Youth E-Chat: April 28, 2020
Dear Friends,

Practice not Perfect.

That was the theme for this year’s Extravaganza. Who knew in January we would need this theme to prepare us for the coming year. A reminder that we are called to practice faith and ministry – to live into it, not for the sake of perfection but as a response to the life and love we have been given. A reminder to be bold as we try new ways of ministry, to learn from failure and try again, to support and encourage each other as we grow, and to celebrate each success.

This was one of my favorite videos from the Extravaganza:
With every jump she makes, I see your Zoom youth ministry meetings. I see your efforts to learn and practice new technologies so worship can happen on Facebook or Zoom on Sunday mornings. I see your phone calls to teenagers who outwardly grunt responses, but inwardly soak in the compassion of someone reaching out. I see your planning for confirmation, VBS, summer events, and graduation recognition...that now have to be done online.

I see the incredible ways in which you are practicing faith and ministry in bold and innovative ways, with deep love and compassion. I celebrate with you all that you have done…and I pray you pause and do the same for yourself. Perfection is not our goal. Living out our faith and equipping and empowering others to do the same is what we are after…and what you are doing. Well done, good and faithful servants!

Together in Christ,
Catherine Anderson
Coordinator of Youth Ministry
COVID-19 Resource Updates
New this week:
  • Graduation resources
  • "Reframing Youth Ministry" registration

New this week:

Email Catherine if there are resources you are looking for or if you have great resources to share. Chances are, others are looking for similar resources...or need what you have!
Online Network Meetings
(For Volunteers, Paid Youth Directors, Pastors...YOU!)

​Ministry has changed drastically, and the work you are doing to support youth and families is critical. These weekly network meetings are an opportunity to learn from each other, support each other, share ideas and resources, pray and laugh together. We are better together!

Check-In meetings will be every Thursday, 10am, through May 28.

Login information for this Thursday, April 30:

You can also access the weekly link on the Faith Formation Resources in Response to COVID-19 page.

If these times don't work for you and you would like to check in with someone, please  email Catherine  or call 218-724-4424, ext 124. You are not alone as we navigate these challenging days!
Upcoming Events for Adult Leaders
It's Time We Prayed
April 30, 3:00pm, Zoom
Join the ELCA Youth Ministry Network and Peer Ministry Leadership for a time of group centering prayer and facilitated group spiritual direction. Led by Spiritual Directors Shannon Savage-Howie, Andrea Griner and Lyle Griner.

Free Coaching from Youth Ministry Consulting
Church leaders everywhere are learning what it means to minister during a world-wide pandemic. In order to best serve these leaders as they navigate new challenges, we are waiving all first-time coaching fees now through the end of April. Click here for more information.

May 14: Reframing Youth Ministry After COVID19
9am – Noon, Zoom, FREE
Registration deadline is May 12
Join faith formation leaders from across the synod for a conversation on what we have learned from doing ministry during COVID-19, and how our experiences might shape faith formation in the coming months and years. This event is free and will be held via Zoom. The schedule will include large group presentation and small group discussion in breakout rooms. A final schedule with session topics will be posted by May 5. Registration is required to participate. You will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom login information and event details after May 5.

Peer Ministry Leadership Online Training Opportunities:

May 19: LSS Benefit for Youth
11:45am - 12:30pm, Livestream
This annual fundraising event highlights the obstacles young Minnesotans face and the ways in which LSS, together with all of us, helps map a route to their success. The goal of this event is to raise financial support for LSS. You are able to designate donations to LSS in your community. It is also a helpful event to learn more about their resources and stories! Click here for more information and to register! You can list Catherine Anderson as your table captain.
Mental Health Moment
Joy Hensel, Project Coordinator for the NE MN Synod Mental Health Initiative and team members will be sharing thoughts with you each week to encourage, educate, resource and support you as you walk with the anxiety, fear, and grief of youth and adults, and care for yourselves.
Additional videos are available at www.nemnsynod.org/mhcovid19 .
Weekly Youth E-Chat
While we learn to live with and respond to COVID-19 in our homes and congregations, I will be sending out Youth E-Chat every Tuesday morning with updates and resources for you to use in your congregations. If you have anyone in your congregation who would like to be added to this e-newsletter (it is a different database than our synod's Online Reflections/Announcements), please have them sign up here. You can also find previous Youth E-Chats on the Faith Formation Resources for COVID-19 web page.
Catherine Anderson | Coordinator of Youth Ministry | NE MN Synod, ELCA Catherine.Anderson@nemnsynod.org | 218-724-4424