When she was their age, Lindsey Graber told Great Plains confirmation students, she felt like prayer was a “one-way thing.”
“I wasn’t receiving much back,” Graber, a Southwestern College religion and philosophy major from Wichita, told junior-high students and high-schoolers at the first of three Bishop’s Confirmation Rallies on Feb. 13 in Hays, Kansas.
Graber said this was the time in the students’ lives when they should be examining what it means to be a Christian. She said Christians should resemble Christ and, after showing a series of humorous pictures of pets who look identical to their owners, said our resemblance of Jesus should be “internal … not external.”
She also told students not to give up on Christ when he doesn’t answer their prayer – or His answer isn’t what they had hoped.
“Should we be limiting Jesus to just a few responses to our questions?” she asked.
Graber encouraged the students to get to know Christ and to be the face of Christianity to their friends.
“All of us together representing Jesus is much more stronger, more powerful,” she said.
About 65 students, sponsors and clergy, representing 11 churches, gathered at First United Methodist Church in Hays for the first of three rallies across the Great Plains Conference. The latter two are Feb. 20 in Emporia, Kansas, and March 5 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Following a lunch, praise and worship services opened and closed the rally. The opening service included a service of the students either remembering or anticipating their baptism, by a cross drawn in water on their foreheads. The closing service included a communion and a message by Bishop Scott J. Jones sprouting from Ephesians 2: 8-10: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
In between the sessions, students learned about United Methodist scripture and tradition, what it means to be a leader and a Q&A session with the bishop, during which participants asked questions ranging from the bishop’s own spiritual life at their age to his opinion of the current presidential campaigns.
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