I'm back in the bathtub, hard at work on the revisions for Confirm not Conform Adult (henceforth CnC Adult, as my fingers are getting pruney).
When the Executive Director, Molly Darling, and I met to talk about the revisions for CnC Adult, we came up with these three underlying principles:
1. CnC Adult explores the basics. Many people in our churches have gaps in their basic knowledge of Scripture, church history, world religions, and spiritual practices. This is neither good nor bad; it just is. We want CnC Adult to be a program that allows adults to learn the basics they may have missed along the way without judgment, blame, or fear.
2. CnC Adult explores assumptions. We wanted to provide an opportunity for people to take a look at the assumptions they hold about what faith looks like -- or what they feel it ought to look like -- and where they got those messages from.
3. CnC Adult gives people tools to claim their own religious authority. We have seen that people in our churches tend to give away their authority to those who they think know best. We believe that with the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, your faith community, your heart, and your mind, people have all the tools they need to be theologians, contributing to the conversation of faith. CnC Adult encourages an active, rather than passive, faith.
Overall, we want CnC Adult to be a program that encourages adults to practice a faith characterized by authenticity, integrity, and intentionality.
But what's in it, you're asking? As it's shaping up now, CnC Adult will have 19 90-minute sessions grouped into one of 6 categories:
- and Anglicanism
As with Confirm not Conform, you can pick and choose from the lessons. Unlike the youth program, however, the adults do have homework as they explore things such as what is their history with the Bible, exploring how they spend their days, or creating a plan for their own funeral. We ask adults to explore different spiritual practices -- emphasizing that these are "spiritual practices," not "spiritual get-it-exactly-rightses." And we encourage people to ask the questions they may not have been able to ask before. Even if they don't find all the answers, they can be honest about the questions, knowing they are not alone.
CnC Adult can be used for confirmation, baptismal preparation, retreats, Lenten programs, Adult forums -- you name it. Well, maybe it's not the best option for a wedding rehearsal, but you get the idea.
CnC Adult will be available later this fall -- assuming I can get this done. And so if you will excuse me, I need to run some more hot water and get back to work. We'll keep you posted.