Rites of Passage

Rites of Passage

By Rev. Kerry Smith
Third-grade Bible and Confirmation
As I unpacked my books and lined them up on the shelves of my new office at White Rock UMC, I spotted my 3rd grade Bible. It is a red-letter Bible meaning Jesus’ words are in red ink. I don’t remember receiving my 3rd grade Bible, but I still have it, and when I look at it, I think of all the people who taught me Sunday School and those who prayed for me. Carrying that 3rd-grade Bible made me feel so grown up because my church thought I was mature enough to have a real Bible, not a Children’s Story Bible. There are certain rites of passage that we have in the church. One of them is receiving a Bible in 3rd grade. At White Rock UMC, we give our 3rd graders Bibles on September 11th during worship.  Please fill out this form if your 3rd grader needs a Bible or if you have an older child who never received a Bible. Email our Children and Youth Minister,  Sammy Waters, if you have any questions.
Another rite of passage in a United Methodist Church is Confirmation. Confirmation is the time in youths’ lives when they learn about their faith tradition and decide if they want to be a member of White Rock UMC. This year, White Rock is inviting all 8th -12th-grade youth to be a part of Confirmation.

I remember in my Confirmation journey learning about John Wesley and memorizing the plagues that were sent when the Hebrew people escaped from Egypt. I am not sure why the plagues are what stuck in my brain from Confirmation, but it did! I do remember my Confirmation Day. I remember the photos from that day wearing my white dress, pink bow, and proud smile. There is a photo of me kneeling at the altar, and the bottom of my shiny dress shoes look unmarked like they had been taken out of the box for this special occasion. When my daughter was confirmed, I thought I would be able to pray over her and keep it together. I did not keep it together! Her family, friends, Confirmation leaders, and Sunday School teachers gathered around her. At the same time, I placed my hand on her head, and my voice broke as I prayed, “May the Holy Spirit work within that having been born through water and the Spirit, you may be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.”

I confirmed my son wearing a face shield during the height of Covid outside. I won’t forget that Confirmation service! If you have an 8th-12th grader who wants to be a part of Confirmation at White Rock UMC, please reach out to Sammy at swaters@wrumc.org by September 4 and let her know.
Posted in

No Comments