Bishop Jones Confirms 59 Students

Date Posted: 6/22/2017

Kingwood UMC’s thriving confirmation ceremony featuring a record number of confirmands.
At Kingwood UMC, confirmation is much more than a topic of conversation. As a vital congregation, Kingwood UMC Invests in the Young by hosting a nine-month program that helps youth claim for themselves the name Christian and United Methodist. Recently some 59 sixth graders took this significant step in their journey of faith, and Bishop Scott Jones was there to encourage and pray over them.
“We typically confirm about 35-45 students each year,” says youth director Stacey Sweet. “Although our numbers have been steadily going up, this was an unusually big group. I believe that is because we strive to come alongside students and their families to provide opportunities to understand what it means to have a personal relationship with Christ and live that out in their daily lives. My prayer is that confirmation is a transformational year for these students.”
Since sixth grade is a big transition year to middle school, Kingwood UMC’s Student Ministry department strives to help families navigate those transitions by offering programs that boost success at each new level of school. “We kicked off the year with an overnight retreat to get acquainted, worship and learn together, and to write our class covenant,” explains Stacey. Throughout the year, sixth graders participate in many missions outside of their learning time. For example, they worked in two community gardens, served the local church at outreach events and the Society of St. Stephen. “Each student also creates their own family mission project and shared the love of Christ with their neighbors,” says Stacey. Student Jessica MacIntosh completed her family mission project by planting new plants at the church.
Confirmands and other students often participate in worship by serving as acolytes and serving communion. Among other activities, students worshiped at Central UMC in Galveston and helped at the Seeding Galveston event, visited Temple Beth Torah in Humble, and participated in a food drive to benefit Mission Northeast.
 “Our 12-year old daughter, Maggie, has looked forward to her year since 2012 when she admired the confirmation program through the words and emotions of one of her brothers,” shares Paige Carrigan. Maggie describes her confirmation experience as “learning the role of a church member, the history of the Methodist Church and a greater appreciation for Jesus with new and old friends.” Maggie says, “Our class of 59 sixth graders enjoyed mission work, Bible study, Sunday mornings with our pastors, retreats and reading our Bibles at Chick-fil-a, and so much more. All of this taught us to take the love of Christ forward to others. One of my favorite confirmation activities was visiting a local Jewish Temple.”
“As a parent, it was incredible to see our daughter grow from a child in the church to feeling more like a confident member -- through her profession of faith and being showered by the love of Christ and His followers,” Paige explains.
Confirmation is a priority at Kingwood UMC, as evidenced by a district wide discussion hosted there this spring. Explains Stacey, “We invited pastors, church staff and volunteers to join us for an idea exchange regarding confirmation. The session also allowed participants to brainstorm solutions to challenges and gave all an opportunity to look at the new curriculum and discuss implementation.”  
Confirmation Covenant 2016-2017
We promise to grow in our faith through worship and prayer to strengthen our relationship with God.  By focusing on God and His word, we will strive to demonstrate love and respect to all God's children.  We will spread God's love by sharing God's word, inviting people to learn about God and serving others when our help is needed.  Through prayer, we will follow the path God has set out for us.  We will grow by surrounding ourselves with the prayers, love and support of our family, classmates and church members.  We will anchor ourselves to the Trinity so we can be firm and secure in our faith.