Grace Episcopal Church has suspended all in-person campus events, activities, and worship services until further notice. Please visit our Grace@Home page to see ways we are staying connected to one another, to Grace, and to God during the days ahead.
422 Brenau Avenue, Gainesville, GA 30501
For those who may be new to The Episcopal Church, a vital aspect of our life is the Sacrament of Confirmation. While “being confirmed” is not necessary to join the Episcopal Church, we strongly recommend it as the “mature affirmation of faith” that the Prayer Book describes it to be. Practically speaking, one must be confirmed to serve on the vestry; spiritually speaking, as a sacrament it is an outward sign of a conscious commitment to practice our discipleship as followers of Jesus in the Anglican tradition.
Youth and adults are regularly confirmed, making this choice for themselves to affirm their baptismal vows. For those who may have been confirmed in another denomination (Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, etc.) the Prayer Book provides for Reception, whereby one is formally received into The Episcopal Church, honoring the commitment one made in their previous denomination. So, when you are “received” your confirmation is honored. Everyone ends up in the same place, as it were.
I invite all those who are considering confirmation/reception to plan on the following opportunities for worship and formation as the vital pieces of their process. Rather than merely learning about our liturgy and prayer, I am approaching “Confirmation Class” in a different way this year. First, I ask that you contact me (email or 770-536-0126) and share your interest in being confirmed/received. Cheryl Kelley and I will establish contact with you and send you helpful information.
Second, I ask you to mark the following on your calendars. These times of worship and conversation will give you a glimpse of the Anglican Tradition in its local context here at Grace Church.
I encourage you to purchase a copy of the book Walk in Love: Episcopal Beliefs and Practices and begin reading that wonderful resource. For an online copy of the Catechism for The Episcopal Church, click here.
As well, I encourage you to consider attending an upcoming retreat in Sewanee, Tennessee January 30 to February 1, called Engaging Ministry: Practices of Prayer, Worship, and Community. This retreat, that I will lead with Kate Eaton, an artist and musician, will focus intently on the richness of prayer and spiritual formation, art and worship.
There will also be an opportunity for a four-day monastic retreat at Mepkin Abbey in Monck’s Corner, South Carolina, February 3 to 6. This will be a wonderful chance to immerse yourself in the richness of the monastic daily office as I lead a few days of reflection and prayer.
In addition, we will offer opportunities for classes on Sunday morning, including the class on the work of Thomas Merton that began November 17. This class is a great resource to learn more about the Christian tradition of prayer and contemplation.
Finally, mark Sunday, March 22 on your calendar as the date for the Confirmation service at The Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta.
So, a first step is to let Cheryl (email or 770-536-0126) and me (email or 770-536-0126) know you want to be confirmed/received. From there, mark the dates above on your calendar and commit to participating. I have no doubt that you will find the experience enriching.