A confirmation course outline for adults

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In 2014 I prepared two children for confirmation, in 2015 it was two adults that I was working with and so I needed to investigate what material was out there for adults. I was quite disappointed to discover that a lot of the courses and books available seemed incredibly dry and also not really designed for such an intimate setting as simply me and two other people meeting in my sitting room at home.

So I decided to create my own course which I will share the outline of with you here should you wish to use it yourself. This has been run for two years in a row now and is updated to reflect the most recent group’s sessions.

There is a great book for young people that is designed to give to them as a confirmation gift called Living your Confirmation by Paul Butler and Pete Maidment. This book uses the commitments made during the confirmation service as a structure and I decided to do the same with my confirmation course. I thought that it would make sense to explore what it is exactly that the candidates will commit to at their confirmation:

The bishop addresses each candidate by name

N, God has called you by name and made you his own.

He then lays his hand on the head of each, saying

Confirm, O Lord, your servant with your Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Commitments made by the candidates:

Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship,
in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?

With the help of God, I will.

Will you persevere in resisting evil,
and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?

With the help of God, I will.

Will you proclaim by word and example
the good news of God in Christ?

With the help of God, I will.

Will you seek and serve Christ in all people,
loving your neighbour as yourself?

With the help of God, I will.

Will you acknowledge Christ’s authority over human society,
by prayer for the world and its leaders,
by defending the weak, and by seeking peace and justice?

With the help of God, I will.

May Christ dwell in your heart(s) through faith,
that you may be rooted and grounded in love
and bring forth the fruit of the Spirit.
All Amen.

So here is the course outline, I used videos from Youtube/Vimeo to introduce themes and generate conversation. The course worked as 6 sessions lasting roughly an hour/hour and a half (there was a final extra session but that was focused on preparing for the service and the logistics of receiving communion).

Session 1

God has called you by name and made you his own. In this session we looked at being known by God. I showed the YHWH film below first to introduce the concept of God and then we read Psalm 139 together, sharing our responses to it.

Film:

Session 2

Continuing in the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship. In this session we looked at the Bible, we shared how we felt about the bible, both positive and negative feelings towards it. Then we watched the introduction to the Bible from the Pilgrim course. Then we looked at some different translations of the bible – reading Psalm 23 in each version to compare them. We then watched David Suchet talking about reading the bible aloud. This started a conversation about listening to the bible being read in Church services.

Films:

Session 3

The breaking of bread and the prayers. In this session we explored the meaning of the Eucharist. We first watched a short film about the Passover and discussed its connection with the Eucharist. Then we watched a video about the Eucharist from Rt Rev’d Michael Curry and discussed how we felt about soon receiving communion and what it means to us and why it’s important.

Films:

Session 4

Resisting evil and repenting and returning to the Lord. In this session I read from the book Unapologetic by Francis Spufford where he talks about sin being “the human propensity to f*** things up”. We then watched a clip from the film The Mission and discussed sin and forgiveness.

Film:

(note, I actually showed a longer clip direct from a DVD)

Session 5

Proclaiming the good news and serving Christ in others. Praying for the world and seeking Justice. In this session we talked about Mission and Evangelism – sharing our faith. We began by watching a short film about the Trinity and I spoke about the Missio Dei – the constant sending out of God’s spirit into the world. We watched a talk given by Nadia Bolz-Weber which is part sermon part testimony. We then watched Rev’d Stephanie Spellars talking about being a missionary. We finished this session by reading the prayer of Teresa of Avila (Christ has no body but yours…).

Films:

Session 6

Praying for the world and seeking Justice.

In this session we looked at the four core texts of the faith: The Lord’s Prayer, the Summary of the Law, The Apostles’ Creed and the Beatitudes.

We watched this film which is an updated version of the Beatitudes written by Nadia Bolz-Weber (made into a film by Fr Simon Rundell):

We then spoke about prayer and personal prayer and I introduced the group to the concept of Ignatian Examen and we used this recording:

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2 thoughts on “A confirmation course outline for adults

  1. Caroline Dick

    Congratulations on this fresh approach Bryony. It is just the kind of thing I would want to do. I particularly like the focus on the questions that take you BEYOND the confirmation day to a lifetime of discipleship. Keep up the good work. Caroline

    Like

    • Bryony Taylor

      Thanks for that feedback Caroline! The candidates enjoyed it. I would consider running this as a general course as well as confirmation prep because the focus was on discipleship.

      Like

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