I Will, with God's Help Youth Journal: Episcopal Confirmation for Youth and Adults

Overview

Your turn!

This journal is for you—your map to the faith journey you’ve started by beginning the confirmation program I will, with God’s help. You’ll find lots of room to record your answers and your questions, your doubts and your decisions.

So what’s inside? Prayer, scripture study, things to do between sessions and even notes on the meaning of difficult words in The Book of Common Prayer. (How about “creed”? The word creed comes from the ...

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I Will With God's Help Youth Journal: Episcopal Confirmation for Youth and Adult

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Overview

Your turn!

This journal is for you—your map to the faith journey you’ve started by beginning the confirmation program I will, with God’s help. You’ll find lots of room to record your answers and your questions, your doubts and your decisions.

So what’s inside? Prayer, scripture study, things to do between sessions and even notes on the meaning of difficult words in The Book of Common Prayer. (How about “creed”? The word creed comes from the Latin credere, which means “What I put my heart and trust into.”) And now, open the book and begin the journey. It’s your turn!

Designed for use with sessions from the Leader’s Guide, I will, with God’s help: Episcopal Confirmation for Youth and Adults.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781889108742
  • Publisher: Church Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/28/2000
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Read an Excerpt

I will, with God's help

Youth Journal


By Mary Lee Wile

Church Publishing Incorporated

Copyright © 2011 Mary Lee Wile
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-889108-74-2


CHAPTER 1

Baptismal Covenant

Celebrant: Do you believe in God the Father?

People: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Celebrant: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?

People: I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Celebrant: Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?

People: I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Celebrant: Will you continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?

People: I will, with God's help.

Celebrant: Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?

People: I will, with God's help.

Celebrant: Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?

People: I will, with God's help.

Celebrant: Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?

People: I will, with God's help.

Celebrant: Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

People: I will, with God's help.


A Message for the Journey

In the space below, write down the words your leader will read to you from Paul's letter to the Romans. Read them daily as you undertake this journey; they are a powerful reminder of God's unbreakable, unshakable love for you.


Your Turn: "I Believe"

Celebrant: Do you believe in God the Father?

People: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Celebrant: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?

People: I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Celebrant: Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?

People: I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Read back over Paul's words that you copied during the first session. When Christians call these words "comforting," they don't mean "cozy."

Think about times in your life when you have felt God's love. Were any of these times hard times? Write about those times:

How did you know that God was with you, even during those hard times?

How do you know God's love now? How does God's love help you want to be confirmed?

Describe (or draw) the stone you selected.

Sit with the stone for a few minutes. What made you choose this particular stone? Does your stone "speak" to you? How? Are you and your stone alike in any ways? What ways?

Jesus is the chief cornerstone of the Church: the whole Church is built on Jesus. Each of us is like a "stone" in the Church, too—part of the building. Which piece of the "building are you? (As always, you can draw or write your response.)

Now think about your whole life. How do you live out your faith at home? At school? With your friends? At church? In the world?

Where do you put your heart and your trust?

Write down your "personal creed." (If you had time to do this during the first session, you can copy that creed here or even tape it in.)

How does your life show that you put your heart and trust into that creed?

Do you think that your creed will change as you leave home and join the adult world?

Draw again the three circles you drew during the session. Write again the three things that give balance, stability, and strength to your life:

Before the next session find advertisements or editorials that try to "sell" you something. Look for ways that people try to get you to believe in their ideas, or to buy their products. Can you find an ad or editorial that persuades you? Can you find one that seems silly or in bad taste? Can you find ones that seem to be aimed directly at teens? What do the ads and editorials aimed at teenagers want you to believe?

Write down what you find, or cut them out and paste them in here. (If they're too big, fold them up and tuck them in here. Bring all the ones you find to the next session.


