Pacifica Synod Children, Youth and Family Ministry News & Events
Joint Synod High School Youth Zoom Event
Saturday, January 9
High school youth from Pacifica Synod are once again invited to join with youth from both Southwest CA and Sierra Pacific Synod for a SECOND joint youth event on Saturday, January 9 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. (on Zoom). Youth leaders and pastors are welcome to attend if they choose, but youth may also attend on their own. 

#CaliSTRONG is a space created for high school youth to engage each other in conversation around social justice issues and hot topics they are passionate about. This space will be peer led with adult supervision and a pastoral care presence. Youth will learn leadership skills to engage in dialogues around race, culture, diversity, equity and inclusion through a biblical lens.

Youth (and adults) MUST register for this event by Friday, January 8 to receive the Zoom link. Please click the button below to do so. NOTE: THIS IS A NEW REGISTRATION FORM. Please register again, even if you joined us in December.
Join Us for a Virtual Gathering NEXT Thursday!
For ALL those who are serving in ministries with children, youth or families (paid, volunteer, lay leader, pastor).
ALL those who are serving in ministries with children, youth or families (paid, volunteer, lay leader, pastor) are invited to gather together virtually by Zoom on Thursday, January 14 at noon for a time to check-in, share resources or ideas and pray for one another. We will also have a chance to share creative options as we look ahead towards Lent and Easter.

Below is the information to connect you to via Zoom. Please share this information with those you know who are also serving in a congregation. ALL are welcome - regardless of which ELCA synod you are in. You may join by computer, phone or tablet.

Please contact Terri Robertson at if you have any questions.
Zoom Info for January 14 at 12:00 noon

Pacifica Synod is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Synod Youth Ministry Leaders Check-In 
Time: January 14, 2021 at 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Dial by your location
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 838 8944 6425
Passcode: 735092 
Growing Young Monthly Core Commitment
Conversations Begin January 12
Churches are both shrinking and aging as more young people disengage. Based on research with over 250 of the nation’s leading congregations, Growing Young provides a plan that any church can use to involve and retain young people. Packed with ideas, Growing Young shows ministry leaders how to reach younger generations in a way that breathes life into the WHOLE church and deepen the faith of your young people as well as their connection and sense of belonging in your congregation.

Growing Young isn’t about changing youth ministry, 
it’s about changing church culture.

In November 2020, we held online presentations about the book Growing Young. We shared information and stories, as well as next steps in the Pacifica Synod’s commitment to walk with congregations in Growing Young. If you missed either of the presentations, you may find them on our Synod YouTube channel found here.

Beginning in January 2021, we will be hosting monthly, online Zoom conversations until June, each focusing on one of the six Growing Young Core Commitments. Each of these free, one-hour sessions will be offered once during the day and once during the evening.

While reading the book Growing Young is not a prerequisite of participating in the conversations, reading the chapter that will be discussed is encouraged. The book may be purchased through Fuller Youth Institute, Amazon or your favorite bookseller. For those who use a Kindle, we have FREE download codes for those who would use them. Please contact Terri Robertson at to have a code sent to you by email.

Below are dates and times of each of the sessions. Pre-registration for each session is required to receive the Zoom link to join. Please click here to register. We encourage you to share these dates and link with others in your congregation.

Session One – Unlock Keychain Leadership (Chapters 1 & 2)
Tuesday, January 12 – 11:00 AM
Thursday, January 14 – 6:30 PM

Session Two – Empathize with Today’s Young People (Chapter 3)
Thursday, February 4 – 6:30 PM
Tuesday, February 9 – 11:00 AM

Session Three – Take Jesus’ Message Seriously (Chapter 4)
Tuesday, March 9 – 11:00 AM
Thursday, March 11 – 6:30 PM

Session Four – Fuel Warm Relationships (Chapter 5)
Tuesday, April 13 – 11:00 AM
Thursday, April 15 – 6:30 PM

Session Five – Prioritize Young People/Families Everywhere (Chapter 6)
Tuesday, May 11 – 11:00 AM
Thursday, May 13 – 6:30 PM

Session Six – Be the Best Neighbors (Chapter 7)
Tuesday, June 8 – 11:00 AM
Thursday, June 10 – 6:30 PM

Pastor Tom Goellrich, Deacon Mindy Bugaj and Terri Robertson are currently serving on the team developing and leading this ministry, but we invite others to join us. For more information about Growing Young or if you'd like to serve on this team, please email Terri Robertson at
ELCA Youth Ministry Network 2021 Extravaganza
February 4-6, 2021
The ELCA Youth Ministry Network's 2021 Extravaganza is going to be an all-online experience taking place February 4-6, 2021. While this may be different than the usual in-person event, this also provides the opportunity for many to attend without the cost or time commitment of travel to a destination. And we are still going to experience spiritual renewal, continuing education and networking and connection. Extravaganza 2021 is for ALL leaders in a congregation and will help you get through the next year, and beyond. 
The goal for Extravaganza 2021 is to answer 5 questions together:

  • How do we help our people navigate the grief of losing "normal?" How do we navigate that same grief ourselves?
  • How do we care for ourselves in the midst of accompanying others in their pain?
  • How do we navigate change?
  • What should we do next?
  • How do we find hope in the midst of chaos?
  • We know that right now, ministry is hard and that we all wrestle with these questions. Together, with the help of our speakers and workshop leaders, we are going to try to figure out a road map.

The best part is that this event is affordable! From January 2 to February 1, the costs will be $50 for individuals and $120 for groups.
More information, including the schedule, speakers, and workshops, may be found at Hope to see you online!

Christian Education Network of the ELCA
Learning Strategies for the Life of Faith Initiative
In 2020, the Christian Education Network of the ELCA pivoted our Learning Strategies to focus on virtual and home faith formation. Even in the midst of the difficulties, we remained faithful to the call and God has indeed blessed our efforts. As we look forward to 2021, we are pleased to announce our 2021 Big Idea: Learning Strategies for the Life of Faith Initiative. Together we will:

  • Discover what it means to be both a Gathered and Scattered Church
  • Equip leaders to model and encourage a life of faith in others
  • Nurture all ages to live out their faith on a daily basis
  • Learn about real life examples in our Congregational Spotlights

This Big Idea grew out of the Network’s friendship and partnership with the Rev. Dwight DuBois, author of The Scattering: Imagining a Church that Connects Faith and Life. For more information, check out In addition to offering resources each month, we will also be highlighting congregations who are living out lives of faith. Keep coming back from new and exciting ideas, conversations and resources that can help make your life a little easier.

Also, be sure to check out the Christian Education Network of the ELCA Facebook Group for the latest ministry ideas from your colleagues. This is a great group to ask questions as you plan your new year. 
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