On April 30th, the Confirmands and leaders gathered from parishes across the Diocese at the Cathedral for Confirmation preparation with Bishop John Stephens, Rev. Jessica Schaap and Lauren Odile Pinkney. This annual day creates a space for confirmands to get to know each other, get to know the Bishop, and summarize training in their own parishes.
The day began with refreshments and introductions followed by an icebreaker game challenging the group's knowledge on basic elements of Anglicanism. After this, both youth and adults alike had the opportunity to do a "fish bowl" question and answer with Bishop John to ask their burning questions. We then dipped back into these questions through-out the day. Next Rev. Jessica Schaap lead an embodied version of the Apostles Creed which had everyone, including Bishop John, kneeling face down on the floor, standing up and spinning around and miming out key parts of the Creed in a series of movements!
We then had a special section of our day where people from each parish brought water from their local area: water from the Capilano watershed, English Bay and Coquitlam. These were then mixed together and blessed by Jessica during her talk on baptism. Later on in the afternoon the groups split into two groups of youth and adults for a session on Spiritual gifts. The youth talk, lead by Lauren, included a spiritual gifts inventory work sheet and a talk around all the ways we can give back to the world, as well as our responsibility as people of faith. Her talk ended with giving each youth a bottle of bubbles encouraging them to wonder at the thought that they have incredible things inside of them. It just takes a small action to make a change and create something that could change the world.
After this the groups joined back together for an incredible session with Kerry Baisley, missioner for Indigenous Justice, who had the confirmands getting their creative juices flowing with a tactile session on an art project called raising hearts. This aim of this project is to create a huge medicine wheel made of salmon leather with 216 handmade felted hearts hanging from it. The artwork is to go outside the synod office. 215 of the hearts are for the Children who were found buried at Kamloops residential school. The last heart is for all the other children who continue to be found. The project is a beautiful way to honor these children and send them our love. The felting itself was easy enough and Kerry taught everyone how to do it. The youth and adults alike got excited and brought out their artistic sides creating beautiful colour combinations. Kerry gave a small talk on the history of the medicine wheel, and then showed the group a music video created by Indigenous youth in Kamloops that speaks to resilience and true reconciliation. The whole experience was extremely moving.
To close the day, after a photo or two, everyone was given a candle to remind them of their baptism but also to remember the sparks of light and hope we can bring into the world. Confirmations take place next Saturday may 14th at 1030am, and it will be livestreamed at thecathedral.ca/live