Ordinarily, candidates for confirmation might only see their bishop when the day of their confirmation arrives. Bishop Sam Rose tells of how he was told that someone ‘big and scary called the bishop’ was coming, and the idea filled him with dread. But for the young people of the Mission of the Transfiguration, their confirmation classes will not only end with a visit from the bishop, but have also begun that way.
Comprising four parishes in the St. John’s/Mount Pearl area (the Ascension, the Good Shepherd, St. Mary’s and St. Michael’s), the Transfiguration Mission combines the strengths of all four parishes to do more together than any of them could do on their own. In the past, they have collaborated on worship and outreach projects, but now they are turning their attention to another fundamental Mark of Mission: the work of growing and nurturing disciples. By combining their efforts, the four parishes can draw on a wider pool for the gifts and ministries of confirmation teachers. The candidates will experience the church not just as their home congregation, but as a community that is much wider than their own.
On Sunday November 20th, the candidates, members of their families, and their congregations gathered at the Church of the Ascension for a joint Eucharist to mark the beginning of their confirmation classes. Bishop Sam preached, and had a chance to introduce himself to the youth. Following the sermon, those preparing to be confirmed were formally welcomed as candidates for confirmation. They promised to join with the Church in following Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. They asked for the prayers, support, and instruction of the community of faith, and the combined congregations promised to support and uphold them. It was a powerful opportunity for those preparing to draw closer to Christ to know the presence of the community standing with them, and for the community to acknowledge their responsibility in nurturing their own growth alongside the younger members of the Church. We hope to see an even bigger gathering for the confirmation service at Pentecost, when the Bishop will seem anything but ‘big and scary’.