Twenty-eight people were confirmed by Bishop Jenny Andison at a large outdoor service at Christ the King, Toronto on June 9. The confirmands came from the following churches: St. Matthew, Islington, Christ Church St. James, Toronto, Church of South India, Toronto, the Ghanaian Anglican Church of Toronto, St. Philip, Etobicoke and Christ the King. The readings and prayers were spoken in six languages, and music was provided by the Ghanaian church choir, the Church of South India choir and St. Matthew’s praise band. In honour of a Ghanaian tradition, the confirmands were asked to dress in white. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed the food of different lands.
The joint confirmation service, attended by about 300 people, was organized by clergy in York-Credit Valley’s Etobicoke-Humber Deanery. “It really was a Pentecost experience, one of the most unique events I’ve ever been a part of,” says the Rev. Stephen Blackmore, the incumbent of St. Matthew’s and coordinator of the event. “It really showed the diversity within the diocese and our area, and it was amazing to see how people came together. Everyone talked and laughed and prayed with each other.”
He says the deanery will probably hold more joint confirmation services in the future, and possibly joint confirmation classes as well. “In a world that’s so divided and polarized, the Church’s message of being together under the banner of the risen Christ is a powerful message and one that we really want to embody and celebrate.”
The service also gave the younger confirmands an appreciation of the wider Church, he adds. “Hopefully moments like this, when they see how big and diverse the Church is, will prepare them for a future life in the Church,” he says.