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People at a Silver Ring Thing event April 23 in Dublin, Calif., display their silver rings, a symbol of their commitment to purity.

Multi-media youth event highlights chastity

It’s a multi-media, interdenominational road show, a youth event packed with important messages about purity, abstaining from sex until marriage and living a holy life centered on Jesus Christ.

It’s the Silver Ring Thing (SRT) Live Event, and it’s in Omaha Nov. 5, sponsored by Nebraskans United for Life, which hopes to attract more than 770 students and parents to the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Scott Conference Center for the 6-8 p.m. show.

The show for middle-school through college-age students will be coupled with a session for parents about today’s youth culture and how to support their children’s commitments to chastity.

"My passion is to get this message out, so people know they are not just a little pocket" of concern about the importance of chastity, said Kristan Gray, executive director of Nebraskans United for Life.

Mackenzie Te’o, tour manager, said that as a 17-year-old in Pennsylvania nine years ago she was selling herself short – identifying her worth by how she could give herself to others in an intimate way.

Seeing an advertisement at a church about Silver Ring Thing, she went to make fun of Christians. But the faith-filled stories, fun music and sight of fellow teens at peace with themselves and in love with the Lord changed her, she said.

"It changed my entire life," Te’o said. "I had never heard that I was worth the wait. Having young adults share that is unique."

In 2012, she joined the ministry’s performance team. About a year ago, she became tour manager.

The SRT ministry was founded in 1995 in Yuma, Ariz., when Christian youth minister Denny Pattyn and his wife, Amy, were asked to repeat one event that included purchasing silver rings and asking the youth to wear them as a sign of commitment to purity.

Not knowing what to call the event, Pattyn wrote "Silver Ring Thing" on his calendar, and the name stuck, said Lisa Conner, a spokeswoman for the ministry, now based in Pennsylvania.

The rings continue to play a role in the effort, which features a team of 12 people ages 18 to 25 who put on about 80 events each year. Using comedy, drama, music, videos and testimonies, SRT encourages teens to wait until marriage before having sex. The ministry also stresses that embracing chastity promotes healthy relationships free of confusion, brokenness and pain.

Want to Go?

WHAT: Silver Ring Thing

WHEN: Nov. 5, 6-8 p.m.

WHERE: University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Scott Conference Center, 6450 Pine St., Omaha

COST: $6 in advance, $5 per person for groups of 25 or more; $8 at the door

RING: $20, optional

TICKETS: silverringthing.com/events/omahane

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