Perhaps you wish to deepen, broaden, and strengthen your understanding of and commitment to the Episcopal Church? If so, let’s come together, eat together, talk together, question together, pray together, listen to one another, and learn together as we respond to God’s invitation to grow in faith, hope, and love.
At the completion of our time together, you will have an opportunity to:
Be Baptized and welcomed into the household of God and be sealed by the Holy Spirit
Confirm publicly your baptismal vows made for you when you were an infant
Reaffirm your commitment of ministry to Christ’s Church
Recognized as a member of the one, holy catholic and apostolic Church
Received into the fellowship of the Episcopal Communion.
"5 Conversations" in preparation for Bishop’s visit will be offered. Reading materials and texts will be provided:
Celebration of Confirmation(promises) and Who We Are (Identity)
Deeds and Creeds (The Nicene Creed)
Liturgy and Sacraments
Holy Scripture and the Book of Common Prayer
Mission and Ministry
Vigil Prayer service in the Saint Stephen's Episcopal Chapel followed by Confirmation Dinner with the Bishop in McArthur Hall. Adult candidates are invited to participate.
Baptism is the ancient entry rite into the Church, which is also called “the Body of Christ.” In baptism, we affirm that we belong to the God who is made known to us in Jesus, and we promise (or, if we are infants or very young children, promises are made on our behalf) to live our lives in accordance with this deepest truth about who we are and whose we are. Confirmation in the Episcopal Church is a sacramental rite in which a baptized person makes a mature and public affirmation of the promises that are usually made at baptism by parents and godparents. After making these affirmations, a bishop in apostolic succession lays hands on the candidate and prays a prayer of confirmation. (See the Book of Common Prayer pages 301 and following)
In some dioceses, reception is reserved for those who have already been confirmed in another denomination by a bishop in apostolic succession (such as Roman Catholics or Orthodox). A more widely accepted understanding of reception is that it is a way of honoring anyone who has made a mature confession of faith in any other denomination by saying, in effect, we recognize and honor your spiritual journey in another fellowship, and we welcome you into the fellowship of the Episcopal Church, as you continue that journey. The bishop lays hands on the person being received and says, “We recognize you as a member of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church, and we receive you into the fellowship of this Communion” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 418).
Reaffirmation is for people who have already been confirmed in the Episcopal Church. Some people presented to the bishop during the service of Confirmation are there to “reaffirm” their Christian vows. These might be people who have been away from the church for a period of time and want to make a new beginning. Others might be people who sense that they are at a new stage in their spiritual life and want to affirm this in ritual. Periodically, a spouse, fiancé or parent who is already a confirmed Episcopalian will go through reaffirmation as a way of honoring his or her family member's decision to become a confirmed Episcopalian, saying in effect, “We are in this together.” We all go through many changes in our life’s journey, and reaffirmation provides a rite for those who want to take stock of their religious and spiritual life anew.
Apostolic succession is the teaching that those who have been consecrated (ordained) as bishops represent a direct, uninterrupted line of continuity from the Apostles of Jesus Christ. This teaching confers upon such bishops the authority to confirm church members, ordain clergy (including those newly elected as bishops), and exercise authority in their dioceses. The Episcopal Church is now in full communion with the Lutheran Church. Confirmed members would be “received.”