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Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

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In This Issue
Fall Resource Packet
Welcome to the Synod
Peer Ministry Training
Middle School Gathering
Discipleship Challenge
Catechism App
Eco Faith Youth Camp Recap
LYO Training Camp Recap
Youth Ministry Positions
Continuing Ed Events
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. 
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.
August 2, 2016

This summer I've been wondering about tribal community, belonging, and the challenge of coming home for our youth (and adults!) after rich, affirming, faith-filled experiences at camps and mission trips this summer. You read more about my wonderings here, in the cover letter for the Fall Resource Packet.

I pray that in this season of deeply investing in the faith lives of youth through camps, mission trips and adventure trips...that you also find and make room for rest and renewal!

Together in Christ,  
Catherine Anderson 
Coordinator of Youth Ministry
Fall Resource Packet 
The NE MN Synod Fall Resource Packet, with information for 2016-2017 Youth Ministry Events will be mailed to congregations this week. But if you're too impatient (or curious!), you can download the packet contents on the NE MN Synod Youth Ministry Resource Page. Links to the individual pieces are:

Cover Letter
Calendar of Events
Middle School Gathering/Cardia Deo Event Info
Discipleship Challenge
Fall Theological Conference Brochure and Housing
Welcome to the Synod Event
August 16, 2016
9:30am - 1:30pm
First Lutheran Church, Duluth

Welcome to the Synod
is an opportunity to meet other people who are relatively new to service in the synod, the bishop and the synod staff, your conference dean, and others involved in the mission of the church in the Northeastern Minnesota Synod. Welcome to the Synod is a time for leaders to introduce themselves, their work, and the many ministries of the synod including: outdoor ministries, campus ministries, hunger, justice, rural life, creation care ... and many more! Following lunch, there will be an open house at the synod office across the street from First Lutheran Church: come to take a tour of the building or to sit down with a staff member to begin or continue a conversation!   
If you are within the first five years of serving in the synod as a rostered leader; a synodically authorized minister; the dean of your conference; a lay youth and family minister working in a congregation of the synod; or a candidate/ seminarian/ intern in the territory of this synod, then you are invited to the 2016 Welcome to the Synod event!
Join us at 9:30 am - 1:30 pm, Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at First Lutheran Church - Duluth (1100 E. Superior St, Duluth, MN 55802). Please call the synod office (218-724-4424) or email Pastor John Dietz at [email protected] to let us know we will be seeing you there! (Please RSVP by August 7 so we can order food - and let us know of any dietary restrictions at that time!)
Peer Ministry Training 
Peer Ministry Leadership Training Camp  
August 26-28th
Camp Vanasek, Baxter, MN

We will be trained by Lyle Griner of Peer Ministry Leadership.


Peer Ministry Training

A 12-hour training, plus four coaching sessions with a key leader, for adults responsible for equipping and supporting student leaders, plus key high school youth who help build enthusiasm and an infrastructure for continuing PML leadership groups. Plus one pre and three post coaching sessions.
  • KICKSTART pre-training - One-hour phone or Skype session. Remove yourself from being the middle-person, allowing others to hear and ask questions first hand. Get your team together! Your inside fan club, a few key adults and youth who want to know, and who will help others to be in the know! Our experience? Participation at trainings has gone way up.
  • TRACTION COACHING post-training. - Training continues in three phone or Skype sessions with key leader(s) spread over three to six months. This is your insurance that PML does not become another dusty three ring binder on a shelf! We will work on sharpening your training skills, plus help you put successful strategies together that fit your student leaders in your ministry plus, help you manage your new adult and youth leaders.
  • COST: $2,600 Share your training and the costs with one or more other churches! (Includes housing and food at Camp Vanasek) The more participants we have the less it works out to be per/person (25 participants = $160)
No lectures. No power points. No white boards. No smoke machines or laser lights. This is a face-to- face, learn-by-doing, skill-by-skill experience. You learn PML skills by entering into life and faith experiences with everyone in the room.
A circle of chairs, engaging exercises, working in pairs, a series of life sharing conversations as you use the skills you are learning, deepening faith, and yes... always fun.
We work through at least seven of the sessions in the curriculum. We also work on facilitating skills, planning, practical uses, and next steps for your ministry.
You and your adults who train and mentor high school Peer Ministry Leaders. Your key youth, who will leave excited, wanting to motivate others, ready to serve!
You can only teach what you live. People learn from people, modeling and mentoring these skills. That is why we work with adults and kids. The curriculum and training is amazing, but the real learning will come when you and your leaders live what you teach!
For more information and to register contact Vicki Foss at 
Middle School Gathering 
November 18-19 OR 19-20, 2016
Cragun's Resort, Brainerd
It's not too early to start inviting youth to the Middle School Gathering! Event details and registrations forms are available at:

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:
Catechism App 

Augsburg Fortress has released a free mobile app of Luther's Small Catechism. You can download the app at Apple's App Store or Google Play.
EcoFaith Youth Camp   
We had a rich and challenging week exploring environmental, economic and racial justice issues in the northland through a faith lens at the EcoFaith Youth Camp in June. Each day had a different focus:
  • On our water day, we canoed the St. Louis River and considered its history from when Native Americans were first called to care for these waters, to the pollution challenges that made it into a Superfund clean up site.
  • We spent a day at a local organic farm, learning the issues and challenges to providing food and fair wages.
  • We visited the Fond du Lac Reservation and heard stories of indigenous peoples and how our history still impacts us today.
  • We considered where God is calling us to serve and make a difference in our responsibility to be stewards of God's creation.

You can get a glimpse of our week through this video, put together by one of the youth on the leadership team. In the coming months, we will be working on putting together a manual that can be used as a template for congregations to host their own EcoFaith Youth Camp or similar experience. 

LYO Training Camp Recap 
We had a wonderful week with the 2016-2017 LYO Board at Camp Vermilion in June! During training camp, the LYO is trained in Peer Ministry, digs into Lutheran Theology and Scripture, learns small and large group leadership skills, and plans the Middle School Gathering and Cardia Deo retreat.  This group of insightful, creative, faith-filled high school youth will serve you well this coming year!
Youth Ministry Positions 
First Lutheran Church, Little Falls:
Youth and Family Minister 
First Lutheran Church in Little Falls, MN is looking to fill a position for a full time Youth and Family Minister. The Youth and Family Minister of First Lutheran Church will develop and carry out ministries of faith formation for children, youth and families to live a life centered in Christ. The Youth and Family Minister will lead by example, work creatively and collaboratively, and provide dynamic leadership, vision, and organization. Experience in youth ministry is preferred but not required. Previous experience in a similar role could apply. For more information and to apply, contact Pastor Jake Dyrhaug at [email protected] or (320) 632-6667.

Interested in positions outside of the NE MN Synod? The ELCA Youth Ministry Network's Placement Page lists open positions across the ELCA. There are many opportunities! 
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