A Prayer

from Austin Farrer:

God above me, Father from whence my being descends, on whom my existence hangs, to whom I turn up my face, to whom I stretch out my hands:

God beside me, God in a [hu]man like me, Jesus Christ in the world with me, whose hand lays hold of me, presenting me, with yourself, to God:

God within me, soul of my soul, root of my will, inexhaustible fountain, Holy [Spirit]:

Threefold Love, one in yourself, unite your forces in me,

come together in the citadel of my conquered heart. You have loved me with everlasting love. Teach me to care. Amen.


Sermon Notes

As you get ready for Confirmation, try to listen closely to sermons at Church. Can God speak to us through sermons? How?

Use this space to:

• write notes while you listen

• ask questions about what you heard

• write what you think the day after you've heard the sermon


Your Turn: Teaching and Fellowship, Bread and Prayers

Celebrant: Will you continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?

People: I will, with God's help.

As a way of "continuing in the apostles' fellowship," you'll bring home with you the name of another group member. Each session you'll get a different name. Session by session, write each new name in the space below, and pray for that person. Remember that a different person is praying for you between each session, too.

I will pray for:


Use your own prayer, or pray the following, speaking the name of whichever person you are responsible for at any given time:

O God, you prepared your disciples for the coming of your Spirit through the teaching of your Son Jesus Christ: Make the heart and mind of your servant _______________ ready to receive the blessing of the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Communal Psalm

Write down the verse you contributed to the communal psalm:

Write down other verses or phrases that you want to remember, or copy or tape in the whole psalm:

What brief story did you tell about yourself? Do you wish that you had said more? Do you wish you had told a different story? Write your stories and thoughts here.

What stories did other group members tell? (Remember that these stories are part of your "family stories," too. You, the other group members and all other Christians belong to one Christian household of faith.)

Who do you eat with? What are your daily meals like? Can you tell the story of one special meal that you remember?

Eat your words?! Words can feed our hearts, minds and souls—just as food can feed our bodies. Tell about some books or stories that were special to you as a little kid. Which book would you want every little kid in your community to read?

What books or stories are special to you now? Which book would you take to a desert island?

What's a favorite prayer? (If you don't think you actually have one, what could you write as a prayer of your own?

Begin to browse through The Book of Common Prayer on your own. Take some notes on what you find:

• What's something you never noticed before?

• What's something that catches your interest?

• What's something in the prayer book that you might use some day?

• Are there things in the prayer book you don't understand at all?

Get into the habit of spending time with the prayer book. The Book of Common Prayer is an important book for Episcopalians. It's also simply good "God talk."


Scripture Notes

As you get ready for Confirmation, you'll be reading one of the most beloved stories in Scripture: the Gospel according to St. Luke. Use a Bible that you like:

• a family Bible that carries the pleasing weight of family tradition.

• a beautiful Bible you enjoy looking at

• a paperback version you can write in: take notes, under line, highlight, etc.


Whichever Bible you choose, make sure to use a translation that you find easy to read.


As you read, use the following space to take "Notes and Quotes."

• Under "Notes," write down questions you have or comments you want to make during the session.

• Under "Quotes," write down passages that touch you in some way:

— passages that raise questions

— passages that speak to your heart

— passages that bother you or that put you off

— passages that you simply like


Because writing uses your hand as well as your eyes, you "own" those quotes you write out in deeper ways than when you just read the words. Try to have at least a couple of quoted passages to share with the group for each session.

Suggestion: Read aloud to yourself. This used to be common practice. (In ancient times, doctors would prescribe "reading" as light exercise! "You need to move around a little more, Joe Try some reading ...") By reading, speaking, hearing and then writing some of Luke, your body carries the memory of those words more deeply.


Before the next session ...

... on "Resist, Repent and Return," go thoughtfully through the following litany of penitence. It's taken from the Ash Wednesday service in The Book of Common Prayer, but your group will pray it together during the next session.

Read the litany slowly. We've given some definitions in the margins, to help explain words that might be unclear. As you read, think about your own particular temptations, weaknesses, failings, sins. Make some notes here in your journal.

