Baptism, Confirmation, Reception, Reaffirmation
For adults and teens interested in becoming a member of St. Stephen's and who would like to learn more about the church, we offer the Discovery Class. This class is held several times a year in a one-day format and covers:
Life in the church community
For those who complete the Discovery Class, you may choose to participate in the sacrament of Confirmation, or the rites of Reception or Reaffirmation during an upcoming visit from the Bishop of the Diocese of West Texas.
Confirmation: a mature, public reaffirmation of the Christian faith and of the promises made at one's baptism. Confirmations performed in most other Christian traditions are considered valid in the Episcopal Church, so those confirmed in such a tradition who now wish to join the Episcopal Church do not need to be confirmed again.
Reception: an Episcopal Bishop receives the confirmed into the Episcopal Church.
Reaffirmation: a public reaffirmation of faith by those who have come to a new understanding of their faith or returned to the church after a long period of absence.
To register for the Discovery Class, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, March 6
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. CT
Discovery Class for adults led by Fr. Kevin Schubert
Discovery Class for teens led by Elisa Webster, Family & Youth Minister
Sunday, March 21
The Right Reverend David Reed, Bishop Diocesan, administers the sacrament of Confirmation and presides at the rites of Reception and Reaffirmation of Faith for those who completed the Discovery Class.
Quarterly Discovery Class for adults and teens
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.”