Youth Ministries

Just in Time: A Few Ideas for Graduation and Confirmation Gifts

November 6, 2014
Youth Ministries

Today my guest blogger is the Rev. Shannon Kelly, Christian Formation Consultant and Writer. She is a Contributor to Faith Formation Learning Exchange and is on the Board of Directors of Forma. Shannon is an adult participant on the Episcopal Youth Event Mission Planning Team and was the Chaplain for the recent General Convention Official Youth Presence.

“Call on Me” and “God of my Heart” are both excellent gifts for a variety of occasions; confirmation, graduation, and gratitude. I wish they had been available when I was in parish ministry, but you can rest assured that I am equipping my godchildren with them as they grow into appropriate ages. Watch for a blog from our other authors soon!

Gifts to Equip Young People on Their Faith Journey

This time of year, many of you may be wondering what you should give to a young person for a graduation gift or perhaps a confirmation gift.

Whenever people ask me that question, I always ask the question, “How do you feel you can equip them to continue their faith journey and forming them as disciples?” People want to give them something useful, something that they can come back to, something that will speak to them as young people.

This year, there are two books in particular that speak directly to youth on their journey of faith.

The first is God of My Heart: A Prayer Book for Youth, Second Edition by Connie Ruhlman and Shannon Kelly.  This book is filled with prayers that were written by teenagers, for teenagers.  They speak to the experiences and feelings youth have throughout their faith journeys.  The prayers are compiled by seasons with a topical index to help young people discover prayers that speak to life experiences.  Each section ends with resources, ideas, and suggestions for prayer in that season.  There is a section dedicated to using this book for teachers, leaders, and catechists.  The Rt. Rev. Brian Prior said, “I have been waiting: not years, but decades, for what God of My Heart provides!  This well laid-out, very accessible resource has broad application and has the potential to be a staple in every congregation, Episcopal School, and camp. I envision using it with both young people and adults.”

The second book is Call on Me, written by Jenifer Gamber and Sharon Pearson. This Episcopal prayer book for young people offers prayers rooted in the Book of Common Prayer and focuses on common prayer, kinds of prayer, and personal prayer.  It helps youth give words to celebrate achievements and address concerns that they face throughout their lives.  The Rt. Rev. Frank Griswold said, “As a young seeker, my spiritual awareness was in many ways shaped and expanded by a small book of prayers and spiritual practices given to me at Confirmation.  It is my hope that Call on Me will play a similar role as a resource and guide for young people in our own day.”

Both of these books can be found at Church Publishing and on Amazon.

Finally, there is always the gift of a Bible to help youth continue to meditate on God’s word.  I would suggest the Common English Bible, which is a new translation of the Bible that makes the Bible more accessible by using common language and gives you a more natural reading experience. It was worked on by over 120 scholars from all over the world, representing a wide variety of cultures and communities. It was adopted by General Convention 2012 as one of the approved translations to use in church. The Daily Companion version of the Common English Bible gives you devotional commentary, reflection space, thematic index, and a variety of reading plans you can follow. You can read more about the CEB here.

Do you have ideas for graduation or confirmation gifts? Share them in the comments below.

Filed under: Gifts

Canon Myra Garnes

Officer for Youth Ministries

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