We are a blessed church in that so many young people have joined in the last few years. I was surprised on Sunday, June 22, when we had a good worship attendance, yet there were only three among us, who were already members in 2000 when Susan and I came. Currently, we have another three young people in our New Member Class. It is just wonderful.
If you, Dear Reader, have not already done so, please make sure to welcome our youngest active member, Devon Wade. Devon was confirmed on June 8, Pentecost Sunday. I include his Statement of Faith below, because it reflects so much interest and understanding. The confirmation process has really shown itself to be indispensible for good religious instruction. Bravo, Devon, and Bravo, First Reformed Church!
May you all have a most blessed summer!
With fond wishes, Pastor Hartmut
Confirmation Class 2013/14
Statement of Faith by Devon Kraig Wade
At my Nana’s wake I was a believer of God. When I felt the presence with me at the wake everyone was down and sad. Yet I knew that Nana was with God and was at rest. After feeling the presence of God I decided to be baptized and learn more about God.
God is the Almighty One, to whom we Christians pray. When Christian’s pray they usually do it for guidance or help. Not too often we pray to God for thanks. Rarely do we take the chance to personally listen and try to understand what God may say to us. Praying is a two way conversation that can let us talk to God and receive a sense of what God calls us for.
When Jesus was crucified Mary and Two other people stood by him in his final hour. Christians should stand by Jesus in his hour of grief. Likewise, Christians today should stand by victims of injustice, violence and oppression. This is how we confess. Confession is a way to give thanks to God and to let others know. This helps us become better Christians by giving us a chance to respond to our redemption.
About Christian Ethics:
In our session on Christian Ethics I heard of a woman during WWII, named Amélie. She was told to ring the church bells for Hitler just like all the other churches. Amélie decided to not ring the bells for Hitler for the bell should only ring for God. This decision caused her to be threatened by the people who wanted her to ring the bells for Hitler. This impressed me because of how strong hearted Amélie was and how she was able to do what she believed and only rang the bell for God. I hope that I could be like Amélie and, no matter what, never fall to the clutches of idolatry like the other churches did.
Inter-Faith in my life consists of having friends with different religions. I’m able to learn more about what their beliefs are in their religion. My religion is Christianity. It is grafted onto the tree of Judaism. Even though we are on the same tree we have different views on religion. Sometimes we can see eye to eye on things that enable us to coexist with each other with our different beliefs.
In my Confirmation classes I learned how to be a better Christian. Every lesson taught me more about my religion. One lesson I cherished was the lesson of our Church’s roots. I got to learn how our faith and tradition came to America and prospered over the years.