Cross Words

A Devotional for Youth

Duana Cisney, Foreword by Jenifer Gamber

Apr/2016, 384 Pages, PAPERBACK, 5 x 7

ISBN-13: 9780819232458



• Daily devotional for youth from a mainline, liturgical perspective
• Approachable language and space for their own reflections

Youth (and their parents, mentors, and leaders) are continually seeking a devotional from a mainline Christian perspective that honors them. Different than many youth devotionals, which use punitive language and the context of purity, Cross Words is a devotional for students that is engaging and realistic about their brokenness alongside God's redeeming grace and forgiveness. It will help them walk through the daily blessings and challenges of life, offering opportunities to consider how their faith might be strengthened through those experiences.

Each week offers a brief reflection followed by a question to ponder, Scripture, prayer, or quote to use as a "daily touchstone" in the coming days, set in a format with open space for their own writing and drawing. Using approachable wording that doesn't require them to learn a new language in order to understand the reflection will appeal to today's teens. Meeting young people where they are on their journey, it can be used for personal devotion or in educational settings, youth meetings, confirmation classes, mission trips, pilgrimages, retreats, coffee shops, or with families around the supper table.

Audience: High school youth and young adults; mature middle school youth; families; parents, guardians, mentors, leaders of youth; gift book - confirmation, graduation

Read an excerpt

With over eleven years experience at both church and diocesan levels, Duana Cisney continually seeks to serve youth in new ways. She received her Advance Certification in Youth Ministry at the Seminary of the Southwest. As a teenager, she faced some tough challenges and regrets not having had a safe church family to walk alongside her. She wants our teens today to know that they will make mistakes and that God will be there for them no matter what. She feels it is important for students to know they aren’t perfect, but they are made in the image of God and that alone is wonderful. She lives in Greensboro, NC, with her husband and three teenage children.

“Cross Words is an accessible and relevant devotional for today's youth. The weekly format accommodates teenager's busy schedules and journaling allows them to make their own interpretation and think for themselves. I have not seen a book that offers these characteristics and I am looking forward to using it for confirmation and graduation gifts.”
––Andrea McKellar, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina

“Duana Cisney’s Cross Words daily devotional is beautifully written, connected to the liturgical year, and utterly relevant: touching on topics ranging from relationships, consumerism, life transitions, and even joy. The inviting reflections and prayer prompts are a fantastic way to encourage and empower youth in their own personal faith journey. Cultivating a daily practice of personal prayer can be as daunting as it is inviting for people of all ages, but this book will help shine a light along the way.”
––Paris Ball, Director of Christian Formation and Shrine Mont Camps, Episcopal Diocese of Virginia

“Crosswords: A Devotional for Youth provides weekly prayers and devotionals for youth throughout the church and calendar year, and in each liturgical season. These devotions are a great way to send young people out into their week with tools for reflection. The book is a great way to help teenagers connect prayer and scripture to their daily lives. The questions provided serve to help them to go deeper and make space to stop and think in their busy lives. I am looking forward to sharing this with the young people with whom I engage in ministry!”
––Sue Cromer, Youth Minister, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Arlington, Virginia

“What a great youth devotional! This compilation of relevant scripture, ample space for journaling, Book of Common Prayer references, and more will help youth to not only grow in faith through prayer, but it will help reinforce their Episcopal identity in the process. The thought provoking questions will encourage students, especially high schoolers, wrestle with and apply the Word to their every day lives and help them relate God's story to their story (and vice versa). It’s a gem, and I’m grateful I now have a new go-to gift for Confirmations, Graduations, Sweet 16s, and more.”
––Melissa Rau, Lead Consultant with Ministry Architects

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  • Youth
  • Youth Ministry
  • Prayer
  • Devotional

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