2017 Fall Confirmation Retreat Session 1

Who Are You?

the church declares to its members and to the world who and what it is, what it believes, and what it resolves to do


Students will articulate things they belong to that make them who they are

Students will learn one another’s names

Students will hear that their baptism means that they belong to God and are incorporated into God’s people, the church





Springboard                Concentric Circles (MBI p. 191)

Work                        Life Maps

Work                        We Belong To God

Mini lecture: The very first sentence of The Brief Statement of Faith is, “In life and in death we belong to God.” Think about that. The very first thing the authors wanted to say was not “we believe” this or that but that “we belong” to God. This is the most important thing about us: we belong to God. In all the other things we belong to, we belong to God.

Processing: are there things people belong to that can feel like they’re competing with God for time and attention?

The authors got this from the Heidelberg Catechism, another statement from the Presbyterian Book of Confessions. This one is old, from the 16th century. And it’s German. Do you know what a catechism is? (explain).

So ask me this question: “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” (have them repeat).

Answer: “That I am not my own, but belong--body and soul, in life and in death--to my faithful savior, Jesus Christ.”

Maybe do it again.

That is the very first question and answer of the catechism. It is one of the most important claims we make as Presbyterian Christians, that we are not our own, but belong to God.

Turn to the person on either side of you and tell them, “You belong to God.”

Processing: what about belonging to God sounds to you like good news? What about it sounds maybe not so good? (it might be nice to belong only to yourself).

But what about the church? Why does belonging to God mean belonging to church?

Baptism is the sign of our belonging, our incorporation, into the church, which is Christ’s body in the world. You belong to the church already. That is an important part of who you are, whether you identified the church as something you belong to or not, the church identifies you as one of its own, and God sees you as a member of God’s people in the church.