Rocky Mountain Synod
ELCA bYouth Gathering logo 2

e-News for
Rocky Mountain Synod's
Gathering Bound Congregations

to learn to live like Jesus by practicing discipleship through peacemaking that works for justice

In This Issue


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MYLE Youth


MYLE Chaplain 
RMS Staff 
 Issue: 6
August, 2012

Dear Caring Adults of the Rocky Mountain Synod:  

Welcome Home!  Have you dried out? Have you caught up on your sleep? Does it seem strangely quiet? Will you (or your youth) ever be the same? How were you transformed?

We prepared for months for the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering.  We each journeyed with our personal and group prayers, hopes, anticipations and expectations, maybe even some fears.

In the pre-gathering trainings through-out our synod, Kristen's and my mantra was, "Be prepared for the unexpected. Be flexible." Some of the surprises you encountered were humorous, some extremely frustrating and testing of one's patience and other situations were challenging emotionally, physically and spiritually. ELCA YOuth Gathering

You and I have each returned home with a story . . . your story, my story and God's story.

Kristen and I look forward to hearing your stories - the highs and the lows. We look forward to gathering with you in the near future to share those stories and to process the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering with one another as we ask, "What does this mean?"

But for now, on behalf of your RMS Core Team - THANK YOU! Thank you for keeping the promises you made at Baptism and "walking wet" (literally) along side our youth and one another!  it has been a blessing to support you and serve along side you.

Linda Staats, RMS Gathering Coach
Kristen Baltrum, RMS Gathering Coordinator                              


Review the M-V-O with your group. Ask, " How did we experience these? Were the learning outcomes for the 3 Practices Days realized by our group? By Individuals? What are our stories as individuals and as a community of faith?"  


ELCA Youth Gathering The 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering, a unique community by size and scope, serves as a distinctive sign of the ELCA's evangelical mission as it works with synods and congregations to accompany young people in their faith journey to understand their vocation and articulate their faith in Jesus Christ.  


The 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering will invite participants to New Orleans to  dwell together as "one new humanity," remembering who we are in Christ and acting in response by forming faithful, wise and courageous leaders who will:
  • Live among God's faithful people,
  • Hear the word of God and share in the Lord's supper,
  • Proclaim the good news of God in Christ through words and deed,
  • Serve all people, following the example of Jesus,
  • Strive for justice and peace in all the earth (ELW, page 236).

  Learning Outcomes- Participants will: PDD Communion

  Practice Justice (Friday - start from the Dome)   

Live boldly in the face of injustice, crisis and suffering.

  • Realize that daily choices make a difference that benefit the thriving of all God's creation
  • Ability to differentiate between accompaniment and charity, and commit to reflecting a posture of accompaniment in their daily lives with others
  • Know that it is Jesus who makes us able, not our efforts

  Practice Peacemaking (Thursday - in the Convention Center) 

 Act in a way that reflects God's value for everybody, particularly those who are     marginalized by society.

  • Recognize when they hold the power in relationships with people who are marginalized, and freely give that power away.
  • Ability to take a back seat comfortably                                          
  • Work toward reconciliation in Christ in all relationships

  Practice Discipleship (Saturday - Our Rocky Mountain Synod Day)   

Demonstrate the capacity to articulate their unique witness.

  • Claim and value their baptismal identity 
  • The ability to talk about the grace that Jesus offers
  • Allow themselves to wrestle with questions of faith
  • Demonstrate openness to the movement of the Spirit in their life

(A green rain poncho and a gray plaid sweater jacket  

were left in our ballroom following our PDD.)


Thank You!


Please use our Facebook page (ELCA Youth Gathering Bound RMS Congregations) to express words of appreciation to our musicians who gathered and practiced just to lead our Practice Discipleship Day. They were outstanding!  Led by Richard Hielkema, Youth Minister and Music Director at Cross of Hope in Albuquerque, he organized this talented group from his congregation and the JCDC city-wide ministry, ABQ, and Community of Joy, Rio Rancho - all NM.  Mario and Mark Feraud from Casper added a taste of WY style jazz to our worship!    


Our PDD would not have happened without the following folks sharing their gifts and time (arriving in the ballroom by 7am):

- PowerPoint: Laura Romig, Bethany Lutheran, Cherry Creek, CO   PDD Youth Gathering

- Sound Board: Nathan Bland, Cross of Hope, ABQ, NM 

- Sacristan and Communion Assistants: Rev. Scott McAnally and Lutheran Church of Hope, Broomfield, CO and Bethlehem Lutheran, Los Alamos, NM.   

