Youth E-Chat
Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

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In This Issue
Middle School Gathering
Rich Melheim Events!
Rise Up Tour - Next Week!
Lunch & Learn with Tiger
EcoFaith Youth Camp
Discipleship Challenge
Practice Discipleship Webinar
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. 
October 8, 2015

Last week I was able to take a couple days off and go hiking on the Superior Hiking Trail. Nothing clears my head and renews me like being in wilderness. I tend to do the same hikes year after year - I trust them, for the views, the solitude, and the experience I have on their trails. But this year I was itching for something new, and decided to try a new hike. I was surprised by a vista that was beyond my imagination. It was so amazing in fact, that some of my tried and true hikes paled in comparison.

Over the last few decades, we have accumulated quite a few tried and true ministry practices. They're good, they're comfortable, and we trust them. But what do we miss when we always rely on the same programs and experiences for our young people? What new places is God calling you in ministry, and how might God be getting ready to surprise you?

Change doesn't happen out of nowhere, but as we are growing and thinking as leaders. Two resources I encourage you to look at:
1. This week I came across a new (free) video series from Dr. Terri Elton on developing stronger leadership habits.
2. LEAD is a ministry of the TX/LA-Gulf Coast Synod. Among their many (free) resources is the 10-Minute Toolbox, a video series on adaptive change to grow leaders and congregations.

Whatever your source, continue to grow and push yourselves in leadership and ministry practices...for the sake of your congregation, your youth and yourself!
Together in Christ,  
Catherine Anderson 
Coordinator of Youth Ministry 
Middle School Gathering

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

Registration is now Open! 
$65 if postmarked on or before October 19 
$75 if postmarked on or after October 20 

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. 
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. 
Rise Up Tour Dates in NE MN Synod!
First Concert is next week! 
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!

October 14: Bethlehem Lutheran, Grand Marais
5:30pm Pizza pre-concert Gathering
6:30pm Concert (Agape only)
Suggested Donation $5. All proceeds go to "Walk for Water" - so larger donations are accepted!
If you plan to bring a group of 5 or more, please RSVP to Pastor Kris Garey or 218-327-2227 so enough pizza is ordered!

December 9: Zion Lutheran, Grand Rapids
Contact Nikki Rud or click here for more information. 

January 16, 2016
Duluth, MN 

Super Early Bird Rate of $35 per person ends OCTOBER 31!!

RECHARGE is a one-day multi-denominational children's and youth ministry conference that aims to inspire and equip church staff and volunteers in their efforts to share their faith with the next generation. Whether you're a 20 year veteran youth pastor, just started volunteering as a 2nd grade Sunday School teacher this year, or somewhere in between - Recharge is for YOU! 98% of people say they will attend Recharge again AND recommend it to others. Come grow and learn!
Lunch & Learn with Tiger McLuen

October 22, 2015
11:30am - 1:00pm
Lakeview Covenant Church, Duluth

Recharge is sponsoring a LUNCH & LEARN in the cities we've expanded to. Connect with local, like-minded youth and children's ministry leaders who care about the next generation. Come for the networking as well as an opportunity to reaffirm your calling to ministry with uplifting insights and practical ministry encouragement. Come be encouraged and equipped by Tiger McLuen, President of Youth Leadership. For more info and to register, visit

(Click here for the Duluth location specific flyer.)
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 still looking for 1-2 high school youth to serve on the Leadership Team for this event! If you have youth who are passionate about environmental issues, have strong leadership skills, and want to find a place to share those gifts in a faith setting, please email Catherine Anderson or call 218-724-4424 as soon as possible! For more information and to apply, visit
NE MN Synod Discipleship Challenge

What's your story? This year the NE MN Synod Discipleship Challenge will help us live out our faith practices through sharing our life and faith stories. All resources for the entire year are now on the website! Check out the STORY acronym tool to help you think of questions to learn the stories of others, monthly Story Starters you can use in your congregation and with ministry leaders/colleagues, and Study Guides to go deeper into learning about God's Story for us!

New resource just added - "Table Tent" templates with Story Starter questions!
Learn more and download resources at
Practice Discipleship Webinar:
"Story of Faith Community" 
November 3, 2015: 1:00pm 
Presenters: John Cummings, Meghan Sobocienski, and Elizabeth Flores - Grace in Action

How can the historical church - ekklesia -translate to who we are called to be as church today? Stories of Jesus and the early "church" show us how we can be a true community of faith, across racial, socioeconomic and other boundaries that so frequently divide us. Engage in interactive conversation and activities that explore what it means to be a faith community today.

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. 
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