What Is Confirmation?
The sacrament of Confirmation is a mature profession of one’s faith. While it is often undertaken separately from the sacrament of Holy Baptism, Confirmation is actually a reaffirmation of the baptismal rite and involves a public affirmation of faith and the laying on of hands by a Bishop. For those being baptized as a teenager or adult in the presence of a Bishop, Confirmation would take place as a part of the baptismal rite.
In order to be confirmed, one must attend the confirmation course, often called "Episcopal Church 101" at St. Paul’s. This takes place over several weeks and provides people with an opportunity to learn about everything from basic Christianity to Episcopal worship and the sacraments, from church history to polity and structure. The course considers the importance of the Bible and the Prayer Book in our common lives and is an opportunity for participants take a spiritual inventory to discern gifts for ministry. Finally, the course considers the Baptismal Covenant and how we are all called to Christian action and mission.
Who Can Attend?
The class is open to ALL—those who want to receive the sacrament of Confirmation; those wishing to be Received into the Church (already confirmed in another branch of the Christian Church); candidates for Reaffirmation (already confirmed in the Episcopal Church but wishing to reaffirm their faith); those who want a refresher course; and seekers and those who simply want to learn more about the Christian faith and the Episcopal way.
Traditionally in the Episcopal Church, Confirmation instruction took place during 7th or 8th grade. This is not as common today simply because twelve and thirteen years olds often were confirmed because their parents wanted them to be confirmed rather than because they personally sought to make a mature reaffirmation of their baptismal vows. So more often than not, youth in many congregations do not get confirmed until older (high school or college) or as adults.
At St. Paul’s, we will form a Confirmation class for teenagers (beginning in middle school or older) as there is desire on the part of the youth or for adults. We have, at times, had intergenerational Episcopal 101 classes. If a Bishop is not scheduled to visit St. Paul’s in a given year (2020 for example), we will either work to get on a Bishop’s schedule or work with Confirmands to find a nearby Church with a Bishop’s visitation where they can go to be confirmed. At times ,the Diocese schedules area confirmations as well.
If interested, please speak to the Rector.
The Rev. Kate Byrd
A native of Arlington, VA, Rev. Kate grew up at Christ Church in Alexandria, VA. As a cradle Episcopalian, Kate has a long-held love and appreciation for the Anglican Communion and our Episcopal traditions. A graduate of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA, she completed her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Sociology and soon after began her Masters of Divinity at Virginia Theological Seminary. During her first summer off from seminary, Kate worked at Camp Kanuga in Hendersonville, NC where she met her husband Drew. Kate and Drew’s family includes daughter Libbie, twins Thomas and Patrick, and their two dogs Sissy (Labra-doodle) and Radar (Shih Tzu Bichon). Since ordination in 2014, Kate has served in Lexington, KY at Christ Church Cathedral, Whitefish Bay, WI at Christ Church Episcopal, and Goldsboro, NC at St. Francis Church.
The Byrd’s moved to Smithfield in 2019 when Drew began a new position at Johnston Health. A native of Smithfield, Drew is passionate about his hometown, and the two feel blessed to raise their three children here. When he’s not at work you can find Drew at Health Quest, on the Parks and Rec board, riding his mower around their yard, or doing woodwork in his garage. In her spare time, you can find Kate on a run through Smithfield’s Greenway, practicing yoga with her toddler, working with the Junior Women’s League, or completing a craft project. All five Byrds, and their two dogs, enjoy hiking at the local parks, going out for ice cream, and soaking up the sun in their backyard. Kate is passionate about the Jesus Movement and sharing the love of God at St. Paul’s, in the community, and beyond.