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News & Announcements

Renewing and Reaffirming the Covenant

June 10, 2024

Associate Pastor Dorothy Boulton wrote in the Pentecost edition of The Messenger about this year’s confirmation journey.

Renewing and Reaffirming the Covenant

Youths standing in sanctuary with dove banner

Every second year, the 9th and 10th graders of Catonsville Presbyterian Church are invited to participate in the Confirmation/Commissioning journey. For several months, beginning in late winter and always ending on the moveable feast of Pentecost, our teens take the time to explore what it means to be an adult member of the church of Jesus Christ. Many of our youth have been baptized here—or elsewhere—as infants and young children so yes, they’ve always been a cherished part of our congregation. Yet now they have a chance to dive into their faith, ask questions, and discern whether this is the right moment for them to make a public affirmation of that faith, and enroll as an active adult member of this congregation.

Youth holds fresh bread with mentor
Annika and mentor Liz baked bread, praying for the congregation throughout the process.

In 2024, 8 of our youths did exactly that.  They did this, first of all, by choosing a member of the church to serve as a mentor. These pairs met several times: in large gatherings for lunch in January and a dinner in April, they attended worship together during Lent, and met in one-on-ones or small groups for discussion, conversation, and prayer throughout the early spring. Some mentors were able to participate alongside the youth as they engaged in service ministries. Assisted by energetic middle schoolers, the youth hosted our Souper Bowl of Caring luncheon in the Fellowship Hall. Money that was donated by our generous congregation provides the funds for CPC’s monthly food ministry at the local West Side Men’s Shelter. The confirmation youth even had a great time outdoors  with some of the mentors on a windy Saturday as they tidied up our church woodlands — the garden paths they mulched together look great!

Massanetta Springs

One of the new ventures this year was the participation of several of our teens in the first annual Confirmation Retreat which was held at Massanetta Springs Presbyterian Camp & Conference Center. The weekend adventure began with a three hour drive to Massanetta, Virginia where 200 youth from Maryland, DC, Virginia, and Pennsylvania gathered to dig into the Bible, Presbyterian government, the Confessions, some good food and even the ga-ga ball pit.  As you might imagine, it was lively and informative and a fantastic way to make connections with new friends and throughout our own CPC contingent.

Panorama of several hundred youth
Panorama of the Massanetta Confirmation Conference

Growing in Knowledge

Ken Kovacs led one of the gatherings here at CPC, helping the confirmation youth connect with our Presbyterian history and beliefs. Because of Luther’s conviction that the highest-quality translations of Scripture should be accessible to all, we presented Bibles to each youth that are so new and up-to-date (the New Revised Standard Version – Updated Edition) that even Ken and I don’t own a copy yet!

Youths standing with cardboard cutout of Martin Luther
Confirmands (plus Martin Luther!)

Walking alongside our youth on this journey is always a privilege and I am thankful to each of them for taking the time and energy—out of some very busy schedules!—to do this. We are grateful to all who chauffeured, organized, and reorganized activities, and made it possible for us to do this in such a meaningful and purposeful way. And we are certainly thankful to Rob Burriesci, Debbie Davis, Tom Enokian, Liz Fromm, Amadeus Guchhait, Bill Henderson, Jenny Hutton, and Megan Long who served as compassionate and supportive mentors. On Pentecost, May 19, we celebrated these youth’s journeys, affirming that it is Christ who calls these youth to follow, and Christ who commissions them to make a difference in the world that God so deeply loves. May the Spirit continue to lead them and companion them, giving them gifts and talents to serve with love, with grace, with all that these wonderful people of God are and will be.