Youth of Buford First UMC Write Lent Devotional


Ansley Brackin
Communications Specialist

Buford First UMC’s youth program, F.L.A.M.E. has completed the second edition of their Lent devotional.

While working at Tucker First UMC, Suzanne Clegg became inspired by a devotional that the congregation created during Advent season. Now, as Buford First’s Student Ministry Director, she decided to follow in their footsteps and make a Lent devotional written almost completely by youth.

“It’s great to get youth to focus on something serious,” says Clegg. “It’s such an important time in the Christian year, it’s a time to focus.”

“Workshops” were scheduled to enable the students to have a set time to sit and write, something that Clegg says is an important piece to making the booklet a success. She also suggests a lot of pre-planning and an early start. One student showed particular interest in organizing the project and acted as the director’s assistant.

With Clegg’s guidance along with her helper and other congregants, youth wrote passages individually or as pairs inspired by the Lent season. They used inspiration from provided resources and by reflecting over the Stations of the Cross.

Some students incorporated photographs into their passages. One girl provided illustrations throughout the devotional. Their work offers something unique and contemplative each day.

Youth Sydney Yancey writes:

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
2 Corinthians 13:11
I think this verse really represents Lent for a number of reasons. It starts off by saying “rejoice” and “strive for full restoration”. Lent is a time for being cleansed of your sins and giving thanks for the fact that you can do so.
You can always change things in your life if you feel they are keeping you away from God and you don’t have to do it alone. The verse goes on to say “encourage one another” because you are more likely to go through with something and be devoted to it if there is someone to help you along the way.

It ends with “the God of love and peace will be with you,” for me Lent is one of the best times to grow with God  but to also be at peace with his forgiving love.
Prayer: Dear Lord,
Please help us rejoice in this season of your forgiveness. Let us reach out to others and help one another in spiritual growth.
Thank you so much for the peace that comes with your love. In Jesus’ name,

(Photo by youth Henry White)

Sunday devotions feature suggestions of ways to honor the season, such as tithing extra, paying for a stranger’s meal and other acts of kindness.

In honor of their special offering on Easter for Imagine No Malaria, several devotions focus on the importance of the ministry and suggest ways of becoming involved.

The students have received constant support from their congregation. This year members contributed donations to have the book printed in color. Each copy has been picked up this year, totaling about 110 booklets distributed.

“It means a lot to the congregation to read from the youth,” Clegg says, “and it means a lot for the youth to be encouraged by the adults.”

Clegg has seen her youth complimented by adults for what they have written. One student even received a phone call from a member thanking her for that day’s devotion.

The Lent devotional has become something that members of Buford First UMC look forward to, bridging the gap between age groups. This kind of project is something Clegg believes all churches can accomplish with the right planning and organization. Contact her to learn more.

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