Veritas 2017 urges youth to move with God’s direction


“I will instruct you and teach you about the direction you should go.
I’ll advise you and keep my eye on you.”

—Psalm 32:8 (Common English Bible)

Focusing on the theme “Move” drawn from Psalm 32:8, nearly 1,400 participants—including groups of attendees from 89 different churches, guest speakers, musicians and ministry partners—converged on the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers for Veritas 2017. For years, Veritas has been the largest annual event planned and carried out by the Arkansas Conference Council on Youth Ministries (ACCYM).

The Feb. 24-26 gathering featured the bands Stars Go Dim and Summerhill, the Rev. Samuel Yun, Hannah Foust, Christian illusionist Danny Ray and youth group devotionals written by youth members of the Veritas Task Force. As an event with a consistent high level of spiritual impact upon attendees, Veritas has begun to attract attention from beyond Arkansas.

Bishop Gary Mueller prepares to serve Holy Communion, with ACCYM president Lexie Burleson assisting.

“We even had five participants from the Great Plains Conference there to check out the event and to see how we run things,” said Zach Schrick, youth minister at First UMC Conway and a member of the Veritas Task Force.

To connect with Arkansas Conference Council on Youth Ministries activities, resources and events, visit,, the ACCYM YouTube channel, and follow @accym on Twitter and arkansasccym on Instagram.

Youths’ thoughts on Veritas:

“During our meetings, the Veritas task force was encouraged to ‘create a space for God to fill.’ With our hearts set on that, planning Veritas was not as overwhelming as it may have seemed. God placed every piece of the event in our paths. Veritas is an extremely rewarding event because the task force gets to actively participate in the planned activities and worship.

This year’s worship concert featured the band Summerhill.

“The most valuable part of Veritas was being a part of such a moving worship. The room was filled with young people overflowing with excitement to worship God and they truly poured their hearts out. Without fail, Samuel Yun delivered an impactful message each session. He has a talent for encouraging and empowering youth along with sharing the unconditional love God has for us. All weekend, we were told of our potential and light that we have automatically, just because God created us to do good and spread His love.

“Through the opportunities to engage in fellowship, learn about missions, and worship, Veritas created a weekend to satisfy the spirits and souls of the United Methodist youth of Arkansas. Being a part of Veritas is my biggest blessing and I am so thankful for the encouragement and support we get from the Arkansas Conference to be able to impact so many lives.”

—Lexie Burleson, Lakewood UMC North Little Rock, president of ACCYM

Passionate worship is a hallmark of Veritas.

“Every year I’m a little more amazed with how God uses Veritas to speak directly into the hearts of teens. This year, the week leading up to Veritas was filled with tears from the stress of work and school. I left for Veritas with a bad attitude and no desire to spend the weekend worshipping the Lord. Thankfully, God knew Veritas was exactly where I needed to be and gave me exactly what I needed to hear through Samuel Yun. When Samuel spoke about how Jesus paid a high price for us and it’s our duty to serve him, I felt a sense of peace. His words reassured me that earthly things like beauty, money and popularity do not matter.

“Just like Jesus went to the mountain top, Veritas serves as my mountain top experience. This mountaintop experience has helped me rekindle my prayer life. I left Veritas feeling physically exhausted but mentally restored.”

—Mallory McClure, First UMC Batesville, Veritas Task Force member