“Round Maine with Bishop Lane” began in the fall of 2008 as a reflection on my Sunday travels. One of my hopes was that it would help us get to know one another better and that we would learn a little about what’s happening around the diocese.
Over time the purpose of the blog has expanded a bit. It now includes occasional sermons and other writings – opportunities for you to read what I think as well as see where I go. And I’ve begun to think that the Sunday-only focus leaves out other occasions of importance in the diocese.
So today I want to share a regional confirmation that took place on Thursday, May 16. There have a been a couple of regional confirmations this past year, and they help in two ways: first they bring together a large group of folks for a very festive service, and they make it possible for people to be presented for confirmation whose process of preparation doesn’t fit with a Sunday visit.
Candidates from St. Michael’s, Auburn, and St. Mark’s, Waterville, joined late Thursday afternoon for a brief time of rehearsal and conversation at St. Mark’s. The service followed immediately at 6 p.m. Steve Foote, interim rector at St. Mark’s, and Jim Lowe, interim rector at St. Michael’s, presented the candidates for baptism, confirmation and reception. The service included a grand procession to the font while we sang Thuma Mina a capella. There were better than a dozen candidates, and the choir of St. Mark’s led our singing and offered a fine anthem. Following the service, members of the two congregations shared a brief reception. Comments from the happy folk at the reception made it clear that this joint service was a meaningful and enjoyable event.
Regional confirmation is an alternative to Sunday confirmation that I’m happy to consider. While visitations are scheduled as much as two years in advance, special gatherings can be scheduled in a much shorter time frame. I know of at least one regional confirmation already scheduled for 2011. Please let me know if such an event is of interest to you.