Youth E-Chat: April 6, 2021
Dear Friends,
On Sunday I had a conversation with a high school youth who had just returned to in person learning the week before. I asked how the year online has gone and what it was like to return to school. “It’s been a tough year and I was really looking forward to going back to school. But it was kind of overwhelming to be in the building with everyone.”
I’ve had so many conversations like that the last few months. I’m guessing you’ve had them or are experiencing that, too. We want normal…but we’ve changed, so normal isn’t normal anymore.
Last week, Springtide Research released, “THE NEW NORMAL: 8 Ways to Care for Gen Z in a Post-Pandemic World” based on their latest research of young people ages 13-25. I highly recommend you download this free guide as you begin to plan and prepare for summer and fall ministries and programming. The guide reminds us that ministry in the post-pandemic world has to start with rebuilding trust, understanding where young people are at, and exercising empathy. It also shares these 8 tips and practical considerations on how to walk with young people in the coming months:
  1. CREATE SAFETY to help young people regain their footing.
  2. GRIEVE WHAT’S BEEN LOST without dwelling on the negatives.
  3. CELEBRATE WHAT’S BEEN GAINED without insisting on optimism.
  4. RESIST COMPARISON by making space for a range of emotions.
  5. GET TOGETHER to combat isolation with intentional gatherings.
  6. TAKE CARE OF THE BODY to help the body and mind process stress.
  7. TURN TO THE ARTS to find new modes of expression.
  8. FOCUS ON THE PRACTICAL by offering young people concrete help.
Young people have changed. We have changed. The church has changed. And yet what remains the same is the opportunity we have to create space and set the table for Holy Spirit to be at work bringing us new life. I am so thankful for the work you have done this year to adapt and innovate to meet the social, emotional, physical and spiritual needs of young people through this unique time. I pray this research will be a helpful tool to equip and support you as you continue to lead!

Together in Christ,
Catherine Anderson
Synod Minister for Discipleship and Christian Community

Reminder! Youth E-Chat is now being sent the first and third Tuesdays each month. Please note below the deadlines coming up next week - you won't get an extra reminder next Tuesday!
Plan It Online!
Plan-It Online!
Thursday, April 15, 2021
9:30am - 4:00pm
Cost: FREE for NE MN Synod Congregations
($39 per congregation for others)
Registration Deadline: April 13

Plan-It is a one-day planning process to give congregations a framework to strategically plan their coming year. This year we will be holding this event online! There will be large group presentation, discussion and time to work on your own or in small breakouts to create your plan and calendar!

You are encouraged to bring a team! Pastors, youth directors, volunteers - all those who help with the decision making and planning for the year!

Each participant must be registered to attend and receive the Zoom link!
LYO Leadership Initiative
Would you like to have a team of high school and adult leaders that are trained and equipped to lead ministry in your congregation?

The new LYO Leadership Initiative invites youth and adults from a congregation/area to apply as a Congregation Team to be trained in Peer Ministry Leadership skills. Congregation Teams will attend LYO Leadership Camp, lead Peer Ministry in their congregation, and help plan and lead the Middle School Gathering. Application deadline is April 14!

Learn more at!
EcoFaith Summit
Now the Green Blade Rises: Storytelling for the Healing of Creation

This year's EcoFaith Summit will feature a diverse group of storytellers, including young people, to strengthen and inspire leaders to care for creation in their contexts. All ages are invited and encouraged to attend! For more information and to register, visit
Camp SJ
June 27-29, 2021
Camp Onomia OR Camp Vermilion
For Youth Currently in Grades 8-12 and their Adult Leaders
$100 per person

Camp SJ is an opportunity to gather with NE MN Synod congregations to be in community to play together, build relationships, and be deeply rooted in Christ Jesus as we process the year we experienced, naming our grief and being reminded of the hope we have in Christ. The NE MN Synod will provide the curriculum, based on this year's "Deeply Rooted" curriculum and creed. Camp Onomia and Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry will take care of the rest - registration, program structure, safety protocols and communicating with participants. The NE MN Synod is grateful for their partnership to provide this 3-day retreat at an affordable rate so high school youth and their adult leaders can be together safely for a fun and meaningful faith experience!

Summer Camp!
How will you partner with Outdoor Ministries this summer?

One of the best ministry tools we have to help us create space for our youth and young adults to process and make meaning of this last year is our Outdoor Ministry partners.

How can you invite youth to spend a week at camp - where they will play, laugh, breathe, and just they are grounded in faith within a caring community.

How can you invite young adults to spend the summer working at camp - where they will live out their faith and grow in leadership skills that last a lifetime...while playing, laughing, breathing and being grounded in faith within a caring community.

Congregational leaders play a vital role in connecting youth and young adults to camp! Who can you invite today?

Mental Health Moment
Network Meetings for Faith Formation Leaders
Every Thursday, 10:30am-11:30am
For Volunteers, Paid Youth Directors, Pastors

Network meetings are a time to resource and support each other in ministry. No registration required.

April 8: Network Meeting
April 15: No Network meeting to allow leaders to attend Plan It
April 22: Monthly Ministry Leader Bible Study
April 29: Network Meeting

Login information: 
Meeting ID: 854 1177 6494
Passcode: 543063​
To join by phone: 312-626-6799
Catherine Anderson | Coordinator of Youth Ministry | NE MN Synod, ELCA | 218-724-4424