St. Andrews UMC Impacts Teens Through Purity Class
By creating a safe and supportive environment, St. Andrews UMC provided a dozen young girls with insight on the importance of seeing themselves as God sees them.
Working as a teacher within the public school system gave St. Andrews UMC Houston member Stacey Wiseman a ‘reality check’ on the issues young people face in today’s culture. Stacey and Carolyn Lethridge, co-chairs of the United Methodist Young Unique Ladies (UMYUL), came up with an idea this spring to provide for Godly guidance “out of concern for the generation of young ladies growing up in today’s promiscuous culture.”
After getting the go ahead from Rev. Dr. Rhenell Johnson, the leaders planned the topics and had a parent meeting to get input. “We created and designed our own curriculum along with a booklet to parallel the lesson series which would also serve as a future reference for the students,” adds Stacy. Eight classes were held on four consecutive Saturdays in February, led by women of God in the community and church. “Carolyn, a registered nurse, presented the session we called Made in God’s Image,” adds Stacey. Students who completed the course participated in a special purity ceremony during a March worship service where they made a public vow to remain pure until marriage and received purity rings presented by their parents.
The curriculum that was developed by leaders at St. Andrews is available for other churches by request. Contact Stacy at firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy. Tanzinique Kinsey describes her experience saying, “What I enjoyed most was learning all the keys of the pathway to purity. I learned how to conduct myself in a godly manner. I also learned Bible verses concerning abstinence and staying pure until marriage. This class experience will help me make the right decisions as I grow into a woman.”
Day I Session I: God’s Purpose for Your Life
- The Bible as The Authority
- Vision Board
- Social Media
Day 3 Session IV: Made in God’s Image
- Female and Male Anatomy
- Proper Vocabulary
- Sexual Traps
- Oral Sex
- Godly Man-list
- Date Rape
- Physical Abuse
- Spirit of Rebellion
- Unplanned Pregnancy
- Sexually Transmitted Disease
- Purity Vow
Participant Gabrielle Arvie, age 12, says, “I enjoyed the session called God has a Plan. In this class, we made vision boards that helped me plan my future and the kind of life I want to live. During the classes on etiquette, I learned how to introduce myself and how to set a formal table. I think it will be a challenge to remain pure until marriage but I know that I can do it.”
The sessions were designed for girls from the age of 10-21 both inside and outside the church. Stacey was thrilled to see 12 of the girls participate in the ring ceremony.