Confirmation is a one-time opportunity for those who have already been baptized (either as an adult or infant) to celebrate & confirm God's work in their life and be strengthened by the Spirit to follow their God-given calling. It is, in a sense, an "ordination of the people."
On Nov. 2nd, 11 people were confirmed at Church of the Advent. Each confirmand participated in a month-long class rooted in the fundamentals of the faith, reflected on the work of God in their life, and met with a pastor to discern their gifts and personal calling from God (“vocation”). A glimpse of the fruit of this preparation is below.
May these testimonies encourage you in your own walk with God: God is working!
Since I came to know God in my early childhood, He has affirmed in my life the truth of His presence, the goodness of His ways, and the unending grace of His love. God has shown me His incomparable peace in an uncertain and ever-shifting world, and has grown my faith in His will for me. He continues to reveal the joy that comes from a life lived in faithful communion with Him, and has reignited the desire to know Him deeply and to share His transformative work with those around me.
Bethany approaches life as a contemplative, seeking to engage people, ideas and God deeply and meaningfully. She expresses her heart for marginalized people and her passion for language and communication in her career as a speech therapist (a source of much joy!). She loves to take care of people in creative ways, and hopes this may involve being a mom one day as well. Pray for Bethany as she continues to weave her gifts of discernment, mercy, and teaching together with these skills and passions to love and honor Jesus. – Pastor Rob
My faith has been strongly reinforced by family and friends throughout my life; however, my faith life has endured seasons with varying degrees of conviction and varying emphases within our Christian tradition. Throughout college I grew in my appreciation of God’s heart for the oppressed, non-violence, and in the understanding that Jesus’ incarnation affirms the beauty and centrality of the material world, including human bodies. Together these principles have impacted my desire to serve and support marginalized populations through medicine. More recently, I have mostly experienced intimacy with God through this church community and in contemplative practices, and I have regained a deeper sense of trust in God’s goodness and faithfulness.
Josh Bailey’s faith and ministry are deeply rooted in the compassion of Christ. The oppressed and marginalized are a constant burden on Josh’s heart, and he senses God asking him to devote his life to serving “the least of these” through a career as a medical doctor. Josh’s vocation also goes beyond outward healing: his heart yearns for reconciliation, wholeness, and “shalom” in relationships between those who would naturally be strangers in this world. Pray for Josh as he discerns the next steps after medical school, seeks God more deeply through prayer, and journeys into his call with his wife, Bethany. – Pastor Ken
Since my baptism in 2007, God has brought me face to face in new ways with the depth of my own brokenness and the vastness of His grace. He has walked me through many seasons, including the loss of relationships and the gain of sweet community, dark months of depression followed by months of healing and joy, and a period of doubt while considering a different faith, which was eventually replaced by a rooted confidence in the Christian God as revealed by the Bible. Through these experiences, He has been teaching me the difference between merely understanding who He is and actually being in a dynamic, intimate, and exhilarating relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ. I have come to personally know Him as a faithful, loving, and merciful Father as He has spoken truth into the lies I have believed, as He has exposed and healed sin patterns and wounds, and as He has been patiently teaching me how to simultaneously carry my cross and rest under his light and easy yoke.
One thing Bekah is confident of is her calling to intentional relational ministry. Currently she lives and works at Providence House, a community of recovering addicts. She has a deep sense of God’s calling to this type of ministry. The specifics of how God will continue to lead are not immediately obvious to Bekah, but at this point her vocation seems to be entering into relationships with the profoundly broken who are out of resources and pushed to the margins of society. Pray for Bekah as she listens for and obeys Christ’s call. – Deacon Cindy
Since baptism at 15, God has taken me from a broken home and given me a faithful family in my own home and church. He healed me not only from lymphoma cancer at 26, but from emotional wounds and misconceptions that came from my past. In these past 18 years, He has used me and my story here and abroad to teach His Word, lead others to Christ, and also to write and perform dramas and dance to impact others toward Him.
Christina is called to teach the Word and languages. The Lord is using this vocational calling to allow her to influence students with the Gospel and expose them to Kingdom principles for living. Her call also includes a desire for the global mission field for her future. Christina envisions her vocational calling to teach as an avenue to share the Gospel abroad. Pray for Christina and Jason as they discern next steps together. – Deacon Cindy
Growing up in a Christian home and being baptized at a young age, much of my life has been post-baptism. As a teenager, I made a deep commitment to Christ at a youth camp worship service and God has kept me close ever since. As an adult, I've been on a journey toward authentic and free faith that is true to the Gospel, as well as discerning my unique call to serve the Kingdom. This has been primarily through biblical studies (seminary included) and the "iron sharpens iron" of marriage and parenting, but also a personal renaissance of creativity in recent years.
Highly adaptable and flexible, Jason employs his positive, joyful spirit to bring people together, usually around humor (laughter ensues whenever Jason is around). He also utilizes his broad base of skills (graphic design, videography, web design, and programming among others) to enable others to do whatever they do with greater excellence and beauty. A man with a servant’s heart, he deeply enjoys helping other people’s vision come to fruition. Pray for Jason as he seeks to take more risks in life so as to invest in the kingdom of God through the creative arts. – Pastor Rob
I grew up in a loving home with a very strong and dedicated Christian mother and supportive and loyal father. I had a very powerful and emotional encounter with Christ and asked him to be my savior in my middle school years. In high school and college I decided I knew better than everyone else, including my Heavenly Father, and walked on my own for several years; yet always had a stirring in my heart to be back close to my Father. In 2009, I moved to Colorado and through the support of an incredibly loving Christian man and a faithful church community, my relationship with God has been restored, and I have been growing in his likeness ever since.
