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Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

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Cardia Deo
Prayer Resources
Confirmation Website
Story Kit Resources
Outdoor Ministries
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NE MN Synod
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Get Networked!

Youth ministry is hard work. We are strengthened personally and professionally when we get together regularly to share our stories, swap ideas, learn from each other and lean on each other.  Make time this month to join in on one of these network opportunities, or have coffee with a youth worker near you!

Duluth Area Network Meetings:
Second Thursday of Every Month, 10:00am
Beaner's in West Duluth
Contact Deb Westerberg for more info.

Brainerd Area Network Meetings:
Second Thursday of Every Month, 10:00am
Caribou Coffee on Hwy 371
Contact Sarah Marshall for more info.
Cert Schools

Vibrant Faith Training School 
This unique training experience changes lives, equips leaders, and transforms congregations in effective and creative faith formation, culminating in creating a ministry plan that will guide your efforts with children, youth, and families. Learn more.

Sponsored by

Youth Leadership 
This program is a unique, holistic leadership development program that covers the key areas of ministry. We come alongside you as you grow as a leader in your particular context, sharpen your vision and encourage your calling. Learn more. 
NE MN Synod Facebook Group - Join Today!
The NE MN Synod is on Facebook! Join today for synod updates and to share your questions and ministries! Search for "Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA" or click here to join.
December 6, 2017

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness- 
on them light has shined. - Isaiah 9:2

The beginning of November I was in Houston for the ELCA Youth Leadership Summit and met Pastor Deb Grant. Pastor Deb leads the congregation of Faith Lutheran Church in Dickinson, TX, where most of the city was under at least 3 feet of water due to Hurricane Harvey, and the church was a complete loss. You might have seen this picture from their sanctuary that made the rounds on social media. Debris piles sat on the berm for weeks waiting for removal from a city stretched beyond its capacity. Residents are still waiting for word from insurance companies and FEMA. Night brings dark neighborhoods, with perhaps a light in an upstairs room as residents wait to rebuild.

Is this not Advent - powerless and at a complete loss, we wait in darkness for the Light of the world. This Advent, many of our brothers and sisters in areas affected by this year's hurricanes are entering the phase of disaster recovery - of waiting - that often brings depression, anger and hopelessness. What has us in a place of darkness? Where does our waiting bring us?

Last week I was back in Galveston planning for the Synod Journey and stopped in to see Pastor Deb. I heard more painful stories. But she also shared how life giving it was for their congregation to be invited in by the Episcopal church to worship together in their space until they rebuild. She shared how their congregation chose to put off rebuilding the sanctuary so they could first start a book pantry for the numerous children living in poverty in the area. She shared how they are revisioning their ministry future to invite non-profits to office in their building so they can better serve the community. Before we left I asked what we could do. "Share our story. Remember us. Tell people that God is indeed Light in the darkness. We wait. But we wait with hope."  

May you also find hope and Christ's light in your waiting this season.

Together in Christ,   
Catherine Anderson 
Coordinator of Youth Ministry

PS. One practical way to help that Pastor Deb suggested at the Youth Leadership Summit, is for each congregation to take one (seriously just one - not a box!) ELW from their sanctuary to send to Faith Lutheran to replace the hymnals they lost. But before you send it, have congregation members sign the inside cover with notes of encouragement for their members. She shared how the notes coming from across the country have been the most helpful and encouraging for her members. If you would like to do this, please send your one hymnal to:
Pastor Deb Grant
Faith Lutheran Church
800 FM 517 East Road
Dickinson, TX 77539
Cardia Deo  
March 2-4, 2018 Cardia Deo Logo
Grades 9-12
Big Sandy Camp, McGregor

Registration opens January 1st!

We are Called, Gathered, Equipped and Sent to share the Heart of God (Cardia Deo) in the world. This year we focus on what it means to be Gathered. Youth and adults will dig deep into Bible studies to wonder together how being Gathered changes everything - who we serve, who we see who we care for, where we go, and how we see Jesus.

Cardia Deo is a full weekend of fun and faith-nurturing activities including Bible studies, service learning, worship, a mstery event, and camp life - all planned and led by the LYO Board! The weekend also includes an adult track led by the retreat chaplain to feed the faith of our adult leaders as well!

Start inviting youth now to be part of this amazing weekend!

Prayer Resources from the
Middle School Gathering 

730 middle school youth and their adult leaders gathered at Cragun's in November to learn about the Lord's Prayer, and how God is with us through prayer All the Time - whenever we need, wherever we are, whatever is on our mind. As part of the event, we had several practical learning activities around prayer. These resources are now posted on the Middle School Gathering website:

Prayer resources include:
  • Prayer Labs (Doodle Prayer, Prayer in Images, Prayer Labyrinth, Stretch Prayer)
  • Lord's Prayer Stations
  • Four Pillars of Prayer from speaker Dave Holtz
  • Links to other prayer resources

NE MN Synod Confirmation Website Page 

You are invited to check out the new Confirmation page on the NE MN Synod website!
This page has resources from the NE MN Synod Confirmation Summit: videos of the presentation by Dr. Terri Elton, PowerPoint, Handout and links. More resources for confirmation will be posted in the weeks to come!  
January 26-29, 2018  
Houston, TX 
Registration rates go up December 21 - register today!

I recently had a leader approach me after a presentation to a congregation on faith formation in our changing culture: "I thought you were going to give us a manual (literally), and we could just follow it and things would go great." I love and appreciate her honesty - don't we all wish there was a manual? The reality in this age is that there is no formula. Instead I believe the Holy Spirit is calling us to wrestle with new models for ministry, to listen to and engage young people and their parents, to be bold and courageous in trying new we find our way forward in faith formation. We can't do this on our own. We need to learn from each other, challenge each other and support each other. 
This Extravaganza will give you that opportunity! Join speakers and workshop leaders who are trying innovative approaches, to be inspired on how you and your congregation might find your way forward. Learn from others as you network. Be renewed through worship.
There is no manual. But learning together and listening to what God is already up to, we will find new ways forward in faith formation.
February 10, 2018   
Duluth, MN  
Super Earlybird Registration is now open through Dec. 15th! 
RECHARGE is a one-day multi-denominational children's and youth ministry conference that aims to inspired and equip church staff and volunteers in their efforts to share their faith with the next generation.
Story Kit Resource    
Free Resource for All! 
The NE MN Synod Journey Worship Team has developed "Story Kits" to explore how  
This Changes Everything:  
God's CALL,  
God's LOVE,  
God's GRACE,  
God's HOPE,  
JESUS changes everything.

Each Story Kit Session uses the biblical story and engaging rituals to help participants wonder about and deepen their faith.

These resources are NOT just for Synod Journey participants! We encourage all congregations to use them, with all ages!

For more information and to download the resources, visit
(Scroll down to the "SJ Resources" section.)
Continuing Education Events Beyond Our Synod
Our synod is located just hours away from some of the top youth ministry training in the nation! Click on the organizations below for a complete listing of training opportunities!
Youth Leadership

Offers 3 hour, one day, intensive and certificate programs.


Peer Ministry / Marilyn Sharpe Ministries

Living Room Summit, Peer Ministry Leadership Camps and trainings, Coaching.

Vibrant Faith Ministries
Online learning, coaching. Tons of free resources on the Faith Formation Learning Exchange
You are welcome to copy and use any of the information or writings above for use in your newsletters and other communications.

If you have any questions regarding any of these events, please contact me at the number and addresses listed below.

Catherine Anderson
Coordinator of Youth Ministry


Phone: 218.724.4424, ext. 124
Fax: 218.724.4393