Mount Calvary’s calling is, “to make, build-up, and send out disciples of Jesus Christ.” Nothing demonstrates that more than the Rite of Confirmation taking place at Mount Calvary on May 21.
This year Mount Calvary will confirm a record 130 young people. It is a moment of pride for our entire congregation. For our confirmands, their parents, guardians, friends, teachers, and staff, this represents the culmination of many years of dedication, time, and creative Christian instruction.
The significance of their accomplishment far exceeds the ‘day-of’ smiles, hugs, gifts, and parties. We have made, built-up, and sent out the flowers of our congregation rooted in Christian morals, values, and discipline. If our efforts were successful, we have unleashed 130 giving, accepting, loving, joyful ‘forces for good’.
The journey centers on Wednesday evenings when Mount Calvary becomes ‘THE’ destination for member youth and their friends. Imagine a sanctuary filled with singing, cheering, middle school kids rocking out to the strains of Christian pop music. Using a curriculum of our own design, a teen worship service is followed by a pastoral presentation and mentored peer group discussions.
Of course, the education extends beyond our Wednesday walls as exemplified by the recent Urban Immersion event held at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, our new North Minneapolis partner. Fifty-two 8th graders, pastors and adults committed 4 hours of their Saturday to spreading 60 cubic yards of mulch, raking yards, collecting litter, serving lunch, manning the food shelf, cleaning bathrooms, and befriending community residents.
The participants were surprised to learn how much a family can do with so little. They discovered the tough, daily trade-off decisions that must be made. The kids saw that, though plagued with guns and gunfire, the neighborhood was not the anticipated ‘dark side’. Our 8th graders came to recognize the residents are much like themselves, though with far tougher challenges.
As for the residents’ perspective, the community was astonished to find so many young people willing to reach out to their neighborhood. Gethsemane’s Pastor Jeff noted the heartfelt goodwill. Pastor Aaron’s highlight was the kid’s stepping beyond the normal day-to-day to experience God at work.
In the end, our young adults realized the day was not about landscaping and cleaning, but about listening to stories. It was a time for humility and taking in the moment. It was about learning life.
Congratulations to all our confirmands on reaching this significant milestone.