I've been blogging lately on the right rights of passage that are used that i think have soemthing to say about how we do missiology. when my foreftahers seperated themselves out from the Anglican Church they did so over the issue of infant baptism. In christendom - it meant that every one was baptized, and so had very little to say about conversion and the work of Christ. I satnd by my forefathers in that decission - it was an act of reformission, reforming the acts and sacraments for the church for the task of mission.
Today society has changed - christendom is not a concept that many understand and the need to seperate the 'in' from the 'out' is not as much of a need. but people still look to the Anglican and Catholic church to baptise infants, while this may help wiht getting kids into a better school. i suspect it is also a deeper yearning for connection - that somehow it just seems right. Given that this one of the rare opportunities when people not involved in the life of the Church come knocking on the churches dooe, i think there is a need to make the most of it, not just on the part of the pastor but the whole church too. It is a tremendous opportunity to proclaim good news.
At the moment i am doing some research on the rite of confirmation - this is as i understand it the time when the young person confirms the promises that the parents made on behalf of the child in infant baptism. But it seems to have becoem known as a gradaution right for many young people from the life of the Church. I think it has soem amazing possibilites but it does need to be reformed to undertake a process fo refromission.
When I was at a catholic school i went through this process - i think if a little more time and effort and expalnation had been put into it then i would not have seen it as a graduation ceremony for leaving the Church.
The down play of confirmation has been furher added to by according to one vicar i have spoken with through the dropping of it as a requirment for holding a lay office in the Church. While i don't think it should be the golden carrot to crank up enthusiasm - it needs to be considered as a neccesary aspect of adolescent development, a right of passage and the confirming of the work of God in a young persons life....
i tis an