Camillo, Tom Kantner, Neil Loris, Heath Majewski, Nina Metz, Nick Mitchell, Monica Rush, Rhett Smith, Abbey Tabar, Catherine Wright, and Jennifer Yannaccone. Each is very special and particularly gifted by God. Ten of them will have the opportunity to affirm the promises of their baptism as they make their personal professions of faith. Two more plan to be baptized during the service that day, responding to God’s initiative in their lives with their own promises, and joining with their classmates in proclaiming their identity as disciples of Jesus and members of Christ’s Body.

The class has brought great energy and enthusiasm to this time of exploration and faith-immersion. We have engaged our Jesus-centered curriculum and its theme, “Making Disciples, Jesus’ Way”, with authenticity, generous sharing, discernment, and the bonds of community. We have had a Confirmation Blog, Journey With Jesus!, on which notes and reflections flowing from our classes have been posted, with the opportunity for class members to respond, contributing their own thoughts and reflections. Class members have also taken part in outreach activities that have included the CROP Walk and the Shared Table.

During Lent, each Confirmand has worked closely with a dedicated Mentor from the congregation. Our Mentors have been: Chuck Hill (Bryan), Brittany Rush (Tori), Bonnie Hill (Tom), Jim Liebenow (Neil), Bryan Hunsicker (Heath), Vi Burg (Nina), Gail Hunsberger (Nick), Joyce Barndt (Monica), Pete Hulshizer (Rhett), Jess Reese (Abbey), Wendy Alarcon (Catherine), Barb Kieffer (Jennifer). We call this time of accompaniment the “Lenten Sojourn”, a time of learning and spiritual growth for both the Confirmands and the Mentors. Following Easter, the Mentors will encourage and support their Confirmands as each of the young people completes a Confirmation Project which will be shared with the congregation.

Our Confirmation Retreat will be held at Mensch Mill on May 14th-15th, a “time away” where final preparations will be made for Pentecost Sunday. At St. Andrew’s, we emphasize the importance of coming to one’s own profession of faith, and of the life-changing, life-shaping ramifications of deciding to follow Jesus. We honor the integrity of each participant and would encourage those who do not feel complete in this process to take more time. We trust in God’s faithfulness! We believe that the Holy Spirit will inspire, fill, and lead (even pushing sometimes!) not only our Confirmands but our whole community of faith. We are blessed by God’s call that, together, we be a vital missionary congregation in the 21st century, dedicated to the proclamation and living out of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

This year is particularly exciting for me as it is the first Confirmation class that includes children that I baptized as infants. I will exult in reminding the congregation of the promises we made to them, their families, and God, and how those promises are being fulfilled today. When we engage in the Laying On of Hands, Pastor, Mentors, and Elders will invoke the presence and power of the Holy Spirit and the wonder of a faith community spanning so many generations, from the very first Pentecost until now. Such blessing. Giving thanks and praise to God for this breathtaking, lifegiving season!

Pastor Scott's Signature

Pastor Scott’s Archived Messages