- Head Usher and Ushers: Christopher Beazer and Augustana Lutheran, Denver, CO 

- Dialogue of the Boxes: Megan White, St Matthews, Taylorsville, Alex Mensinger, Zion Lutheran, Salt Lake City; Luke Widner, Elim Lutheran, Ogden - all Utah.  

- Final Reflection: Chandler Dohe, Zion Lutheran, Limon, CO  

- Pastoral Leader: Rev Kristi Beebe, Nativity Lutheran, Commerce City, CO  

- Message, prayers and Presiding Minister: Bishop Allan Bjornberg, RMS      


Special THANKS to Ben Larson (Rainbow Trail) and Andy Sprain (Sky Ranch). They  had primary responsibility for carrying out the details of our synod's PDD along with assisting 17 other synods with their PDD in our same hotel.  




Do you find it is hard to put into words to all you experienced? ELCA Youth Gathering  


The speakers, music and worship in the Dome were taped. Share this link to 75 videos with your youth group, adult bible study, friends and family.     


You are invited to submit 5 favorite photos that capture and tell the Gathering story for your group. Send as JPeg to Linda Staats. They will be added to our synod's photo essay.  



ELCA Youth Gathering

If you haven't done so already, involve your entire congregation in a Welcome Back blessing. With a few tweaks, this may be used for any group returning from a service oriented ministry.

How has your group planned to thank your Support/Home Team?

Continue to listen to your young people as you process all you experienced in New Orleans and the horrific event and tragedy in the theater in Aurora, CO. Build on your trusted relationship with your young people to listen to their questions, fears and thoughts. Continue to keep your young people and all youth everywhere in your prayers

  GUESTS from Madagascar

As part of the ELCA Youth Gathering's International Guest Program, our synod hosted 2 youth and an adult from our Companion Synods in Madagascar
Ranaivonirina Mahomby Indrafo Sarobidy, Andrianomenjanahary Michael Nielson and Pastor Haja (Wilson) Ramanantsoa who serves as a Youth Minister for the Lutheran church in Madagascar. ELCA Youth Gathering

They addressed our group during our Practice Discipleship Day sharing with us the breath of youth ministry in Madagascar.

As a result of our mutual support of one another, our guests spent 3-weeks in the U.S. with time at our ELCA offices in Chicago, visits in the RMS, enjoying both of our camps, and full immersion in the Youth Gathering. They will host a delegation from our synod in 2013.

Please consider a special offering toward our ministry of accompaniment. We still need contributions of $2100 towards the synod's cost of $10,000 to support the participation and visit of our Malagasy Guests. Any amount will be appreciated. Make checks out to the RMS. Marked ICP. Send to RMS office % Cheryl.

Note: We chose to host 2 youth and an adult so a youth would not have to travel alone and to also be accompanied by a caring adult - the same guidelines we follow in our own synod.


The 100 Wells Challenge goal of $250,000 to support the water ELCA 100 Wells Challenge  

projects of ELCA World Hunger around the world was exceeded!  

More than $406,000 has been collected as of July 24. Each well costs about $2,500 and has the potential of bringing clean water to 500 families at a time.



ELCA Youth Gathering  

 What was your favorite "Wait. .  . Wait. . .Wait - Stand in Line"  game or experience?    


Every Day - Every Where

The Gathering is an opportunity to Practice - practice accompanying the people of New Orleans and one another, to practice peacemaking, justice and discipleship, to practice living our baptism. And it didn't end when we left New Orleans.

Continue to train adults and learn about effective Youth Ministry. Utilize the FREE training videos created by the ELCA Youth Gathering in partnership with the ELCA Youth Ministry Network. They are found at:  Practice Discipleship: The ELCA Youth Ministry Training Project. 

Check out this down-loadable resource on how to incorporate   Service and Learning into every day life when you return back  home.

Check out this FREE resource, an in-depth conversation on how the Gathering experience can support your on-going ministry with youth and the community and world around you.

                 November 16-18, 2012

 All 649 from the RMS who gathered in New Orleans -
are invited to reunite at the 
 Rocky Mountain Synod's Senior High Youth Gathering
 November 16-18 at Estes Park.
What better way to reconnect and
   Registration opens August 1.

                                  Core Team
Thank you!

Your 2012 Practice Discipleship Core Team
Andy Sprain, PDD Small Groups 
Program Director, Sky Ranch 
Ben Larson, PDD Worship
Program Director, Rainbow Trail  
Kristen Baltrum, RMS Gathering Coordinator   
Director Youth & Household Ministry, Bethlehem Lutheran, Longmont, CO 
Linda Staats, RMS Gathering Coach
Assistant to the Bishop for Youth & Household Ministry