Our confirmation class students are full of love, hope, peace, and intelligence. The spirit of empathy represented consistently among members of this group ministers to me. I’m pleased about our time together. There are three primary instructors and one secondary teacher who substitutes. We use a model which allows me to teach three Sundays in a row. I have been able to engage the participants over stretches of time, fostering a degree of continuity I find important.
During the first three weeks of April we focused on healing. Our lessons included the healing of the Bent–over woman found in Luke 13, the healing of the Gerasene Demoniac found in three gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and the healing of the Lame man found in Acts 3. We connected to the biblical narratives in real time. Our present day interactions, observances, and desires are central to our shared interpretation and response to God’s healing power.
On April 3rd 2016 we all wrote a name on a small card, folded it, and placed it in a small brown wicker basket, which sat on a table in the middle of our class room. Each individual chose the name of a person, place, or thing they wanted to heal. A student read the lesson. Before the end of the 9am service, a candle was lit from the Christ candle burning during the church service in celebration of Easter. After the lesson, there was a discussion, and then each student used the light transferred from our first service to light a white votive candle as a spiritual symbol of their faith in the healing power of God. We prayed together by naming characteristics of healing.
t was exciting to hear the students declare trust, patience, love, strength, and other sacred expressions. The Holy Spirit was among us. We ended with the Lord’s Prayer. We let the candles burn after the class was dismissed. A student added another name to the basket and a different student took a card that was shared with the community home. Some student’s looked at the candles for a small time. I have a spiritual memory.
-Vicar Dale Linder