A Parent Reflects

by Kathie Frank

The opportunity to affirm our children's Confirmation in this old, historical way is wonderful. We are not only given the chance to tell them how much we love them and why they are special to us, we also truly get to renew baptismal vows that we as parents took on the day of their Baptism. We not only get to stand up and renew our promise to guide them, love them, and support them, we also renew our covenant with their Heavenly Father to care for them in this life. This is built right into the service. Parents are not the only ones who speak: brothers, sisters, grandparents, godparents, and others who have watched these teenagers grow and who have an impact on their lives, share memories and offer affirmations and prayers. How often do we really get to tell these kids in front of others who share our love for them that they belong to God and are a part of God's loving family?

The final part of this service that is very meaningful is the Communion Table. We have fed these kids for 14 years. We have shared countless meals — from 3:00 am nursings to our fast food treks between basketball and soccer games. None is quite as important as the breaking of bread and sharing the cup. Yet, this is the meal that we often miss together. We may not attend the same worship service or we may sit side by side without interacting. To be served the bread and cup by my son is a memory that I will hold dear. I will also hold it tight while waiting for him to come home late on a snowy evening when he has just gotten his driver's license, or on his graduation day, or in countless other rites of passage that are ahead for both of us.

I want Confirmation to be an affirmation of personal faith. I also want it to include a collective group of believers who say to my child-man that he is a part of the family of God, that he will make wonderful choices along the way, and that, when he stumbles, there are people who love him, accept him, and will uphold him, time and time again.