This I believe-Confirmation Friend #3

From the This I Believe series...

Before we were confirmed, my confirmation class had to each write a paper called 'This I believe" proclaiming what our faith was grounded in, and what exactly we believed.

When I was home recently I saw at our church the picture of my confirmation class. I scanned the rows of 85 confirmands and started to wonder what they're up to and how they are living out their faith. We know we are living in an increasingly pluralistic time, and I know I have a hard time finding 20 somethings at church on Sunday mornings.

So I started facebooking confirmation friends. And I have been asking them, with your most honest response, what would you write today. (I've also promised that the posts will be anonymous, unless they're ok with their first name being used.)

The truth is, I am a bit nervous for some of the replies, because I love my church and I really think we experienced solid teaching and great foundations for the faith. But my fear is in wondering what I'll find when I know my friends are likely to fit into statistics that are painful to acknowledge.

So here begins an occasional series of This-I-Believe-12-years-later papers, written by friends, honest and helpful.


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I am overwhelmed at the willingness of these friends from confirmation (many of whom I haven't really connected with in a decade) to write such thoughtful responses. Here is another from a friend with whom I share MANY great memories.

I believe in one God, who is present always in everything and everyone. God is Love; God is good; God Is and always will be.

I’ve always believed in God, but what cemented it for me as a thinking, reasoning kid (hormonal teen is maybe more accurate…:) was my experience in nature. Nature was a powerful connection for me. I remember watching a sunrise and thinking there just Has to be a God because this kind of beauty was Not an accident. I began noticing the beautiful colors of nature, and the sweet sound of the birds and spring peeper frogs. That moment was the start of a conscious awareness and knowing that our existence was not an accident. To this day when I see something beautiful I say a “Thank you God” to myself as a small prayer.

Growing up in our church was a wonderful, life shaping experience. I think it takes a village to raise loving, self-reliant, happy and spiritual kids, and I am so very thankful for the hours we all spent together at confirmation class, bible camp, church musicals, and lock-ins (boy I haven't that of those in years!) I wish that experience for every kid and especially every teen (the teen years are not easy!... then again the 20s have been a huge time of growth for me too! I can't wait for a breather… Bring on the 30s! :)

In the time since writing my “This I Believe” paper (which if I remember right had more questions than statements!) my beliefs have extended beyond the doctrine taught as a Lutheran. In college I studied many different religions and in the years following I looked into many religious centers and practices. After all the searching I discovered that the belief resonating truest for me is that all religions are spokes on the same wheel leading to the same God. It is my belief that Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, native religions, and indeed every religion that teaches of a power greater than ourselves refers to the same God. This belief led me to my current spiritual home of Unity Christianity, which is based on the teachings of traditional Christianity which feels like home for me but it’s also inclusive of all religions.

In sum, the foundation instilled in me at a young age about the goodness of God is still with me today, and while the doctrine I currently follow is slightly different I am so thankful for all the time spent in our church as a young-er kid.

1 comment:

Beth said...

I'm enjoying this series.