Bishop's Visitation 2022
On Sunday, September 18, 2022, Christ Church will have its annual bishop's visitation at the 10:30 am service with Baptism, Confirmation and Receptions.
What exactly is the significance of the bishop’s visitation? It has to do with our theology around bishops. The significance of a bishop has to do with our understanding of the larger Church as the body of Christ a couple of ways. First of all, as a current community of faith, Christ Church is not the only congregation following Jesus. The theology of a bishop is the symbolic connection of all of the churches and who we are as a church family. The bishop helps to represent that connection.
The connection is also one which looks beyond this generation of the church to all of the generations of the church before. It is a notion of the theology called apostolic succession. That action of the laying hands and praying for the Holy Spirit which one generation of bishops does to the next generation thus building an idea of connectedness all the way back to the first disciples.
Thus the sacramental action of a bishop when laying hands on candidates for confirmation /reception/reaffirmation as an outward and visible sign of God’ inward and spiritual grace involves the full family of the community of the baptized, from long ago until today and from all directions of churches around the world. Perhaps a way to sum it up is the bishop represents an understanding about being a disciple of Jesus – we are not the center of God’s church - Jesus is.
What is confirmation? Confirmation is the rite in which we express a mature commitment to Christ and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands. What is required of those to be confirmed? It is required of those to be confirmed that they have been baptized, are sufficiently instructed in the Christian faith, are penitent for their sins, and are ready to affirm their confession of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. As part of our Christian formation program at Christ Church, adults and the youth in 10th grade and older who have not been confirmed before are asked to consider participating.
What is reception? Reception is the action of a person who has made an adult profession of faith in another denomination being received into the Episcopal Church. We recognize this reception by the person receiving prayers from the bishop in front of the congregation. This process also involves a time of preparation and is a wonderful way to learn more about Christian living, the Episcopal Church, and personal service to our Lord.
What is reaffirmation? Reaffirmation is the opportunity for those Episcopalians who would like to reaffirm their faith and service to Jesus Christ. While Holy Baptism happens only once, people find the need at various times in their life to reflect and renew their awareness of how they are called to live out their baptism. This process of preparation is similar to the processes of confirmation and reception, but with a different focus on renewal. Those seeking reaffirmation will also stand before the bishop to receive a prayer for renewal and empowerment from the Holy Spirit.
For those of you who are interested in engaging the Christian life and service through the Episcopal Church in a more committed way, the Inquirers’ Class for those considering being confirmed or received will begin on Sunday, August 7. We will meet in the Parlors from 9:30 to 10:15 am. We will review the process of preparation and meeting times when we gather on the 7th. Please email for additional information.