Youth E-Chat
Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

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In This Issue
Youth Ministry Survey
Eco Faith Youth Camp
Theology Institutes
Free Webinar
Peace Not Walls
Discipleship Challenge
Vibrant Faith Training School
Youth Ministry Positions
Continuing Ed Events - New Listings!
Outdoor Ministries
in and around
NE MN Synod
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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. 
April 6, 2016

At a recent network meeting with youth workers, a leader shared a blog by Sara Miles, where she talks about the most important word in the Bible. And what is that word?

"With. And so we open our worship saying: the Lord be with you. And so we proclaim that the Word made flesh came to dwell with us. And so we call his name Emmanuel, meaning: God with us. And so we bless our gatherings saying: the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all.

Notice: with, not for.

Because God is not actually for us: except in my crazy, private triumphalist fantasies in which God, who takes my side always, will magically appear and smash my enemies. God is not doing nice things for us, like strangers on mission trips who appear, hand out random goodies and go home. God is not for us in the sense that God is always going to be giving us what we want, protecting us from illness and harm, and making us rich.

God's just with us. God sticks with us. Accompanies us. Delights in us, plays with us, suffers and abides with us. In trouble and in doubt, when everything goes perfectly and when things fall apart: God is with us."

Wherever your life, faith, and ministry journeys are taking you these days...may you know, feel and remember: God is with you.
Together in Christ,  
Catherine Anderson 
Coordinator of Youth Ministry
NE MN Synod Youth Ministry Survey  
Thank you to all those who have taken the NE MN Synod Youth Ministry Survey! If you have not done so yet, please do so today!

NE MN Synod youth ministry teams will be doing some re-visioning work in the coming months in order to continue to support synod congregations in faith formation with middle school and high school youth. Y
our input in this process is invaluable! Leaders from all of our synod congregations are invited to fill out the survey. Whether your congregation is large or small, has a vibrant youth ministry program or if you wonder what youth look like - we need your story to have a complete picture! More than one leader from a congregation can take the survey - the more perspectives we have, the better! The survey closes April 11, 2016.

The survey is in a Google Form at:
Please share this URL with others in your congregation. If you have trouble accessing the online form, email Catherine for a hard copy. Thank you in advance for sharing your congregation's youth ministry story with us!

EcoFaith Youth Camp   
June 26-30, 2016
Duluth, MN
Early registration deadline is a week from Friday!

Grades 9-12 (at time of registration)
$100 per person if postmarked by April 15th
$125 per person if postmarked April 2nd or after

The EcoFaith Youth Camp is a week long day camp for high school youth and their adult leaders that explores the intersection between environmental, economic, and racial justice in a faith context. Each day will include field trips, activities and conversations with different local groups including organic farmers, canoeing the St. Louis river, and meeting leaders from local indigenous communities. There will also be one night of camping along the north shore as we visit an "off the grid" home!

The EcoFaith Youth camp is sponsored by the NE MN Synod, in partnership with the NE MN Synod Creation Care Task Force and Peace United Church of Christ. For groups outside the Duluth area, free housing options at local congregations are available. Contact Catherine Anderson for more information.

More information can be found at
Theology Institutes for High School Youth    
Jesus Has Left the Building
June 19-24, 2016
Augsburg College, Minneapolis 
Are you concerned about the social and ecological situations our world faces? Do you long to see your congregation more engaged with these issues in your community? Do you love your church so much that it sometimes frustrates you? If so, then join us this year for the 11th Augsburg College Youth Theology Institute. As a participant, you will gain the skills and knowledge that will empower you to help lead your congregation beyond its walls and into the public square for the common good.
More Information 

Sacred Word, Sacred World, Sacred Call
July 7-16, 2016
College of St. Scholastica, Duluth

The College of St. Scholastica invites you to deepen your faith, discover theological resources to deepen your thinking and your understanding of the Bible, explore your spirituality, and learn how to listen to your true life's calling, all within the beauty of the northwoods and Lake Superior.
More Information
Practice Discipleship Webinar:
"Wondering Through Service Learning"    
Thursday, April 14th  
1:00pm Central Time

Presenter: Mark Jackson,
Trinity Lutheran College

Service learning moves service projects and mission trips from one-time events to experiences that open minds and hearts to new ways of thinking and acting. For example, youth might ponder tough questions about poverty in your hometown, notice the incredible artistry within God's creation, or glimpse the wisdom of a senior citizen in a simple conversation. By emphasizing adequate preparation, intentional reflection, and sharing stories with others, service experiences can be brought to life in profound, astonishing ways.

This webinar is part of the Practice Discipleship series on "Wonder." The webinars are FREE! But you must pre-register by clicking here. Can't make the date? No problem! All webinars are recorded, and available at  
Peace Not Walls  
NE MN Synod Young Adults Justice Pilgrimage
to the Holy Land

July 7-17th, 2016

Young adults (ages 18-30ish) in the NE MN Synod are encouraged to participate in this unique opportunity to be engaged in the pursuit of peace and justice in the Holy Land. This justice-oriented trip will be led by Bjorn and Laura Anderson, who have received training to lead this trip through the ELCA's Peace Not Walls Campaign & ELCA Young Adults program. For more information, click on the links below. Questions may be directed to Laura or Bjorn Anderson at [email protected]

Discipleship Challenge: Story   
Featured Study Guide: 
Story of Service   
What stories get told through service experiences? 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.
How can stories shape short and longer service projects and mission trips into life and faith transforming experiences? The Discipleship Challenge Study Guide, "Stories of Service" is a helpful resource for youth, adults and intergenerational groups, to use in preparation for summer mission trip and for other service projects in the community and beyond.

More Study Guides and resources can be found at:
Vibrant Faith Training School

Certificate in First Third of Life Ministry Leadership 

Luther Crest Bible Camp, Alexandria
May 1-6, 2016

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
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.  
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.
Upcoming Events:
April 18: Intro to the Bible, New Testament
April 28: Leading from the Second Chair
May 5: Faith Development, Understanding How Kids Faith Emerges Over Time


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
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.
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