Text: Pauli Määttä
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
Last summer I was able to attend the confirmation services of three grandchildren. They were festive occasions. The young confirmand may even be a bit embarrassed as the center of attention, surrounded by his or her grandparents, godparents, other relatives and friends who have come to celebrate.
The previous time they were the center of attention was at their baptism a long time ago. There have been birthdays of course, but now they have just attended a memorable confirmation camp, which experience may carry and support them throughout life. They have probably also found new friends and escorts.
During the pandemic, grandparents were not allowed to attend the confirmation service. But thanks to modern technology, we were able to attend virtually. That allowed us to share each grandchild’s festive experience.
I remember my own confirmation camp at Reisjärvi Opisto 50 years ago. I have no written records left, so I have to rely on my memory.
My camp experience began when, in Kuusamo, I got on the bus going to the Summer Services. I do not remember where I stayed the nights at those services, but after them, my uncle gave me a ride to southern Finland. A cousin of mine was coming to the same camp, and together with her I got a ride to Reisjärvi. I loved the safe and good atmosphere of the camp. Some of the classes were held outdoors. I would still recognize some of the camp participants if I came across them.
After the confirmation service, I noticed that people were giving flowers to the confirmands. I did not get any. The same thing had been noticed by my uncle, who brought me a flower that seemed to have been taken from my cousin’s bunch. It was such a small gesture, but it still brings tears into my eyes 50 years later.
After the camp I stayed for a few days with another uncle’s family, who lived in Reisjärvi. Then I got on a bus to go home – after a trip that had taken several weeks.
They were eagerly waiting for me at home. They had started to clear a nearby marshland for fields. Ditches were needed, and one spade was free for me to use. I remember how reluctant I was to dig. There were tree roots all over the place and clouds of mosquitoes pestering me. After all, I had just got accustomed to traveling in style.
The digging was followed by haymaking. We had probably had good weather, because we ended up having one day free. The custom at that time was to have a studio portrait taken of the confirmand, if the family did now own a camera. My father and I prepared to go. A welded iron box was mounted at the back of the tractor. It had been used to transport manure to the fields, but it had been cleaned and some hay had been spread on the bottom. I dressed in my best clothes and climbed into the box. And off we went.
The 25 kilometers to the municipal center were gravel road. The tractor raised a cloud of dust. When we arrived at the photographer’s studio, I was completely covered by dust. We wondered what to do and came to the conclusion that I could not go into the studio in that sorry condition. But we had the money! We agreed to go to the village store and use our money to buy a hand plane. My mother was a bit surprised when we came home with a plane but without a portrait.
That is why I never had a confirmation picture taken. I have told this story during the parents’ nights of most of my children’s confirmation camps – to the great dismay of my children.
Erilaisten riippuvuuksien eli addiktioiden määrä ihmisillä on länsimaisissa yhteiskunnissa lisääntynyt voimakkaasti viime vuosikymmeninä. Nykymaailmassa on tarjolla aiempaa enemmän sellaisia virikkeitä, jotka voivat synnyttää riippuvuuden.
Siionin Joulu on lehti joulun kristillistä sanomaa kaipaavalle. Lehti on värikäs, aikaansa heijastava. Hartauksien lisäksi siinä on haastatteluja eri puolilta maailmaa.
Lohdullisia ja riemullisia lauluja taivaasta Jämsän Kristillinen Kansanopiston kuoron laulamana.
Tämä levy vie sinut löytöretkelle lasten Siionin laulujen pariin pienten soololaulajien ja vähän isompien kuorolaulajien mukana. Kuuntele, kuinka koskettavasti, raikkaasti ja mieleenpainuvasti nuori väki laulaa näitä kristillisyydelle arvokkaita lauluja.
Vuoden 2021 ajankohtaiskirja käsittelee aiheita kuten uskonnonvapautta ja kristityn vastuuta sekä pandemian aiheuttamia muutoksia arjessamme ja yhteiskunnassa. Samalla se kertoo luottamuksesta muuttumattomiin Jumalan sanan lupauksiin ja hänen hyvän tahtonsa toteutumiseen.