Bible Passage: Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)
Confirmation Retreat at Lake Lucerne UMC Camp
I went to the Confirmation Retreat with three confirmands at Lake Lucerne UMC Camp in Neshkoro, WI. I was a little nervous and afraid before going to this retreat. One of the main reasons was because I had to leave my wife by herself. Her journey through pregnancy is going well, but I worry about if something unexpected were to happen to our baby during my absence because we don’t have any family members in the U.S. My second worry was that I needed to spend one night and two days with three energetic and active boys, which included 8 hours riding in the car with them. I know our confirmands were worried about spending all that time together, too.
This retreat had a challenging schedule. There were four hours and ten minutes of driving one way from St. Croix Falls to Neshkoro, and I needed to drive on unfamiliar roads during the evening, even though we left the church immediately after school. Our group was one that came to the retreat from the northernmost point of Wisconsin so we missed one session of the retreat.
However, God has worked perfectly and prepared everything beyond our concerns and thoughts. Pastor Ran was at home safely with our baby without any problems. On Saturday, she also presided over a funeral, in God’s hands, of a matriarch of the church. Our confirmands and I spent a good time in the car during our 8 hour trip with peace, fun, and joy. We grew closer in our relationships through the playing of basketball. I got a basketball nickname “the Recycle Man” from our youth. (I hope it is not a bad nickname.) In addition, our confirmands had a great opportunity to meet new Methodist friends from other UM churches. Finally, they learned and studied about Methodist history, mission, hymns, and connectionism as the body of Christ.
During the season of Lent, I want to ask you to pray every day, specifically for our next generation in the parish. Ephesians 6:4 encourages us to bring our children up in training and instruction of the Lord. What is our Christian duty and what do we hand over as an inheritance for our next generation? The clear answer is to nurture them with love in the body of Christ and hand down a faithful legacy like our parents did.
Praying for our children every day during Lent will be a meaningful step towards the nurturing of our next generation in faith. Again, thanks for the prayers and support for our parish confirmation class. Your prayers and support made our trip overflowing with the grace of God.