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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Affirming the gifts of youth

Each year, the Southeastern Synod trains servant leaders

A weeklong event in the Southeastern Synod draws youth back year after year. For more than 40 years, AFFIRM has nurtured faith and equipped youth leaders. It’s a time for junior high and high school students to read the Bible, make friendships, attend daily eucharistic worship, affirm their gifts and find their lives changed. It’s also a time for the synod’s college students to obtain 30 hours of training in youth ministry.

Every June, 80-some rostered leaders and volunteers gather with more than 300 young people at the University of North Alabama in Florence. In small and large groups, participants build discipleship skills in 10 different areas. For example, eighth-graders learn in a “Missionaries” unit about being the hands of Christ and going out and serving the community.


Participants in the ELCA Southeastern
Participants in the ELCA Southeastern Synod’s AFFIRM event for youth hold letters made of bread, spelling “Cruciform It.” In small and large groups, participants build discipleship skills.
In the “Journeys” unit, eighth- through 10th-graders learn about Jesus’ life, how their life intersects with his, and how to share his story and their personal story with friends and family.

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