To quote a favorite song from a favorite band, “this is my confirmation day.” Actually, it’s confirmation day for my entire family. This evening we will gather with other confirmands from our regional AMiA network and be formally received by Bishop Terrell Glenn with the laying on of hands.
This is a pretty dramatic step for a family whose Christian background has been outside the historic, creedal Church. But weary of a postmodern culture that no longer tangibly marks and celebrates anything, we felt this was the logical culmination of nearly five years of patient exploration of the Anglican tradition.
We just completed 12 weeks of study as confirmands at our little mission in Huntersville. Our pastor brought the study and examination to a climax this past Wednesday evening when he asked each of us to recount our experience of personal faith in the faith once delivered to the saints. There were no rehearsals. I was as eager to hear what my children had to say as he was. They were beautifully awkward and perfectly sincere. I pray they stay on the path.
What will be exceptionally precious this evening is that the former Episcopal minister who baptized our two youngest will also be there with confirmands from his fledgling mission in nearby Kannapolis. It will be good to see him again and talk about our journeys.
Happy as this time will be, it’s a stretch to say all is well within our network. Rumor has that three of the missions may soon be shutting down. The AMiA takes a Wild West approach to missions, each minister/evangelist sent into the by-ways as a lone prospector with a little grant money and not much else. Liturgical worship and hierarchical structure are hard sells in a culture hip to minimalism – and some of the AMiA missions have conformed to the culture. And frankly, this will be the first time we have laid eyes on Bishop Glenn, who is stretched thin.
But we’ve struck a nice balance at St. Jude’s. We have a pastor who wears the collar and a down vest when the heat isn’t working. It remains a place where old guys in neckties and young hipsters in jeans mingle seamlessly. And we’re glad to finally make a public, commemorative stand with our brethren.