Faith Walk started in my first job at Bethlehem Lutheran Church – Twin Cities when I was Director of Children’s Ministries. I can’t take credit for it nor do I remember how it got started, but my then colleague now friend, Mandy Bond, probably remembers the history. Now as the Family Pastor, I love being part of Faith Walk, and it is a lovely thing to do with confirmands before the Affirmation of Baptism service.
So what is Faith Walk? Well, it’s a blessing service for students. Here is the bulletin from last year and below I walk through the stations:
At Bethlehem, we celebrate Faith Walk on the Wednesday before Reformation Sunday. This year it will be on Wednesday, October 26 at 6:30 pm. We cancel confirmation and other youth classes that night, so it will be quiet and meditative in the building. Here is what we do:
- Students and their parents/ caregivers arrive, and the first thing they do is pick up a cross necklace. As they enter the sanctuary, they receive a bulletin and a card that says “Believe, Wonder, Lament, Celebrate.”
- We make time right at the beginning of the service for people to fill out the cards on What do people believe about their faith? What do they wonder about? What do they lament? What do they celebrate?
- After the poem, prayers, and reading, there is a 6-8 minute reflection or sermonette!
- And then, we invite students and their families to come forward. There are six interactive stations that move from the side, baptismal candle, pulpit, altar, lectern, and side that people move through. At each station, students hand the cross necklace to the station blesser, and the blesser uses the cross to mark the blessing. Sometimes there is an interactive piece to do besides the blessing.
- Check it out the stations:
Side Station #1. Students are invited to think about all the things that hands do: wave, clap, high five, but they can also hit, punch, and hurt, so we bless the hands: “That God’s mercy may be known in your work, receive the + cross on your hands.”
Baptismal Candle Station #2. Students and parents are invited to tape tape their “Believe, Wonder, Lament, Celebrate” cards to a door (after all, it is Reformation Sunday coming up!), and then we bless the heart: “That God may dwell within you by faith, receive the + cross on your heart.”
Pulpit Station #3. Students read their favorite Bible verse, so then we bless the lips: “That you may sing the praise of Christ, the joy of the church, receive the + cross on your lips.”
Altar Station #4. Students light a candle and place it on the altar, and so we bless the eyes: “That you may see the light of Christ illuminating your way, receive the + cross on your eyes.”
Lectern Station #5. Students are invited to write their name in the sand box, and so we bless the feet: “That you may continue to walk Christ’s path, receive the + cross on your feet.”
Side Station #6. We bless: “That you may hear the gospel of Christ, the word of life, receive the + cross on your ears.” Parents place the cross around their student’s neck.
We close our time together in prayer, and of course, cookies.