Monday, September 20


Alex and I arrived at our church parking lot on Saturday morning and walked into the almost cliched crowed of kids standing around in clusters, about to board the white church school bus, their luggage piled in a near by van, this is a large Life Event. Kids from nice homes are being abandoned by their parents in broad day light and sent off to church camp in the hopes that it will jump start the process of the confirmation of their Christian faith.

Most Christian denominations that practice infant baptism, like us United Methodist, have some means of forcing their twelve year olds, to take an oath of confirmation so that they can become, "full members" of the church. For us, this is a slow and life defining process. There is more drama in this parking lot than the most dramatic pictures on the silver screen. At twelve most kids are struggling to decided who they are and where they fit and now we add on the question of Who You Are In Christ. Its a loaded question that know sane twelve year old who takes it seriously can answer.

In moments like these I am reminded that my childhood is not far removed from Alex's. Five years separate the moment I was confirmed in the church and her birth. That is insane when I think about that way. I like to think that my involvement in these things do a lot to remind the other parents that no matter what they do, no matter where they live, these defenseless, clueless, helpless children will grow up all too soon. Parents are defenseless when it comes to protecting their children from perhaps that one bad choice that will forever alter the course of their lives.

When I was that twelve year old kid ready to launch into the world of campfire songs and wacky messy games and rope course team buildings, I had imagined that I would grow up to be musician who lived in the streets of New York City and had the power to magically changed the world. But life didn't happen that way. Instead I turned sixteen and had a baby. I eventually broke up with my baby's father and graduated from college with a degree that would allow me to work in law firm and assit in the defense of billion dollar corporations. Instead of moving to New York City I have stayed close to my neighborhood and my family. Instead of questioning my faith in God for all eternity (as I was sure I was distended to do when I almost entirely refused to be confirmed at twelve) my faith has become the one thing of which I am certain.

Some people believe that God has revealed His Truth to us and not other - the barbarians - and it is His will that we Train our children to know his Truth that they might grow to vanquish the others and be protected when death and destruction rain down from Heaven. Others believe that our understanding of God is incomplete but that He has bestowed Grace and this beautiful world on us, and other gifts, which should be shared, and we should walk softly and give thanks and praise His Name.

I'm not sure how we did on the softly part, but this weekend we tought the children to do a lot of walking, and sharing and appreciating of beauty - even those ants... and the roach in the cabin. While I came away from the weekend exhausted and I sit here Monday afternoon with a body that is reminding me rock climbing was never meant to be my calling, I give thanks for this day and the weekend, which was perfect.


The Bug said...

Sounds like a great weekend.

I grew up Baptist so we had to be saved & baptized once we were old enough to understand. I was actually baptized TWICE - because as a teenager I became convinced that the first time didn't "take." What were the adults in my life thinking that they would let me believe that? Sheesh.

Lori Anderson said...

I'm leaving for Chapelwood's confirmation retreat on Friday...this time with my daughter as a member of the class. Your words are thought provoking and make me excited for what is to come. Thanks for writing.

Single and Sane said...

Like The Bug, I grew up Baptist, but even though we don't all go through the same process, we all make a choice at some point in our lives whether we will continue to borrow our parents' faith, or adopt that faith as our own. You're giving Alex the foundation she will need to do just that. It sounds like it was a fabulous weekend!


Land of shimp said...

I grew up in the Episcopal church -- really nice people -- but one too many courses in comparative religion and I ended up in the slot occupied by most who pursue that line of study -- agnostic.

However, faith is a powerful thing in a person's life. Hard to argue with the teachings of Christ, they're awfully good ways to live. I wouldn't even try to argue with them.

Nice way to spend a weekend, Katy.

SY said...

little things like this can brighten days to come..

congrats on a great weekend

Jo said...

Oh, it sounds wonderful, and it brings back memories. When I was a child, all our activities revolved around the Anglican church -- camping, Brownies, Sunday school picnics. Those are good memories you are making with your daughter.

Amy said...

Hi Katy, It sounds like a positive weekend - that's what kids need. The spiritual seeds are planted - sometimes when we're not even aware of it. It sounds like you have a definite green thumb in this area - Alex is fortunate!