Danielle combines an empathetic heart with an analytic mind in beautiful ways. She is usually on the go, working hard at her job as a Nurse Practitioner, at church as a Small Group Leader, or at home as a wife and new mom. She feels a deep longing to nurture and guide people in their spiritual journey. Pray for Danielle as she explores how she might utilize her gifts of hospitality, service, leadership and teaching even more effectively in the coming years, perhaps in a pastoral role working with youth. – Pastor Rob
I was baptized as an infant by my great-grandfather and later made the decision to follow Christ as a result of involvement in Young Life during high school. The Lord has taken me on quite the adventure ever since: I have been stretched, lead, and taught in ways beyond what I ever imagined. I’m redeemed and forgiven, I’ve been given grace and mercy, and I am learning to give to others. Since being married to Danielle and John Pierce, I’ve seen God in new ways and understood his love from an entirely different perspective.
Thomas Elliott reflects God in the world through a genuine welcome and a desire to pour his life into others. Whether at work, with his family, or tutoring at-risk children, Thomas demonstrates deep care for those around him and tries to find ways to help others realize their full potential. He relishes the meaningful conversations that come from working alongside other men in the construction industry, and he finds deep satisfaction in spending time with his wife and infant son. Pray for Thomas as he learns to become the pray-er, husband, father, and worker that God has made him to be. – Pastor Ken
In the last few years, I have experienced some deep struggles and have felt lonely not being able to 'see' God as I once had. Yet God is showing me a broader picture of his faithful presence during times when I have doubted that he even remembers or cares for me. Through some difficult pain and suffering, God has continued to bring me inner healing, leading me to live more fully into his grace and love, which is good news to a guy who has lived with a deep-seeded drive to 'be' good enough to be loved. God is slowly breaking down my fears and self-reliance, leading me to be loved by him, and to love him and others.
John Knippa most clearly senses he is a channel of God’s blessing when his hands are getting dirty, either in tangible service or in life-on-life ministry. As a carpenter, John longs to not only frame houses, but to use his gifts to serve the needy and provide mentored training to carpenters just entering the business. In his volunteer work, John is journeying towards a vocation of service to those who are hurting, left out, or lonely by building meaningful relationships and blessing them in tangible ways. Pray for John as he asks God to bring these passions together over the coming years in new and transformative ways. – Pastor Ken
In my adult life, God's journey with me has been about moving from a place of "supposed to" and fear of what others may think to a place of freedom to be the unique person He made me to be. I'm learning to express more honesty, generosity, and openness. It's still a work in progress, but I'm seeing God work through His grace, rest, and gift of “life with abandon.” I look forward in faith to the future.
Sara’s gift of discernment is evident in her vocational calling as a wife, in her workplace, and in relationships. Her calling to be John’s wife is to be both supportive and encouraging. Her calling in the workplace is to serve others as a coach and mentor, helping them to determine and move in the direction they are to go. As a friend, Sara is a compassionate listener and faithful guide. Pray for Sara as she embarks on a season of listening to God in order to know his will for her more deeply. – Deacon Cindy
Saved from a young age, I grew up in the church with high school and college being especially formative as I encountered God through worship, missions, and Godly mentors. Looking over my journey of ups and downs, I overwhelmingly identify with the psalmist who says, "where can I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to the heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! ...[if I] dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me" (Psalm 139). He has lead and sustained me even through times of darkness, and shown Himself to be my Comforter, Deliverer, Healer, Provider, Savior and truly a "love that will not let me go." I seek to have a willing and open heart to follow where He leads next and always.
Danielle has a tender heart for God and for people. This is powerfully expressed through her career as a nurse, her joy in worship, and her investment in her family. She has a passion for women’s health, a gift for hospitality, and creative skills in problem solving. Please pray for Danielle as she explores the possibility of bringing these gifts and passions together in a new way, either at home or abroad. – Pastor Rob
I am grateful to my parents who set me forward on my lifelong journey of faith. Now, I know the journey has become my own. As I reflect on the miles behind me, I am grateful to God for upholding me in thick forests of doubt and for leading me to gilded peaks offering glimpses of heaven. I feel blessed to know more fully who I am. And, I am thankful for the traveling companions he has given me: a loving wife, a joyful daughter, and a thriving community. With confirmation, I raise an Ebenezer of gratitude to the steadfast God who sustains me, and I trust in Him to lead me wisely on the uncertain miles ahead.
Josh Williams experiences deep joy and fulfillment in moments of tender care and wondrous adventure: caring for small children as a pediatrician, traveling abroad with his wife Danielle, or rocking his daughter Eden to sleep. Josh has felt the lure of prestige and worldly success, but he feels God calling him to lead his family into a shared journey of mission, serving together in a way that allows his family – and his patients – to flourish. Pray for Josh as he discerns the next steps for life after medical residency and continues to listen for God’s call. – Pastor Ken