Discipleship Confirmation

from Pastor John

Over the last year, five students have participated in Discipleship Confirmation ministry at Crosstown.  This journey is focused on mentoring young teen students on what it means to live as Jesus’ disciple.  This year’s class shared deeply personal faith stories at our DC Banquet as well as authentic creative projects.  Here’s a summary of our class of 2022.

Austin Gillen is a wonderfully creative person with a deep heart of love for all people.  As a creative project, Austin presented a study of “Angels in the Bible.”  Austin highlighted the role of two kinds of angels:  cherubim and seraphim.  This presentation concluded with a vision of God’s majesty by reflecting the account of the prophet Ezekiel’s “wheel.”  I must say that I’m indebted to Austin for challenging my own understanding of this Hebrew prophet.  I’ve had to go back and read Ezekiel 1 and 10:5-20 for myself.  It’s truly an amazing set of passages that lift-up the glory of God!  Austin’s mentor is Nancy Olson.

Leif Torkelson is a thoughtful person who presents a deeply rational view of faith in Jesus.  In his faith story, Leif shares, “I can’t point to a single moment in time when I came to faith in Jesus—it just always made sense to me.  I can’t imagine not trusting in Jesus.  The main gift of the Spirit that I believe God has given me is the gift of faith.”  For his creative project, Leif worked with the video game, “Minecraft.”  He put together a 6+ minute video presentation highlighting the intersections of this popular game and life in Christ.  Because of Leif, I’ve now experienced a “Tour de Force” of Minecraft!  Leif’s mentor is Wayne Berfeldt.

Santiago Jacques has both musical and athletic (swimming) gifts.  For his creative project, “Santi” composed an instrumental piece that he played on his trumpet.  It’s a strong piece that reflects Santi’s growing faith.  In this faith story, we learn of Santi’s grief following the death of his beloved feline.  “This traumatized me for quite of bit as I had ‘Boots’ for 10 years and he was my 1st friend.  This event was incredibly painful.  What helped me recover from this wasn’t distracting myself with electronics…but praying.”  I must add that I’m deeply touched by Santi’s vulnerability in sharing this account.  Santiago’s mentor is his maternal grandfather, Kirby Knutson.

Isaiah Gillen is a thoughtful person with a keen sense of humor.  His creative project featured an animation project that he crafted alongside his mentor, Jim Fischer.  In his faith story, Isaiah writes, “My faith story may seem boring because I’ve always known Jesus….During the early years of my life I started to learn about Jesus’ life…but it wasn’t until I was 11 years old that I decided to understand….I accepted Jesus.”  I’ve enjoyed having Isaiah in D/C because he is able to consistently bring a smile to my face!

Josie Johnson is a person who brings joy to others and shares gifts of art and writing.  For her creative project, Josie painted a watercolor that reflects on her chosen song, “Oceans.”  Following her “yes” to Jesus in 2016, Josie writes in her faith story, “My opinion of God changed.  He wasn’t just some all-powerful, mighty thundering God…who was rather petrifying to me, He was a God who I could pray personally with….In my darkest moments, He’s there, like a bracelet or a coat or a blanket.”  I must say that my heart is warmed by Josie’s description of her friendship with Jesus!  Josie’s mentor is Liana Ogawa.  
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