Here's one Youth Ministry book you need to add to your Summer Reading List
As we move into June, my hope is that you have added the new book from Sharon Ely Pearson, Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Theologies of Confirmation for the 21st Century, to your summer reading list.
This book helps meet the need that I sense among Youth Ministers to deeply consider the rite of Confirmation and bring meaning to it through their ministries and the wider faith community. Signed, Sealed, Delivered brings depth, history, thoughtfulness, truth-telling, creativity, and hope to this persistent sacrament that we can’t seem to fully grasp or agree upon.
An excerpt from Sharon’s recent blog post on Forma:
“Congregations across our Church continue to encourage adolescents to seek Confirmation. Some of this may be due to parental expectation, with the concern that if their children are not confirmed they will ‘leave the church’ or at least, ‘we should confirm them before they go.’ But in many cases it is the young people themselves who wish to take this step. The church’s understanding and articulation of confirmation can help inform how our young people will continue on their faith journey and become active, participating members of our congregations, as well as how the Church supports them.
By collecting relevant information in one place (as well as essays from respected theologians, bishops, clergy, and lay leaders in the Episcopal Church), along with a process for congregations and dioceses to have deep conversations about the meaning and role of confirmation, I hope this book will open up new ways for all our members—church leaders (lay and ordained), parents, and young people—to have such an authentic dialogue.”
Signed, Sealed, Delivered will help you broaden your understanding of and contemplate your own journey in Baptism and Confirmation. Clearly the Spirit is stirring Episcopalians in new directions and this book will certainly help us engage this forward movement as it takes up the who, why, when, where, and how of Confirmation. (For ongoing conversation, be sure to check out the ongoing conversation on the Confirming Episcopalians Facebook page.)
So, along with Signed, Sealed, Delivered, what is on your summer reading list?