Wesley United Methodist confirmands volunteer in the community
Wesley United Methodist Church in Aurora included two baptisms in an annual confirmation service on Sunday, May 1.
The Rev. John Bell, Wesley UMC pastor, officiated. In an announcement he said, "Youth have designed our service for this Sunday and their mentors have participated by helping us name gifts and create a blessing. Each aspect of the service is either written or directed by the youth."
Pastor Bell opened the service by baptizing North Aurora brother and sister Grey and Charlie Winfree. In a following service of confirmation and reaffirmation of faith, candidates were the Winfrees, Wesley Akyea, Oswego; Nathan Christanujaya, Oswego; Delia Akyea, Oswego; and Faith Burnett, Aurora.
Michelle Curiel, director of praise and worship and confirmation class coordinator, announced confirmands and invited them to remember their baptisms by immersing a hand in the baptismal font.
In addition to Rev. Bell and Curiel, confirmand mentors recognized were congregants Wendy Connell, J.T. Connell, Mary Terrell and Carol Stoffel.
During several months of confirmation preparation, candidates performed community-service projects.
Nathan Christanujaya raised $1,000 in cash and supplies for Hesed House homeless shelter in Aurora.
Wesley Akyea raised $2,500 for Geneva-based Northern Illinois Food Bank, and Delia Akyea led a Fox River riverbank cleanup that yielded several bags of trash.
Charlie Winfree produced and directed a worship service that focused on food insecurity, and Grey Winfree hosted a video with speakers on Black Lives Matter.
Faith Burnett created an artwork on Earth ecology.
According to Rev. Bell, the service was recorded and will be posted online. A weekly online worship service was canceled to allow congregants to attend in-person as a community to bless and support church youth. A reception with refreshments concluded the confirmation Sunday service.