The last five questions in our Baptismal Covenant begin with the words, “Will you.” One question reads, “Will you continue in the Apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?” On April 24th of next year our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Gregory Rickel, will visit St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, and we will renew our baptismal vows, answering each of these questions by saying, together, “I will with God’s help.”
After renewing our Baptism, you will have the opportunity to be confirmed, received into the Episcopal Church, or to reaffirm your faith. Each of these rituals is an answer to the question, “Will you…?” with the support of your community and the blessing of the Bishop.
The Bishop lays hands upon each one and says…
Confirmation is an adult profession of faith that is blessed by the laying on of hands by the Bishop. Reception is a ritual welcoming of adults who have been confirmed in other traditions and have now chosen to worship in the Episcopal Church. This too is witnessed and blessed by the Bishop. Reaffirmation is an opportunity to reaffirm your faith before your congregation and the Bishop. Those who wish to reaffirm their faith will also receive a blessing and the laying on of hands from the Bishop.
We will have confirmations and receptions at the Bishop’s next visit, and I would like to invite you to consider whether you would like to participate. If you have never been confirmed, this is an opportunity to make a deeper commitment to your walk with Christ. If you were confirmed in another tradition, consider being received into the Episcopal Church. And all of us are welcome to reaffirm our faith through Reaffirmation.
If any of these is of interest to you, please let me know. It may be appropriate for you to participate in one or more of the classes I am teaching this year on Basic Anglicanism, Basic Bible, Basic Christianity, and Basic Discipleship. I will be offering Basic Anglicanism, Life and Worship in the Episcopal Church again as an evening class in the near future.
Yours in Christ,