YPD Self Denial

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The date for "self denial" appears annually on YPD calendars. Would someone like to explain the origin and purpose of this project and discuss what's done in your district, conference, area or local church? Thank you.

-- Anonymous, July 09, 2003


Sister Williams:

I remember self-denial week as a child. I have not seen it practiced hear in years though. What I remember was we would deny ourselves something that we cared about. For example, I loved bubble gum. With the money that I would use to buy bubble gum I was supposed to donate towards self-denial. If you remember the nickel, dime or quarter boards, you put the money in them and handed it over after self- denial.

-- Anonymous, July 09, 2003

Sister Williams, Self Denial was created for the youth to deny themselves of an item they felt they could not do without and the funds for the item was placed in jar or enevlop until the climax Sunday when the funds were given to the YPD. If you could not live without bubble gum this would be the time you would deny your self and take the money and put it in you container. In my day we had to deny ourselves of what was keeping us from being close to God,ex. telling lies, not tithing, breaking the ten commandments etc. We do still practice in the 11th District.

-- Anonymous, July 10, 2003

According to the YPD Handbook (1996) "The first Self-Denial Program was held in Jan. 1948. The date was later changed to May 7-14. It was suggested by Mrs. Hazel Gomez, wife of Bishop Joseph Gomez. The idea became a reality under the leadership of Mrs. Alma Polk, The first Connectional Director. Mrs. Mamie Aiken continued the project and Mrs. Wilehlmina Lawrence expanded the program. It was extablished as a fundraising effort to provide scholarships for African students. From 1961 to 1972, scholarships were awarded under the title Boy-Girl of the Year. In 1972 the title was changed to Self-Denial Essay Contest, and a scholarship is also awarded to a graduating senior essay winner. There are 3 groups I: Grades 7-9, II: Grades 10-11 and III: Graduating Seniors. All Essays are judged on content, organization, research, grammar, creativity, and neatness. In 1981, A Self-Denial Theme Poster contest was added. This contest is for YPD'ers 6-12 years old who want to be creative. Original art work is submitted on the theme for judging. Special emphasis is given for service projects to actively express concern for others."

Each year self-denial kits are provided to YPD directors based on the Connectional Theme. For current information contact your Area YPD Director who should be able to provide information received from the conference and connection.

I found the essays requirement gave many of the youth a chance to express their views on topics that are relevant to them. Many of the youth have not written essays in sometime and it was a good learning experience. In some cases they read their essays for judging at the local, area, and conference level. The poster contest was meaning for the younger youth.

I hope this information has been helpful.

-- Anonymous, July 10, 2003

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