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Confirmation, Reception & Reaffirmation in the Episcopal Church
Baptism is the ancient entry rite into the Church, which is also called “the Body of Christ.” In Baptism, we affirm that we belong to the God who is made known to us in Jesus, and we promise (or, promises are made for us, if we are infants) to live our lives in accordance with this deepest truth about who we are and whose we are. Confirmation in the Episcopal Church is a sacramental rite in which those who were baptized at a young age make a mature and public affirmation of the promises made on their behalf. After making these affirmations, a bishop in apostolic succession lays hands on the candidate and prays a prayer of confirmation. (See the Book of Common Prayer for the promises made at Baptism, pp. 299-308, and for the proceedings at Confirmation, pp. 413-419)
Preparation for Adult Confirmation will be held on Saturday, September 28, from 9:00-3:00. Please let clergy know if you are interested in attending to be confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church, or just want to take the course to learn. This is an informative and valuable adult education opportunity opportunity.
Reception is for those who have already been Confirmed in another denomination by a bishop in apostolic succession (Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Lutheran). Reception is a way of honoring someone who has made a mature confession of faith in any other denomination by saying, in effect, we recognize and honor your spiritual journey in another fellowship, and we welcome you into the fellowship of the Episcopal Church, as you continue that journey. The bishop lays hands on the person being received and says, “We recognize you as a member of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church, and we receive you into the fellowship of this Communion” (BCP, p. 418). If you have not been Confirmed or Received by a bishop in apostolic succession, you may choose either Confirmation or Reception, although tradition might nudge you toward Confirmation.
Reaffirmation is for people who are already Confirmed in the Episcopal Church. Some people presented to the bishop during the service of Confirmation are there to “reaffirm” their Christian vows. These might be people who have been away from the church for a period of time and want to make a new beginning. Others might be people who sense that they are at a new stage in their spiritual life and want to affirm this in a sacramental, public manner. This is especially true if a person was confirmed at a young age.
Last January, we began a monthly gathering for discussion and dialogue called The Rector’s Forum. This is an opportunity for us to come together for meaningful conversation about many of the significant issues and events in our contemporary culture and society. We may not always agree about a particular topic or issue, but The Rector’s Forum is designed to be a time when we can model what it means to be a Christian community and how we are called to treat each other even when we disagree. Over the course of the next few months, The Rector’s Forum will explore a variety of political, cultural, and religious issues that are relevant to our contemporary context.
The Rector's Forum will begin again on Sunday, September 22, at 9:15 a.m. in the Parish Hall.
Jesus meant for us to understand our faith and our God, and we want to continue that emphasis here at Good Shepherd. Therefore, we offer several different types of adult education opportunities for those who would like to learn more about their faith. We offer Education for Ministry (EfM), plus a variety of DVD courses such as Comparative Religion, Living the Questions, or History of the Church, coupled with a variety of short courses taught by knowledgeable individuals. We also have a Lenten Study program which varies each year, along with two one-day retreat opportunities or "Quiet Days".
Education for Ministry (EfM) - EfM's goal is to reach people who are hungry for theological education. EfM, based upon the core curriculum of one of our Episcopal seminaries, provides a comprehensive, experiential education in the foundations and message of our Christian faith. It is for lay people who want to contunue their spiritual formation; it teaches them how to think theologically and deepens their faith and understanding of their Christian heritage. EfM meets in small groups for two academic semesters each year.
Wednesday Bible Study with the Rector - This morning Bible study explores Holy Scripture and the tradition of the Church through discussion and presentation. It enriches our Christian experience by using the wealth of sources found in the bible. We take turns reading the passages and then discussing them, including their history, geography and theological interpretations through the ages.
Parish Library - The Parish Library provides resources for parish members who seek a greater knowledge of religion and our Episcopal faith. It also provides reading for entertainment as well as enlightenment. The library contains books that cover spiritual, historical and a wide variety of contemporary subjects (and novels). Books from some sections may be checked out. Instructions are listed in the library. The library is open on Sunday mornings and during weekly office hours unless there is a meeting in progress.
Call ahead if coming over during the week (746-4674).
A Community of Faith in the Jupiter, Tequesta and Hobe Sound Area
The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd