Confirmation at North Park Covenant Church is a high commitment, two-year journey for 7th and 8th grade students where we dig deeply into Scripture, into our questions, into spiritual practices, and into relationships with the goal of deepening our understanding of Christian faith and, most importantly, our commitment to following Jesus.
As with all things, COVID has changed our practice, but we are committed to meeting every Sunday at 12:30pm after church. We will be together personally with masks and distance as much as possible and meeting online when it is not. If you want more information or want to get involved, reach out to Pastor Jeff.
With this pandemic year, we’ve made a commitment to make five minutes of content available each week so that students who can’t make it for whatever reason can keep up with the big ideas and keep reading Scripture. And y’all asked for video. So you’re going to be seeing a lot of Pastor Jeff’s face…
5 Minute Confirmation Week 17: The Triumphal Entry
We did it! We met in person in a garage and it was kind of fantastic. It was also kind of cold which you’ll see evidence of in the hat I’m wearing in the above video. My brains hadn’t quite thawed out, so I kept my beanie on my noggin.
Today’s topic is the Triumphal entry and the events following that marked the beginning of the final entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem — what we’ve been calling Passion Week — and all the transpires at the beginning of the end.
Read Luke 19:28-48, our Gospel for the day, and join us!
5 Minute Confirmation Week 16: Why Did They Want to Kill Jesus?
Watch the Video: January 17th, 2020 Confirmation
Lot’s o’ learning for you today.
As we stand on the cusp of Passion Week, the last week of Jesus’ life and ministry, we took a moment to look back at the content we’ve covered so far. Take a minute and let yourself remember whatever you can from the conversations that we’ve had together so far.
The story for the day was from John 11:1-16 and it’s the first half of the story about the resurrection of Lazarus. And in this story, you see the tension that Jesus and the disciples face as they ponder going back towards Jerusalem and the explosive possibilities of being back in that space. The disciples, Thomas in particular, are sure that going to to Jerusalem means that Jesus will die.
So the question for us as we begin walking this final week with Jesus is this:
Why did they want to kill Jesus?
And it is a question I think is especially important for us to answer today, because far too often we assume we would be with Thomas heading with Jesus ready to ride or die. But if we could better understand why people following God as best as they knew how were ready to kill Jesus, maybe we could understand better the ways that we oppose the work that God is doing in the world.
5 Minute Confirmation Week 15: Checking in and Doodle Prayers
Watch the Video: January 10, 2020 Confirmation
We have made it through break. Or more accurately, we enjoyed break immensely and have made it through the first week back in school. Nice work, team. That’s a really hard transition and you’re doing well.
This week was mostly checking in and making some early plans for Garage Confirmation. Stay tuned on that one. I think it’s gonna be a winner.
The interesting part of this week (and the excuse for going over five minutes this time around) is a quick tutorial in doodle prayers. In this moment of raised anxiety, doodle prayers can be a most excellent way to help focus your mind in prayer and spend some good time with Jesus.
Give doodle praying a shot, and we’ll see you next week.
5 Minute Confirmation Week 14: Parables
Watch the Video: December 20, 2020 Confirmation
Gabe Johnson is the man!
He stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park as he invited us to crank up our imaginations and meet Jesus in the story telling world of the parables. When Jesus was teaching about the Kingdom of God and helping us to imagine what it is like and can be like to live in God’s way, he often told stories and when he told stories they often started like this:
The kingdom of God is like…
Check out the Bible Project video on the parables (and any of their other videos because there are consistently good)
Read the parables of the day from Luke 13:18-21.
And then fire up your imagination to create your own ending to this story: the kingdom of God is like…
5 Minute Confirmation Week 13: The Kingdom of God
Watch the Video: December 13, 2020 Confirmation
Today was a bit of a culmination week.
Way back in the beginning of the year, we started out pulling together our understanding of Jesus’ mission. This week we came back around to that question by looking at Jesus’ first sermons recorded in the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke).
And over the past few weeks, we’ve looked at both the Sermon on the Mount and the miracles of Jesus to see what Jesus spent his time doing and saying. These words and actions culminate in the message from these first sermons – calling people to repentance and declaring the good news of the Kingdom of God.
And for the first time in a while, we ended our time together pondering a connected but unexpected question that came up in our discussion. What is heaven? What have we been taught about heaven and what do we think about it?
Head on over to Bible Gateway to read our passages for the morning and lets dive in.
5 Minute Confirmation Week 12: It’s a Confirmation Miracle!
Watch the Video: December 6, 2020 Confirmation
We’re back at in and diving into content again today!
And, holy buckets, what content it is. Two of Jesus most famous miracle stories from the Gospel of Mark. And, y’all, if you do nothing else this week for confirmation, engage these stories and see what you find. What seems amazing? What seems troubling? And what do you do with stories like these?
And for a discussion question this week: Jesus’ miracles show us all waht we should be about — healing sick people, feeding hungry people, and rescuing people damaged by evil. What power do you have available to you to enter into this incredible story of God’s kingdom showing up in the here and now?
5 Minute Confirmation Week 11: Thanksgiving Hangout!
We gathered via the Zoom, but nothing to report here. Just a lovely conversation about how we are feeling about the truth of this whole Jesus thing, and the how we relate to miracle stories. Which you can hear a quick recap of in the Week 12 video.
5 Minute Confirmation Week 10: Watching Videos Because We’ve Got a Week Off!
Hey y’all. We’ve got a weird week because we have an all-church congregational meeting in our usual confirmation slot. So we’re going to do what any good class does when we can’t do things like normal.
We’re watching videos!!!
