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Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

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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 Sarah Marshall 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. 
January 6, 2016

Groupness*. It's part of the power of youth ministry. Transformational groups have 3 qualities:
1. Rituals and Norms.
2. History and Purpose.
3. The ability to sustain themselves through challenges that arise.
Groupness doesn't just happen. It takes at least 17 continuous hours - with the same people, doing things together - to achieve groupness. The good news - the hours don't have to be contiguous, meaning one right after the other. But think about that. When is the last time you have had the same confirmation students show up for class 17 hours in a row? For Sunday school? For adult Bible studies? For youth board or council meetings?

Enter the power of retreats. Camps. Lock-ins. Mission Trips. There are many reasons these are powerful experiences, and one of those is they meet the magical 17 hours needed for a group to start functioning as a group and with purpose. As you plan for this coming year, how can you include opportunities for your groups to get 17 continuous hours, so you can move beyond surface conversations and activities to deeper faith formation?
Together in Christ,  
Catherine Anderson 
Coordinator of Youth Ministry

*Rodger Nishioka, a theologian from Columbia Theological Seminary, is the one who recently got me thinking about the power of "Groupness." Here's a short snippet from him:

For the full video of his lecture that includes information on groupness, click here.
I also highly recommend checking out the Youth Ministry Initiative YouTube channel.

January 16, 2016
Duluth, MN 


Cardia Deo 
March 4-6, 2016 Cardia Deo Logo
Big Sandy Camp, McGregor

Cardia Deo is a retreat for high school youth in grades 9-12 and their adult leaders. As Christians, we are Called, Gathered, Equipped and Sent to be the Heart of God (Cardia Deo) in the world. Bible studies led by the LYO Board, servant learning, worship, mystery event, camp life, and an adult track led by the retreat chaplain all make this event a deeply meaningful, fun and faith-nurturing event.

Registration is open! Early-bird registration deadline is February 1st. For more information and registration forms: 
EcoFaith Youth Camp   
June 26-30, 2016
Duluth, MN

Are you interested in exploring the intersection between environmental, economic, and racial justice in a faith context? The NE MN Synod, in partnership with the NE MN Synod Creation Care Task Force and Peace United Church of Christ,  invites you to be part of a new opportunity this summer -
The EcoFaith Youth Camp. This week long day camp will begin on Sunday, June 26 and will end on Thursday, June 30. Our week will be spent exploring our role as God's people and  understanding our call to care for all of God's creation and people. Throughout the week we will be in conversations with local indigenous communities and local farmers, learn the history and story of the St. Louis River, and explore the complexities of our food systems. Our week will also involve one night of camping, a morning of canoeing, and time to learn, play, and grow together!
More information can be found at
Discipleship Challenge: Story   
Featured Study Guide:
Story of Scripture
God's story in scripture is the story of crossing borders and breaking through boundaries in order to bring new life.

The presidential election process has created a lot of conversation around borders, immigrants, refugees, and who is in and who is out. The Discipleship Challenge Study Guide, "Story of Scripture" would be a helpful resource for leading conversations on this topic with your youth or other groups.

More Study Guides and resources can be found at:
February 5-8, 2016
Anaheim, CA

The Extravaganza is the premier renewal, education and networking event of the ELCA for leaders in children, youth and family ministry. It is for the professional and the volunteer. It is for the old and the young. It is for the urban, the suburban and the rural. It is for pastors, it is for laypeople. It is for all who share in the adventure we call youth and family ministry. Register now!  
Youth Ministry Positions
Director of Youth and Family Ministry 
Lutheran Church of the Cross, Nisswa 
Lutheran Church of the Cross (LCC) in Nisswa, MN, is seeking a full-time Director of Youth and Family Ministry to revitalize the ministry to youth in grades 7-12 and their families. We seek someone who has the skills for relational ministry to both youth and their parents. This person will also be part of a team that works on an integrated birth-to-graduation children's and youth ministry structure at LCC. Our congregational mission centering on the six  marks of discipleship (prayer, scripture reading, worship, service in Christ's name, stewardship and hospitality will be a central part of all youth and family ministry programming. Most importantly, a love and passion for Christ and youth ministry is essential. The person in this position will work closely with the Director of Children and Family Ministry and Associate Pastor.
For more information or questions, please contact Pastor Andy Smith at 218-963-2564. Resumes can be sent to: Lutheran Church of the Cross, Attn:  Pastor Andy Smith, PO Box 29, Nisswa, MN  56468.  
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