THE ECOLOGICAL BACKGROUND TO CONFIRMATION IN THE METHODIST CHURCH:

City Central Methodist Church, Aliwal Street, Durban (CCMYT).

Confirmation is defined by Rev Leon Klein of the MCSA, in lay language, as a time where young people are helped by adults to deepen their knowledge of faith and develop skills in adult-Christian living.

When Methodist movement first emerged, John Wesley would call people to commitment, and then place them in classes (irhamente) for their spiritual growth.  This was done so that they are, not tempted away from their faith.

The Methodist believe that God begins work in the heart of an individual long before a person recognizes that there is a God (Psalm 139:15; Jeremiah 1:4-5).  The Church therefore affirms the prevenient grace (spirit that goes before the seeker) in the Baptism of infants.  The moment of taking adult responsibility is expressed in Confirmation, which is in response to the continuation of the seeking activity of the Spirit of God.  This is also a moment that culminates in the individual or converts making a public commitment to God at a special service, often referred to as a “Confirmation Service” – held in August/September of each year at CCMYT.

Confirmation therefore becomes a special moment when the community of faith affirms the place of the believer- a place that was recognized at the baptism of the infant.

  1. Confirmation class does not replace the classes (irhamente) that John Wesley formed and instructed his lay preachers/pastoral leaders to nurture new converts in the Methodist Church for deepened spiritual formation.
  2. How does the confirmation class program runs at CCMYT:

à         Confirmation classes are held weekly on Wednesdays at 17h30 (till the confirmation service), unless otherwise specified of any changes. Should you experience problems with time, please discuss with the class facilitators in advance for an amicable solution.

à         The following topics almost constitutes the core of the class program: Prayer; church history; church structure; Mission of the MCSA; Trinity and Apostle’s Doctrines; Resurrection; conversion and Christian faith; witnessing/testimony; Christian giving and church membership; Salvation; Mission outreach/caring for the needy; Christian family; Introduction to Bible reading; etc.

à         Attendance and total commitment is of absolute importance (contributes 50% towards the end of the program mark).

à         Compulsory exercises/homework (written or group presentations) will be given to the confirmands to encourage diligence and full participation by everybody (contributes 25% towards the end of the program mark).

à         Written assessment (contributes 25% towards the final mark) will be given to confirmands who have attended well and also complied with their homework.

à         Confirmands’ breakfast with the church will take place the Saturday before the confirmation service.

  1. Please provide yourselves with notebooks, bible(s), Methodist hymn book and catechism in preparation for the classes.  Some study notes will be supplied to assist the confirmands.
  2. The confirmation class facilitators would like to congratulate you one more time and remind you that the Christian journey is a marathon, hence the emphasis of fellowshipping with other believers so that you will be strong to the end (1Corinthians 1:8). 

 

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