The NE MN Synod Journey
to the
2018 ELCA Youth Gathering 
January 10, 2018
God's Grace Changes Everything!
As I went into Constant Contact to start this newsletter, I realized I neglected to send an update in December - oops! December is a full month for all of us as we add in extra worship services, holiday concerts and parties, and time with family...not to mention celebrating Christmas itself. I hope and pray in the midst of the chaos, you had moments to ponder Emmanuel - God with us.

Perhaps you're like me - things get dropped in the busyness of life. Or sometimes you simply have to do triage to keep the plates spinning. This is often the time of year where I start hearing guilt-ridden confessions from adult leaders. "We didn't meet last month." "We haven't been able to get our entire group together." The Synod Journey is not a list of requirements, but a faith journey. The "requirements" are there because we know that will offer the richest experience for participants. But life happens, and sometimes balls get dropped despite our best intentions. Thankfully, God's Grace Changes Everything. God is still at work, with us or despite us. So keep spinning your Synod Journey plates, knowing that God's got you. God is at work in and through you to fan the flame of faith in your young people. You are enough. You are the right person for this job. And you are making a difference. God is with us...not just for Christmas...but every day!

On the Journey together,
Catherine Anderson
Coordinator of Youth Ministry

PS. There are lots of updates this month, and lots of new information on the Synod Journey website. Be sure to read through everything!!
Payment #2 Due February 1st!

It's time for that second payment: $450 per person! If you have any registration changes - a cancellation or substitution, or need to put a youth on the waiting list - please email Catherine!

Today we are mailing Primary Leaders a payment reminder with your amount due  ($450 per person, +/- any adjustments), along with other updates - most of which are in this email. Not a Primary Leader and want to see what they're getting? Click below!
Synod Journey Forms!

All forms for the Synod Journey and ELCA Youth Gathering are now posted on our Synod Journey website. Forms are due May 1...but earlier is always better!! Start passing these out at your next meeting!

A note on the ELCA Forms: We collect these to make sure you have all your paperwork for the Gathering so you don't miss out on any activities in Houston. The ELCA Medical Form asks for a Social Security Number - please ignore that and do not include your SSN.
Online Directory of Synod Journey Adult Leaders!

We have set up the Online Directory to help you connect with other Synod Journey Adult Leaders, and remember faces! Information on how to download the app for your smartphone or connect on a computer can be found on the Synod Journey Adult Leader Info page.

Pictures: There is a really good chance that Catherine put the wrong picture with the wrong name in the directory! :) If we have the wrong picture for your name, if you did not have your picture taken at the fall trainings, or you don't like the picture we used for you - please email Catherine with a new picture! 

Contact Info:  The contact info used is from what you entered in the online forms during registration.  It's easy to make a typo in those, so if that happened or you have new info - please email Catherine with your correct info! 
Synod Journey Worship Band Application Due January 15th!

The application for youth to be part of the Synod Journey Worship band is now posted on the SJ Resources page! Encourage your youth who have vocal and instrumental talents to apply! Applications are due January 15.
CPR Training

Trinity Lutheran Church in Princeton is hosting an American Heart Association CPR Training January 13  at 9am-12pm. The cost is $45. Pre-registration is required. For more information and to register, call Heidi Skuza (Trinity, Princeton, Primary Leader) at (612) 987-1798.

The synod is also still hoping to offer 1-2 CPR/First Aid classes later this spring. Dates will be posted as soon as we have them.
New "SJ Adult Leader Info" Page

We have a new page on the Synod Journey website, just for adult leaders! Right now it includes:
  • Online Directory Information
  • CPR Training Info
  • Timeline

Keep checking back as more info is posted!  The direct link is:

Spring Training Meetings!
Mark your calendars now! There will be three identical spring trainings for adult leaders to equip you with the final details for the Synod Journey and ELCA Youth Gathering. It is expected that all adult leaders attend one of these trainings, and  mandatory that at least one adult leader from each group attend. You are also welcome to bring additional adults working with your group. These trainings are essential as you prepare for the Journey!
Sunday, April 15,  2:00-4:30pm              
First Lutheran Church, Hinckley
Saturday, April 21,  9:30am - Noon             
First Lutheran Church, Duluth
Sunday, April 22,  2:00-4:30pm
Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Baxter
Houston Housing
We will receive our housing assignment in Houston in late January. As soon as I hear from the ELCA, I'll post that update on the Facebook group ! If you see reminders and notices in Gathering updates about making housing arrangements, disregard that information! We take care of all housing assignments for you!
Synod Journey Timeline
Wondering if you are forgetting something? We have posted a timeline on the SJ Adult Leader Info page to help you think about important deadlines, activities and announcements you should be making with your group. This is a generic timeline - you will want to add your own specific activities! And know your group - if they're slow to turn things in, you might want to bump up some of those dates!!

Getting Ready Materials
Don't forget to make your plan for your monthly meetings! An expectation of the Synod Journey is that groups meet at least monthly for group building, Bible studies and other activities to prepare for the Synod Journey and ELCA Youth Gathering. A variety of resources are  available on the Synod Journey Resource Page to assist you with these meetings.

And as always, if you have questions, don't hesitate to contact us!
More Information!

Throughout this year, if you have any questions regarding registration, housing or anything else regarding the NE MN Synod Journey or ELCA Youth Gathering, please email Catherine Anderson or call 218-724-4424, ext. 124. There is no question too small!
Northeastern Minnesota Synod | 218-724-4424| Email | Website