Youth E-Chat: February 16, 2021
Dear Friends,

Last week Joy Hensel, Project Consultant for the NE MN Synod Youth Ministry & Mental Health Initiative, shared tips and tools on tending to ourselves and others. I encourage you to watch the video and to share it with your staff and volunteers.
Our self-care matters. As Joy shared, “Taking care of your staff, volunteers and the young people we serve begins with…you. The best thing we can do is role model self-care. If you take care of yourself – your family…your congregation…your youth in your ministry programs are going to be better.”
Joy shared some questions that are helpful to consider. I invite you to take some time to consider these first for yourself, and then to begin using them at your staff meetings, with your volunteers at committee or planning meetings, and with young people:
  • How are you feeling?
  • What is giving you the most stress this week?
  • Who is your pastor/spiritual mentor?
  • Is tending to your own spiritual health on your to do list?
  • What is feeding your spiritual life this year?
  • How are you connecting to spiritual practices that nourish your soul?
  • What are you doing this weekend?
  • What restores your spirit? How are you doing that?
  • How do you unplug from work each day?
One self-care practice I have added to my to do list this year is to get outside for at least 30 minutes, three times a week. I don’t even have to do anything – I just know I am better when I have outside time. The reality is, when it’s cold it does mean hiking or walking to stay warm…which is bonus self-care. I have failed miserably at that the last couple of weeks, but that’s ok too. We are all doing our best, and sometimes self-care is giving ourselves a break.
Your body, soul and mind are a precious gift from God. You are worth tending to…the staff and volunteers you work alongside are worth tending to. Period. But if you need another reason – the youth and adults in our congregations need you for the long term. So this week…I invite and encourage you to schedule in time to tend to your body, mind and spirit. Get it on your calendar as a non-negotiable. Child of God, you are worth it!

Together in Christ,
Catherine Anderson
Synod Minister for Discipleship and Christian Community
Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA
Learning Opportunities for Adult Leaders
Faith-Filled Leadership in a Secular Age
Featuring Dr. Andrew Root
Saturday, February 27, 2021 - 9am to 12:15pm
This event will be held online. Free, registration required. Sponsored by the NE MN Synod Lutheran Men in Mission and the Lay Leader Network.
Summer Camp 2021
Why encourage youth to attend camp this summer? Some thoughts from Gretchen Bachman, Director of Operations at Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry:

"...though we are planning and preparing for any number of scenarios this summer, we really don’t know exactly how camp is going to look in 2021. But that isn’t stopping people from getting their child signed up for their first camp experience, or congregations from booking their Boundary Waters trip, or families from reserving their spot at Family Camp. We, a collective we, are ready to do camp again, no matter what it looks like. We yearn for the connections, the silly skits, the conversations, the sounds of laughter, meeting new friends, and echo of the camp cheer off the lake.

That is the power of camp. It brings hope in uncertain times; it brings connections even as we physically distance; it restores our faith in human kind. And yes, of course there are other places in our lives that call to us, where deep connections and long-lasting memories are made.

But there is just something about camp…."

Read Gretchen's full article here.

Click here for Camp Sunday resources from Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry
Camp SJ
June 27-29, 2021
Camp Onomia and 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!

Youth Ministry Position
First Lutheran Church, Brainerd
The Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministry (DCYFM) is a full time position to provide leadership for the faith formation programs and activities for the youth, together with their families, in living their Christian faith. The DCYFM works alongside the staff, church council and members of First Lutheran to carry out the mission and vision of the church.

For questions, contact Dave Larson at 218-829-9552 or  

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.

Login information: 
Meeting ID: 854 1177 6494
Passcode: 543063​
To join by phone: 312-626-6799
New Resources Added
Mental Health Resources:
PowerPoint PDF of "Mental and Spiritual Health"
Catherine Anderson | Coordinator of Youth Ministry | NE MN Synod, ELCA | 218-724-4424