We trekked to Fargo/Moorhead area last weekend to help out at the Churches United shelter, community outreach center and thrift store.
Part of our trip was to go shopping on a budget, to see how many items they could purchase with only so many dollars. I had fun talking them through how to choose what would be better purchases with limited money (and can’t go over).
But it was also a fun time eating, spending several hours cruising around in style (gotta love the TCM van) and stopping to take a picture on an old bridge just outside of Hannaford.
One of the biggest challenge for any leader is to keep people active and interested.
This month for confirmation we learned about the three religions that all claim Abraham as the first follower of God: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These three are old, began in the Middle East, and all trace their heritage to the one God that Abraham worshipped (and people still worship today).
And of course, what learning about Abrahamic religions is complete without singing and dancing to “Father Abraham”?
Proof of their dancing:
And here is the good looking bunch of students with the volunteer guides:
Some of the confirmation students and TCM adults trekked out to visit Dakotah Oyate, the ELCA congregation where Pastor Larry cares for members of the Spirit Lake Nation.
We drove around to tour the area, seeing some of the history of important buildings and the sacred locations (like where they celebrate the Sundance ceremony, partake in sweat lodge, and travel for a vision quest).
In the afternoon, Larry and his wife Darla shared stories with us: how the Dakota people came to be in this part of the country (since they originated in the Wisconsin area), what were some significant events in history that shaped their culture today, how they walk between two worlds as they try to remember who they are as Dakota and yet also as Christians, and what are some common myths that lead to a lot of fear and misunderstanding.
The following video is a compilation of 1.5 hrs of lecture and storytelling that I edited down to 25 min. The edit pulls together the themes of what was discussed to help give our confirmation students who missed the trip a chance to hear at least some of what we learned.
Disclaimer – It’s not the best quality for two main reasons: the background noise is the air conditioner running and I’m not good at holding a camcorder for that long of time, so there are times when I didn’t realize what I was filming…
(for those curious folks out there)
We have had two gathering times (4 if you count the makeup sessions). I’ll refer to them as “rounds” in this post
Round One: Intro
– Why confirmation?
– Significance of being baptized into community, church, God’s family
Round Two of Confirmation: Prayer
– What is prayer? Why do we pray?
– Psalms (Mad, Sad, Glad)
– Luther on the Lord’s Prayer (Luther’s Small Catechism)
– Music as prayer
During “Round Two” I had the kids write out three types of prayers: what makes them mad, sad and glad
– We burned what makes us mad (let anger burn up)
– We put our sad prayers in the water of the baptismal font (written with washable markers so the words disappeared)
– We laid what makes us glad either on the baptismal font or the altar
Our mad prayers are burning