Youth E-Chat
Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

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In This Issue
EcoFaith Youth Camp
Rich Melheim Events!
Middle School Gathering
Rise Up Tour
Practice Discipleship Webinar
ConNext Summit
Vibrant Faith Training School
NE MN Synod Facebook Group
Continuing Ed Events
Outdoor Ministries
in and around
NE MN Synod
ELCA Youth Gathering Links
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Get Networked!

Youth ministry is hard work. We are strengthened personally and professionally when we get together regularly to share our stories, swap ideas, learn from each other and lean on each other.  Make time this month to join in on one of these network opportunities, or have coffee with a youth worker near you!

Duluth Area Network Meetings:
Second Thursday of Every Month, 10:00am
Beaner's in West Duluth
Contact Deb Westerberg for more info.

Brainerd Area Network Meetings:
Second Thursday of Every Month, 10:00am
Caribou Coffee on Hwy 371
Contact Stacy Johnson for more info.
Cert Schools

Vibrant Faith Training School 
This unique training experience changes lives, equips leaders, and transforms congregations in effective and creative faith formation, culminating in creating a ministry plan that will guide your efforts with children, youth, and families. Learn more.

Sponsored by

Youth Leadership 
This program is a unique, holistic leadership development program that covers the key areas of ministry. We come alongside you as you grow as a leader in your particular context, sharpen your vision and encourage your calling. Learn more. 
September 10, 2015

What's your story?
Stories connect us - and we were created to be connected, to God and to each other. You may have heard it said that "You can't hate the person whose story you know." Stories bring understanding, healing, wholeness and hope. When we know each other's stories we work better together, we worship better together, we serve better together, we share God's love better together.
This year the NE MN Synod Discipleship Challenge will live out our faith practices through the sharing of stories. When we share our stories, we are sharing God's story for us. When we listen to the stories of others, we are listening to God's story at work in the world. Stories help us grow deeper in faith, and help us live out the faith practices.
  • When we share stories, we encourage each other.
  • When we share stories, we know how to pray for each other.
  • When we share stories, we invite each other into our lives.
  • When we share stories, we give the gifts of our time and experiences.
  • When we share stories, we learn about each other and how God is at work (study).
  • When we share stories, we identify ways to serve our neighbor.
  • When we share stories, we worship the God in whose story we live.
I encourage you to take a look at the resources available on the Discipleship Challenge website: All resources for the entire year are now posted! Use these resources in youth group, Sunday school, at board meetings, to send home with families - anywhere people gather!
Blessings as you begin a new program year! May you be wrapped in God's Story for you and the youngpeople you work with this year! 
Together in Christ,  
Catherine Anderson 
Coordinator of Youth Ministry 
EcoFaith Youth Camp
Seeking Leadership Team Members!

The NE MN Synod is partnering with the NE MN Synod Creation Care Task Force to pilot an "EcoFaith Youth Camp" in our synod June 26 - July 1, 2016. This is a week long experience for high school youth to explore the intersection of environmental, economic and racial justice issues in the context of faith. Nathan Holst, founder and creator of the camp, will work with a leadership team to adapt this experience for our synod.

We are seeking 5-7 high school youth and adults to serve on the Leadership Team for this event. The team will meet monthly to plan and implement the experience. Team members will be selected to bring a diverse voice of experiences and gifts to the planning. Applications are due September 16, 2015. For more information and to apply, visit

Please encourage your high school youth who have strong leadership skills, and a passion for environmental/justice issues and faith to apply!
Rich Melheim Event!

Two Faith Inkubator Events in One Weekend!

Life-Long Cross+Gen Faith Formation - AND -  
Holding Your Family Together 
With Speaker Rich Melheim

October 23-24, 2015
Grace Lutheran Church, Hermantown

Friday Evening: Visioning session for pastors, key leaders and spouses.
Saturday: Two training sessions (listed above)
Saturday Night: Free Family Comedy Event\. 

