Preparation for affirming baptism is a time, in keeping with our Lutheran tradition, when we help young people experience the Christian faith through worship, teaching, and building relationships with the faith community, the local church. This often begins in the 7th grade and is a time of intentional community and faith formation which builds to the service of Affirmation of Baptism and entry into adult membership. Each young person affirms his or her faith in Jesus Christ and their intent for continued service.
The Affirmation program is designed to involve youth in exciting and challenging interactions with each other and adults by speaking to issues that are relevant to their lives while assuring that biblical, distinctively Lutheran concepts and doctrines are learned.
In order to make this faith forming (discipling) process both an enjoyable and worthwhile experience, we will seek to:
Encourage young people to be in a “head-and-heart” relationship with Jesus Christ, which invites them to affirm their faith;
Develop relationships that will help to nurture the student’s faith, involve parents, and build relationships among the students by using small groups involving adults, high school mentors, and peers;
Balance a healthy emphasis on relationships and experiential learning through community, while applying age-appropriate biblical, catechetical and life application content
Everything in this program, in terms of requirements, recommendations, and curriculum, has been carefully chosen with these goals in mind.
“As you bring your children to receive the gift of baptism, you are entrusted with responsibilities: to live with them among God's faithful people, bring them to the word of God and the holy supper, teach them the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments, place in their hands the holy scriptures, and nurture them in faith and prayer, so that your children may learn to trust God, proclaim Christ through word and deed, care for others and the world God made, and work for justice and peace. Do you promise to help your children grow in the Christian faith and life?”
“Holy Baptism”, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, p. 228
Over the three-year program, students will:
Receive basic instruction in Luther’s Small Catechism,
Receive a Bible overview, and
Wrestle with questions of faith and how to live out their faith in daily living
The Core Curriculum will be taught in 7th and 8th grades as part of ZOE middle school youth nights.
In 9th grade, students attend and participate in NET high school nights, where teachings address issues in the teens’ lives and how faith impacts those issues.
Worship is central to the life of Christians. Students are encouraged to attend the worship services with their families each Sunday. Sundays often have many competing attentions, but worshiping with friends, family, and strangers is an integral part of faith formation. Students are encouraged to consider doing some of their service hours through involvement in worship and related areas.
requirements by year
7th & 8th grades
Attend at least 75% weekly ZOE middle school youth nights
(Mondays, 7-8:30 PM at Trinity)
Attend the ZOE Community Retreat (October 15-17, 2021)
Attend week-long Summer Camp (7th grade - Summer 2022)
Culture and Faith Overnighter
(8th grade - March 18-19, 2022)
25 hours of service each year
Attend at least 14 NETs
(Sundays 6-7:30 PM at Trinity)
Attend November retreat
(November 12-14, 2021)
Attend the high school Winter Retreat (January 28-30, 2022)
25 hours of service
Complete a specialty:
Worship, Service, or NET
(more info below)
10th grade or beyond
Final Interview with a pastor and student minister
Fulfill any remaining service hours
or attendance requirements
Choose a date for the Affirmation of Baptism ritual in worship
During each of the three years, Affirmation students need to do 25 hours of service (75 hours to complete the process). The purpose of service hours is to encourage students to apply their faith in ways that serve the church and others in the community.
Students may also create their own service project, but must get approval from David prior to the event. No more than 15 hours of a student’s yearly hours can be done doing any one type of service. Extra hours earned in one year may be carried over to the next year.
What counts as service?
Hours can not be counted when a student does a project that pays, earns a badge or provides more than the satisfaction of the experience. Hours cannot be given for coaching or assisting with a sports program unless it is ministry-based or working with under-privileged children. Hours do not count for service within one’s family.
Ideas for Serving
Throughout the year, there will be opportunities for service. There will be specially planned service events that students (and often their parents, too) can do. This website and the WAY Student Ministries Facebook page will usually contain details of those events. The following list includes specific and general types of service that can be done to earn service hours:
Be an acolyte, usher, etc. (1 hour per worship service)
Help with Vacation Bible School (Maximum of 12 hours )
Assist with Sunday Morning Children’s Ministry (Maximum of 15 hours)
Minister at a nursing home (per hour basis)
Participate in a church workday (per hour basis)
Participate in a community service (per hour basis)
Go on a Mission trip (9th+ graders only)
Tracking your hours
To get credit for service hours, each student will report their service hours on their yearly process form. Parents are encouraged to track and report service hours and be involved in as many of the hours of service with their student as possible. This is the best modeling, and makes service a family affair. You can find a copy of the form on the Forms & Resources page.
Why specialties? Affirmation of Faith/Baptism is really about working with families and the church community to form faith in students' lives.
Another value behind the Specialties comes from the knowledge that students find connection with God in different ways. For some, it's being a part of an intergenerational worship community, for others it's being involved in a peer faith community, and some find faith and connection with God through serving others.
During 9th grade/final year of the Affirmation process, in addition to other requirements, students complete one of three specialties:
Attend and track a minimum of 25 worship services attended September – June
Do an additional 25 hours of service beyond the required 75 hours, for 100 total hours
Attend an additional 20 NETs for a total of 34