Magazine for teens celebrates 10th anniversary
|A UMNS photo courtesy of Board of Discipleship
Devo'Zine, published by Upper Room Ministries, is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
May 31, 2006
By Kathy L. Gilbert*
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)—For 16-year-old Victoria, a little bi-monthly magazine called Devo’Zine is her “cheat sheet” for life.
It is comments like that from teenage readers around the world
that have fueled the embers and filled the pages of the devotional
magazine for the past decade. The 64-page full color magazine published
by Upper Room Ministries is celebrating its 10th anniversary with the
May/June 2006 issue.
During the summer of 1991, youth from Hartford (S.D.) United
Methodist Church started writing and sharing devotions as part of their
confirmation experience. That experience led the youth to the idea of a
devotional magazine written “just for them.”
With the help of the Rev. Bill Gran, pastor of the Hartford
church, and Randy McGuire, director of camping and youth ministries for
what is now the Dakotas Annual (regional) Conference, the youth began to
work on a petition to send to the General Conference of the United
McGuire says they became more enthusiastic with each word they
wrote. “We can do this!” describes the attitude that McGuire remembers
as the youth prepared the petition.
The youth wrote, “We believe the youth of our church need to know
the mutual support and witness of other youth celebrating and
struggling with daily faith issues in their lives ... [and need] an
outlet for the expression of their own spiritual highs and lows and an
opportunity to give witness to what God is doing in their lives.”
|A UMNS photo by Deb Smith, Board of Discipleship
Devo'Zine founding editor Robin Pippin (center) serves slices of a celebration cake to members of the magazine staff.
Stephanie Gran, Gran’s daughter who was a sophomore in high
school in the fall of 1991 and her sister Jennifer, a member of the
South Dakota Conference Council on Youth Ministries, were instrumental
in getting the petition sent to General Conference.
Legislation “encouraging the General Board of Discipleship to
consider development of a youth devotional” passed at the 1992 General
Since that time the bi-monthly magazine has flourished.
“Written for teens by teens and by adults who love them, Devo’Zine
is designed to help youth 12-18 develop a lifelong practice of spending
time with God and of reflecting on what God is doing in their lives. It
also gives young people a chance to express their faith and to hear the
voices of their peers ? and that is one of the reasons it has been so
popular,” says Devo’Zine editor, Sandy Miller.
More than 90,000 copies of the magazine are printed for each
issue with nearly 7,000 individual subscriptions. The bulk of the orders
go to churches. Subscription to the magazine is $20 for one year.
Information about how to subscribe is available at www.devozine.org.
Young people have been involved at every step along the way ?
from suggesting weekly themes to writing to reading layouts and shaping
the issues that go to press, Miller said.
Each issue of the magazine focuses on nine themes, one for each
week. Each theme includes daily meditations and a feature article on the
weekend. Meditations are written so youth can read them in
chronological or random order.
|A UMNS photo by Deb Smith, Board of Discipleship
celebration of Devo'Zine's 10th anniversary, Upper Room World Editor
Steve Bryant (second from right) leads fellow staff members in song and
The Devo’Zine Guide for Mentors and Small Groups is
published as a companion piece to the magazine and offers easy-to-use
session plans to help adult mentors and small group leaders expand the
ministry of the devotional into a variety of youth ministry settings.
Devo’Zine also hosts an interactive Web site for youth ? www.devozine.org.
“The vision for Devo’Zine magazine has always included a
worldwide community of young people encouraging and challenging each
other. We hope that this Web site is an added bonus to the magazine and
helps to fulfill its vision -- giving youth opportunities to ‘talk’ with
their peers about life and about God, to pray for one another, to find
strength and help in times of crisis, to have fun, to share their
poetry, their opinions, their writing -- to find extra spiritual food
for their journey of faith,” Miller said.
Beginning January 2007, the magazine will have a new look, extra
pages, and many new features that readers have been asking for to help
them deepen their faith. “It’s exciting to watch Devo’Zine grow up ? and become a teenager!” Miller said.
Devo’Zine connects me with youth my age, who share the
same beliefs and questions that I do. It assures me that I am not alone
or abnormal,” writes Colleen, 15. “It reminds me that people have to
explore their faith personally. Devo’Zine also serves as a
reference book to help me answer questions or to give me suggestions. It
helps to strengthen my faith and to analyze how I reflect my
Christianity to those around me.”
Edelisse, 16, sums it up this way, “I never thought there would be a magazine that understands what teenagers go through— but Devo’Zine gets it!”
*Gilbert is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in Nashville, Tenn.
News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or email@example.com.