And because we sort of managed to skip past the moment after Jesus’ baptism when he started inviting (demanding?) people to follow him, it seems like a good opportunity to circle back and think about those stories where he invites people to come along for this crazy God’s kingdom on earth, taking up a cross and walking towards execution, full and abundant life that Jesus was always going on about.
So sit back and enjoy this blast from Pastor Jeff’s youth ministry days, a Nooma video named “Dust.” And, yes, this is totally my prayer for you too. I hope you get covered in the dust of your rabbi’s travels.
Head over to YouTube: Watch “Nooma:Dust”
5 Minute Confirmation Week 9: Sermon on the Mount
Watch the Video: November 15. 2020 Confirmation
Today, the Gospel of Matthew invites us to hang out with Jesus, the Teacher of Israel, for our very own Masterclass. Over the course of three chapters, Matthew walks us up the mountainside and invites us to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn what this whole life in the kingdom is about.
There is no better way to get a sense of what Jesus wants to teach us than to actually open up the Bible and see what Jesus has to say that to open up our Bibles and skip through the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7.
Our two big questions for the day are these: 1) Do you like the way that Jesus describes what full human life in the kingdom looks like? And 2) is it possible to live this way?
5 Minute Confirmation Week 8: John 3:16
Watch the Video: November 8, 2020 Confirmation
Today we jumped into what is perhaps the most famous Bible passage in the world! It’s one you might have memorized! “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have have everlasting life.” Or something like that.
The learning for our day was to be readers who learn to care about and prioritize context. So we looked at the whole story of Jesus and Nicodemus from John chapter 3 to see where this verse comes from and how we can understand it better.
Open up the Bible passage of John 2:23-3:21 and lets get to it!
5 Minute Confirmation Week 7: Jesus Gets Baptized
Watch the Video: Nov 1, 2020 5 Minute Confirmation
Do you remember that time when Jesus got baptized?!? So do each of the Gospel writers! This moment of Jesus’ baptism was important enough that each Gospel writer captured the story and each of them put their own spin on it.
Because it so interesting to see how each Gospel tells the story we broke out a new tool and read the story of the baptism from the Kurt Aland Synopsis of the Four Gospels.
After that it was a speedy and dense blitz through the story, the idea and practice of sacrament, and the way we get caught up in this deluge of God’s grace. But you’ll have to watch the video for all goodness.
5 Minute Confirmation Week 6: 12 Year Old Jesus
Watch the Video: Oct 25, 2020 5 Minute Confirmation
This week we picked up the mind-blowing understanding of Jesus that is central to our faith — Jesus is both fully God and fully human.
And we look at this big theological idea by digging into one small story from the Gospel according to Luke. It is the story of 12 year old Jesus, and I don’t want to put any weird pressure on things but it is one of my favorite gospel stories and you can only find it in Luke. I’ll read you the story in the video, and you can head over to Bible Gateway to read it for yourself.
Also, we did the quiz! Head over to do the google form quiz and take a shot at it. If you give it an attempt this week, I’ll personally deliver a candy bar as a way of encouraging you to keep investing and learning this most important of content.
5 Minute Confirmation Week 5: Gospel Animals
Watch the Video: 0ct 18, 2020 5 Minute Confirmation
This week we dipped into church history to pull out the images that have been used to help us image each Gospel as a unique and interesting way to tell the story of Jesus.
Jump in with us and learn about why the church has invited us to imagine these Gospels with Matthew as the Human, Mark as the Lion, Luke as the Ox, and John as the Eagle.
Also, get ready! Next week is going to be the first ever (or at least in a very, very long time) NPCC Confirmation Quiz. I’ll ask a couple questions from each of the first four weeks of content as a way to encourage us to dig a little deeper and an excuse for eating candy which will be your reward for putting forward a decent showing on the quiz.
5 Minute Confirmation Week 4: Reading the All the Chapter Ones
Watch the Video: Oct 11, 2020 5 Minute Confirmation
This week we ran into the “how does Jeff make a video when the whole class consisted of reading the Bible and talking about it?” question for the first time.
Well, there is a video so you can see how you think I did.
And you should read your Bible too! Head over to Bible Gateway and read the chapter ones from each gospel. To be honest we only made it through about 20 verses of each chapter one in Confirmation. In the video we only make it through about 3. But this is a really fruitful exercise and worth reading as many verses of each chapter as you can.
Questions for the Day:
- What similarities do you see between the first chapters of each Gospel?
- What differences do you see?
- On the whole, do you think the similarites are stronger? Or are the differences stronger? Why?
5 Minute Confirmation Week 3: Gospel Setting
Watch the Video: Oct 4, 2020 5 Minute Confirmation
This week we continued doing our background work as we prepared to read the Gospels well. Today we dug into the setting for the gospels and had a crash course in the contours of Jewish life in Israel in the 1st century. We looked some of the similarities and differences in daily life, religious life, and political life.
Over at Bible Gateway you can see our readings for the day where Matthew talks about the way the contours of daily life, political realities, and religious commitments all smash up in one exciting and heart breaking escape story following Jesus’ birth.
Questions for the day:
- What is one specific way that your life is similar to people who lived during the time of Jesus
- What is one specific way that your life is different?
- How should those similarities and differences impact the way that we read the Gospels?
5 Minute Confirmation Week 2: Gospel Genre
This week we spent preparing to read the Gospels well (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) by asking what things do we need to know before we start reading. Today we ponder the genre of the Gospels, how knowing what kind of a book we are reading helps us be better reads, and whether we can call the Gospels trustworthy books.
Over at Bible Gateway you can see our readings for the day where Luke and John describe to us why they wrote their Gospels and how they want us to understand them.
Question for the Day:
- Based on what you know already, how would you define Jesus’ mission?