From Baptism to Confirmation
Baptism and Confirmation form the sacramental gates of each end of childhood. In The Christian Community, Baptism is a children’s baptism. It does not make the child a member of the church; membership will be his or her free choice as an adult. Rather, Baptism receives the child like a seed into the community of those who are aware of the working of Christ. The community promises to carry this child within itself and to nourish the child’s relationship with God. Strong relationships cultivated with godparents also strengthen a child’s connection to the community.
Confirmation at age 14 is both a culmination and a new beginning. The seed of the young person’s religious life, which has been surrounded and nourished by the community, is now placed into his or her own hands. The confirmands attend The Act of Consecration of Man (the adult service) and receive communion for the first time. After this event, these young people must meet the challenge of increasingly guiding their own religious life.
Teenagers can stay active in the Christian Community by working as counsellors in the children’s summer camps and attending our youth groups and conferences. There are also International Youth Conferences where older teens and those in their twenties find their own connections before settling down into the more local communities as young adults.