How can one create a similar atmosphere in an urban church where open fire is prohibited?
To make a fire. Choose a low box, fill it with a strand of white lights, tissue paper in red, orange, and yellow folded from the centre out (like stuffing the top of a gift bag) and place the paper tuffs on top of the lights; plug it in and voila! a campfire.
This is the kind of campfire confirmation classes experience at Resurrection, Halifax. It is placed in front of the altar and the students sit in a circle around it. Class begins around the fire with a question related to the theme of the class. At the end of class, the group once again sits around the fire, reflecting quietly for a moment on what was learned. Each student then offers a prayer out loud. If the student has nothing to say, their prayer is simple: “God, Thank-you for….” Over the course of the year, it is interesting to hear the student’s ability to reflect and pray aloud. Through the year as students become more comfortable with saying prayers out loud, their prayers deepen; it is especially interesting when students begin mentioning items discussed/learned in class. On those days, the teacher knows that the students have integrated and are applying what was taught.