After nearly 20 years without a confirmation service, members of St John’s Lutheran Church in tiny Buccleuch on South Australia’s Mallee Highway shared the joy as seven young people aged between 10 and 16 were confirmed in their faith earlier this year.
Not only was it the first confirmation class in a significant period for the congregation but also its first online confirmation class, due in part to COVID-19. While some students joined classes from their living rooms, others beamed in from other locations, including from a truck parked on a hill to receive a signal.
It wasn’t just locals who benefited from the online classes. Pastor Tony Traeger was contacted by a family from his previous parish, Katanning-Narrogin in Western Australia, who were looking for a confirmation class for their son, Steven. The students got to know each other well over the following months, with Steven contributing some healthy competition to online quizzes! When classes resumed in person, a laptop was set up at the table and named ‘Steven’, in honour of their classmate, who continued to attend from a distance.
Steven and his family travelled to SA to attend the confirmation service. It was an exciting time for all the students who were able to finally meet Steven.
Jasmine, Oscar, Charlotte, Archie, Steven, Bryce and Kallan were confirmed in the Christian faith by Pastor Tony during the service, joined by their church elders, teachers, families, friends and the wider church community.
A banner displayed at the service featured artworks that the students had completed during their classes on the theme of ‘what church means to me’. The artworks were gifted to the students to take home, a fitting memento of their journey and a time they will all remember as they continue their walk with Christ.
This story first appeared on the LCA SA-NT website under the title “‘Know no distance’ confirmation class”.
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