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Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

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In This Issue
Discipleship Challenge
Synod YM Event Dates
Free Webinar
Jesus Has Left the Building
Eco Faith Youth Camp
Peace Not Walls
Continuing Ed Events - New Listings!
Outdoor Ministries
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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. 
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.
May 10, 2016

(From my report to the 2016 Synod Assembly...)

Our synod is deep in wondering about mission planning. Today I would like to wonder with you about a specific and very critical part of your missional plans - faith formation. I intentionally use the word wonder. As you know, we live in a complicated culture for faith formation. There is no right answer for how to do this. Instead, I think the Holy Spirit gives us the gift of wondering about our current realities, to stir our imagination and help us think differently so we can move forward in mission and faith formation. So let me share with you some of my latest wonderings around faith formation...

Continue to Youth Ministry Report to Synod Assembly

Direct link to TED Talk referenced in the Report:
How Great Leaders Inspire Action, by Simon Sinek  
Catherine Anderson 
Coordinator of Youth Ministry
Discipleship Challenge: WONDER

The 2016-2017 Discipleship Challenge calls us into a year of WONDERING about faith formation and mission. What is God up to? Where is God calling us? Wondering reminds us that God is already at work in our midst. Wondering gives us hope. Wondering changes us. Wondering transforms our conversations. Wondering renews leaders. Wondering frees us to go about faith formation in new ways.  Wondering stirs our imaginations for mission. Wondering leads us into new ways of being. Wondering helps us know and follow Jesus.

Congregations and Leaders are invited into this challenge for 2016-2017:
Ten Minutes

Spend ten minutes at the start of every council meeting, every board meeting, every adult forum, every activity night, every potluck, every time members - young, middle and old - gather, to wonder together.
To wonder deeply about faith.
To wonder deeply about following Jesus.
To wonder deeply about faith formation.
To wonder deeply about mission.

Resources and inspiration for wondering together can be found at:
NE MN Synod Youth Ministry Event Dates
As you start planning for the 2016-2017 program year (and beyond!), make sure these dates for synod events are on your calendar!
Events for Youth:
November 18-19 or 19-20, 2016
Grades 6-9
March 3-5, 2017
Grades 9-12
June 22 - July 2, 2018
Grades 9-12
(Registration/Info meetings will be held spring 2017)
June 26-30, 2016
Grades 9-12
Events for Adults who work with Youth:
January 20-23, 2017
Louisville, KY
February 11, 2017
Duluth, MN
Practice Discipleship Webinar:
"Wondering with Children and Youth"    
Thursday, May 12th  
1:00pm Central Time

Presenter: Jeremy Myers,
Augsburg College

One of the most important things we can do for the children, youth and families we serve is to help them think theologically. Thinking theologically is not the memorization and regurgitation of dogma or doctrine. Rather, it is the active and fluid reflection on God's current and ongoing activity in our lives and communities. It is not reserved for only pastors or adults, it is for all of us. This workshop will help you discover ways to help children, youth and families wonder together about God and reflect on God's redemptive action in our world.

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  
Theology Institute for High School Youth    
Registration Deadline is May 16th! 
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  
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
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]

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