ZIONSVILLE, Ind. - More than 400 youth and their adult sponsors, packed First UMC in Zionsville on Saturday, March 1. They came to hang with their Bishop Mike Coyner.
This is the second year Coyner spent a day with confirmands - middle school and high school youth going through confirmation classes in their home congregations.
Confirmation youth came to be affirmed by Bishop Mike upon their confirmation and to meet and worship with other confirmands of both North Indiana and South Indiana Conferences.
For ten bucks, groups had their pictures taken with Bishop Mike.
After lunch and worship with a praise band, Coyner spent an hour with confirmands. He talked about the meaning of confirmation as an act of faith making firm ones commitment to Jesus Christ and His church.
"Confirmation is our response to God. We believe in one God expressed to us in three ways. God is known to us in three ways," Coyner explained.
He also said, "While you are getting ready for confirmation and you don't think you are ready to be confirmed, wait. Be confirmed when YOU want to say 'yes' to God."
Following his PowerPoint presentation, Coyner went through several questions written on cards for a Q and A session.
Q - Do you have the credentials to be a bishop?
A - I don't know. The people who elected me must have thought I did.
Q - How do you see Jesus?
A - I see Him as laughing and enjoying life. I see Jesus with children.
Q - Funny story about camp.
A - The statue of Jesus at Epworth Forest camp is missing fingers. They keep breaking off. One pastor told us that Jesus needs our hands to do His work in the world.
Q - When did God show up?
A - God always has been here. That's something I believe.
Q - Should we be able to learn about other religions in school?
A - Yes.
Favorite food? - hamburgers
Favorite ice cream? - butter pecan
Favorite sport? - basketball
Favorite color?- blue
Favorite sports team? - Colts
Favorite past-time? - riding bikes
Favorite church? - church I'm in at the time
When asked if his favorite music was rock-n-roll or ragtime, he responded, "Ragtime? I'm not that old."
He said confirmation is about Jesus and accepting Him into your life. God comes to us through creation and though Jesus and through the Holy Spirit. We can't see the Holy Spirit. We can only see what the Holy Spirit does in life with God's presence within.
Throughout the afternoon, Bishop Mike would yell out, "Jesus is the vine." And the youth would stand and respond, "You are the branches."
The afternoon ended following a celebration of the Lord's Supper led by Coyner.