At the session, you won't have to name specific sins. Just try to be aware of your own struggles, especially ones in which you feel weakest. In the blank spaces that follow each brief prayer, make notes about yourself as you think about the sins and hopes that are listed.


What does THIS mean?

From the "Litany of Penitence" in The Book of Common Prayer, pages 267-268.

We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.

We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit.

We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness: the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives.

Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people ...

Our anger at our own frustration, and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves ...

Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and our dishonesty in daily life and work ...

Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to commend the faith that is in us ...

Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done: for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty ...

For false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us ...

For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us ...


Your Turn: Resist, Repent and Return

Celebrant: Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?

People: I will, with Gods help.

A prayer to repeat in the face of temptation:

Suppose a visitor from another planet asked you, "What does the word evil mean? How could you answer?

In the session, how did you answer this: "How did you resist evil this week?"

Can you think of other times when you resisted evil?


Remember:

• to add the person for whom you are now responsible to your prayer list (page 16)

• to keep up with reading Luke (page 21)

• to listen carefully, prayerfully, to the sermon(s) you hear between sessions (page 15)


Think about the Parable of the Prodigal Son. You could read it again. (It begins at Luke 15:11.) Which person in the story do you feel the most like today?

• Do you feel more like the older brother who is angry and jealous?

• Do you feel more like the younger brother who blew it but realizes it?

• Do you feel more like the father who loves and accepts both his sons?


Think, too, about different times in your life:

• When have you acted like the hard-working, but judgmental and jealous older brother?

• When have you acted more like the younger brother?

• When have you acted more like the forgiving parent or friend?


Think about the experience of Reconciliation you shared in the last session: Think about the actual service as well as about setting fire to your list of sins. How did you feel about the whole process? Did you feel that it was mostly an intellectual exercise? a class requirement? a spiritual experience? s something else altogether?

On the next page, draw a road map of your own life, including those places where you have changed direction. (Remember: the word "repentance" literally means a "change of direction.")

Consider:

• what forks in the road are behind you

• who and what have helped you make important choices change direction, think about your roads and reasons

• what roads lie ahead


Try to be thoughtful and creative and honest as you map your life's journey. (If this task gets you thinking specifically about your spiritual journey, go ahead and begin filling those pages at the back of this book which are set aside for your spiritual journey.)

As you get ready to be confirmed, always keep in mind that Scripture isn't just filled with "old" stories, but it contains your stories. Our stories. Stories that tell us about all people, in all times and places.

For example, read or think about the story of the creation and fall in Genesis 2:4b–3:24. Think about the events:

• God makes man and woman and puts them in a beautiful garden. God wants them to live happily:

— with him

— with each other

— with themselves

— with all living things.

• God puts two trees in the middle of the garden.

• One tree is the tree of life. The man and the woman could eat from that tree, but they don't.

• God tells them that if they eat from the other tree, they will die. And they eat from it anyway.

• We call this the story of the Fall, because the man and the woman fall:

— from friendship with God into conflict with God

— from happiness into trouble

— from life into death

• The four kinds of relationships that had been easy for the man and the woman are now tough


Now ask yourself: what stories of mine are like this story?

The man and the woman chose not to eat from the tree of life. When have I turned down something good for myself?

The man and the woman ate from the tree, even though it would bring them death. When have I done something I knew would be bad for me?

The man and the woman hid from God. When have I felt distant from God?

The man and the woman feel shame about themselves When have I felt ashamed of myself?

The man and the woman fight with one another. When have I been hostile or unkind to others?

The man and the woman will have to struggle with creation. How do I contribute to the earth's problems? (Think about pollution, or diminishing resources.)

Be sure to keep up with the reading in Luke, but try to read other stories in the Bible, too. Begin to browse the Bible, along with The Book of Common Prayer. Let both books be companions on your journey.


Your Turn: Word and Example

Celebrant: Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?

People: I will, with God's help.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from I will, with God's help by Mary Lee Wile. Copyright © 2011 Mary Lee Wile. Excerpted by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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