UPDATED DATES:
FIRST COMMUNION
AND CONFIRMATION
AT OUR SHEPHERD
2020-2021

UPDATE:
Confirmation will begin on Sunday, September 13, in order to accommodate Labor Day weekend.

Confirmation Orientation information will be
available beginning Wednesday, September 2.

First Communion will begin Sunday, September 13,
as originally scheduled.

Parents of children in 4th - 8th grades (or older if not yet Confirmed), please register your child to attend!


The original Confirmation and First Communion
email follows (dates have been updated
to reflect the information above).
This email is intended for the families of students entering 4th - 9th grade this coming September, and who intend to participate in the Confirmation and/or First Communion programs at Our Shepherd.

If you're not part of that group, please consider forwarding this email to family or friends who may be considering Confirmation for their child. Also, please hold up our Confirmation families in your prayers as they begin a season of religious and secular instruction under the chaotic circumstances in our world.

For those who intend to enroll in either (or both) Confirmation and First Communion at Our Shepherd:

please take a moment to read through
this email. It contains important information
and one thing for you to do:
register your child for Confirmation
and/or First Communion.

SUMMARY OF KEY INFORMATION
  • For at least the first semester, and likely for the entire year, Confirmation and First Communion classes (which include both parent and child) will be conducted online.

  • Online Confirmation classes will take place Sunday mornings from 10:00 - 10:30 AM. Each week, additional online work and home discussion (total of approx. 30 minutes) with parents will be included.

  • While we're holding out hope, it's likely that some key Confirmation events, like the retreat and Kids Coalition Against Hunger service project, will not happen this year.

  • Confirmation is a mentored program, meaning both parent and child attend together. We will return to a full-year mentored format this year, so parents will attend class with their child from September 2020 - April 2021.

  • The "Secret Prayer Pal" program has changed to the "Confirmation Mentor" program. both first and second year Confirmands will meet their mentors early in the school year (either in-person or online), and will have opportunities to interact with them throughout their two year instruction period.

  • Confirmation Orientation for parents and students will be presented virtually this year, through self-guided electronic communication. The orientation materials will be sent to registered students by Wednesday, September 2, 2020.

  • Online Confirmation classes for parents and students will begin Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 10:00 AM. While attendance each week is expected, recordings of the classes will be made available afterward for those who have to miss an occasional class.

  • Online First Communion classes begin for parents and students on Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 12:45 PM. While attendance each week is expected, recordings of the classes will be made available afterward for those who have to miss an occasional class.

  • A second opportunity to attend First Communion classes begins February 21, 2021.

  • Regular worship and Bible study attendance by the whole family, either in-person or online, continues to be a loving expectation of the Confirmation and First Communion programs.


   Things are different...for now. At times like these,
we look to the promises our loving Heavenly Father
gives us in His word and pray He opens our
hearts and minds to a heavenly perspective:

"For our present troubles are small and
won't last very long. Yet they produce
for us a glory that vastly outweighs
them and will last forever!"
2 Corinthians 4:17

FIRST COMMUNION
First Communion instruction is comprised of a series of six classes which both parent and child attend. Children as young as 4th grade, and very occasionally, even younger, can be ready to receive this miraculous gift from God.

Parents and children should talk together about readiness. Does your child understand his or her need for forgiveness and a reliance on Christ for salvation? Do they understand God works through communion to give His people forgiveness and the strengthening of faith? Does he or she show a curiosity to understand more? Do they have a desire to begin receiving the sacrament?

Our Shepherd’s pastors are happy to meet with parents in-person, online, or via telephone in order to help with this decision. Completion of the classes does not obligate your child to attend Communion.

Please note: there is no orientation class for First Communion. Simply choose which session you would like to attend, and complete the registration form online. We'll let you know when class materials are ready for contactless pick-up at church. Cost for the textbook is approximately $12.00.


FIRST COMMUNION: DATES TO REMEMBER

  • First Communion ONLINE Sessions, Fall 2020: A total of six weekly classes beginning Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, 12:45 - 2:00 PM. These classes will take place online. Students attending these classes will receive First Communion on Sunday, October 25, 2020, in the 11:00 service. Please note, students are under no obligation to attend in-person worship until parents decide it is appropriate.

  • First Communion (TBD Online or In-Person) Sessions, Spring 2021: A total of six weekly classes beginning Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, 12:45-2:00 PM. We will determine at a later date whether these classes will be online or in-person. Students attending these classes will receive First Communion on Sunday, March 28, 2021, in the 11:00 service. Please note, students are under no obligation to attend in-person worship until parents decide it is appropriate.


WHO CAN ENROLL IN FIRST COMMUNION CLASSES?
Choose either Fall 2020 or Spring 2021

  • OPTIONAL: 4th – 7th grade students in public school or OSLS.

  • OPTIONAL: 8th grade OSLS students (these students will receive instruction in Holy Communion during their daily Religion class in April 2021, prior to Confirmation Sunday. If you and your child decide he or she is ready to receive Holy Communion prior to Confirmation Sunday, your child should register for the Sunday afternoon First Communion Class).

  • REQUIRED: 8th grade public school students who haven’t previously taken this class.


WHEN SHOULD YOU ENROLL?
NOW! Please CLICK HERE and go to the online registration form. It will take about three minutes. When you are determining which class series to attend, please remember both parent and child attend each class.
CONFIRMATION
Confirmation is a two-year "mentored" program at Our Shepherd; parents attend all classes with their children. Time is given for parent and child to talk about their personal views and experiences regarding their spiritual lives.

While first year students are typically 7th grade, and second year typically 8th, that is not always the case. Depending on life circumstances, some students begin later, or skip a year, as they move through the Confirmation program. We strive to be flexible in providing thorough instruction and preparation of our students, while at the same time taking life circumstances into consideration.


ONLINE REGISTRATION
Please begin registering your child right now by CLICKING HERE and filling out the registration form. Even if you registered your child last year, please complete the online form so we know we have your most current information. It will take you about three minutes. We will let you know when class materials are available for contactless pickup at church. Cost for materials:

Textbook: $20.00
Small Catechism: $16.00
(if you don't already have the 2017 edition)


CONFIRMATION: DATES TO REMEMBER

  • Virtual Orientation for parents and students: Materials will be sent to registered students for self-guided, at-home reading by Wednesday, September 2, 2020. Please make sure you have completed the online registration form before that day.

  • Online Confirmation Classes for parents and students begin Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020 from 10:00 to 10:30 AM. An introductory video and instructions will be emailed to you prior to that date.

  • The Rite of Confirmation has not been scheduled yet. We will finalize the schedule and let you know when that is taking place in the orientation materials.
Questions?
Please contact Pastor Woodfin
248.646.6100 ext. 106