Sponsored by Grace Lutheran Church, in partnership with Thrivent Financial and the Lake Superior Conference.
Overview Flyer and Paper Registration
Online Registration
Contact Pastor Phil Berge for more information. 
Middle School Gathering

"Provide, Promise, Protect" 
November 20-21 OR 21-22, 2015
Grades 6-9
Cragun's Resort, Brainerd
Speaker: Pastor Mike Carlson

Join nearly 1000 middle school youth and their adult leaders for a weekend of fun, learning, worship and friendships! This year's Middle School Gathering will focus on the Ten Commandments, and includes large group assemblies, learning clusters, hotel life, worship and much more.
Visit for more information and to download registration forms. Registration opens October 1!
Rise Up Tour Dates in NE MN Synod!
ELCA World Hunger invited youth to "Walk for Water" this summer in Detroit to raise awareness and funds for ELCA World Hunger-supported water projects around the world. The global water crisis doesn't always make headlines. But the truth is it claims more lives each year than war. About one out of every four people in our world drink from contaminated water sources. Unsafe water leads to illnesses that claim the lives of 840,000 people each year, almost half of whom are children under the age of 5. Join *AGAPE, Rachel Kurtz and Joe Davis as they start their RiseUp Tour this fall to make a difference and continue to movement.

Two dates and locations in NE MN Synod! These dates are so hot off the press, they're not even in the promo material yet!

October 14: Bethlehem Lutheran, Grand Marais
Contact Pastor Kris Garey for more information.

December 9: Zion Lutheran, Grand Rapids
Contact Nikki Rud or click here for more information. 
Practice Discipleship Webinar:
"Story of Service" 
October 6, 2015: 12:00pm 
Presenter: Mark Jackson,
Trinity Lutheran College

What stories get told through service experiences? Explore biblical stories of service and practices that make room for recognizing and honoring others' stories. When service and mission experiences are thought of as more than projects and trips, service can become a lifelong spiritual practice and way of life.

These webinars are FREE but you need to register to view live. Register now!

Can't make the date? Webinars are recorded and posted for later viewing within 24 hours. Visit for more info. 
ConNext Summit: A Progressive Vision for Children and Family Ministries
October 11-14, 2015
Christ the King Retreat Center
Buffalo, MN

The ConNext Summit is designed for Faith Formation and Youth Ministry leaders to share best practices, think more deeply about how we do this work in the 21st Century, network across denominations and hear from other inspiring leaders from around the state and country. The ConNext Summit is designed for leaders who have been engaged in this work for some time but new leaders will find a place to connect and grow as well.  

Keynote Presenter: David Csinos, co-author of Children's Ministry in the Way of Jesus, around the topic of "Faith Formation in the Postmodern Matrix"

Click here for workshop listings, more information and to register. 
Vibrant Faith Training School
May 1-6, 2016
LutherCrest Bible Camp
Alexandria, MN

This unique training experience changes lives, equips leaders, and transforms congregations in effective and creative faith formation, culminating in creating a ministry plan that will guide your efforts with children, youth, and families.

More Information
NE MN Synod Facebook Group - Join Today!
The NE MN Synod is on Facebook! Join today for synod updates and to share your questions and ministries! Search for "Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA" or click here to join.
Continuing Education Events Beyond Our Synod
Our synod is located just hours away from some of the top youth ministry training in the nation! Click on the organizations below for a complete listing of training opportunities!
Youth Leadership

Offers 3 hour, one day, intensive and certificate programs.


Peer Ministry / Marilyn Sharpe Ministries

Living Room Summit, Peer Ministry Leadership Camps and trainings, Coaching.

Vibrant Faith Ministries
Online learning, coaching. Tons of free resources on the Faith Formation Learning Exchange
You are welcome to copy and use any of the information or writings above for use in your newsletters and other communications.

If you have any questions regarding any of these events, please contact me at the number and addresses listed below.

Catherine Anderson
Coordinator of Youth Ministry


Phone: 218.724.4424, ext. 124
Fax: 218.724.4393