The Youth & Family Ministry Network of the SCSW Will Gather!

This Thursday, October 25, 2018
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Synod Office – 6401 Odana Rd, Suite 20 Madison OR online via Zoom.
To join via Zoom from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://wartburgseminary.zoom.us/j/795356823
Or Telephone:
Dial: US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 558 8656 Meeting ID: 795 356 823

All volunteers, lay staff, and rostered ministers who work within the realm of youth and family ministry are invited to join us as we network together and brainstorm how we may engage the youth of our synod over the next year. This will be an important gathering as we listen to each other, our experiences, our challenges, and our hopes for the future. Join with other youth leaders for this time of visioning and getting acquainted with one another.

Also, be sure to join our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/scswyouth/.

Telling the Story of the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering

Look back on your gathering experience! There are tons of pictures and videos to help you share the Gathering story! Check out the albums on the official Facebook page, as well as videos available on YouTube.

2018 ELCA Youth Gathering New Resources

We are excited to share the latest in our curriculum resources that explore the theme “This Changes Everything.” In partnership with LuMin: Campus Ministry Network and the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Network, we have created three cross generational sessions and three sessions to be used in young adult ministry contexts. Each curriculum seeks to continue conversations started this summer at the Gathering, at camps and in congregations about God’s grace, love and hope changing everything for us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Click on the links above to download these fantastic new resources.

Synod Youth & Family Ministry Network

The Youth & Family Ministry Network of the SCSW will be meeting on Thursday, October 25, 2018 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Synod Office OR online via Zoom. All volunteers, lay staff, and rostered ministers who work within the realm of youth and family ministry are invited to join us as we network together and brainstorm how we may engage the youth of our synod over the next year. Be sure to join our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/scswyouth/.

Mission Moment: ELCA Hunger Fellows

Each week we are highlighting ministries that are supported by your weekly offerings.  We are grateful for your generosity as it helps us do what matters to God in Jesus’ name!  Please reprint these stories in your newsletters or share them during worship as mission moments as they help to answer the question, “Where does my offering go?”

By Abbigail Hull, ELCA World Hunger Fellow

Advocacy requires collaboration and a gaze towards the future. It was this vision that created the ELCA Hunger Advocacy fellowship. A program made possible by ELCA World Hunger, this fellowship is a year-long transformative experience that combines leadership development, faith formation, and impactful advocacy that moves us toward an end to hunger and a just world where all are fed. This program is in its second year and has already received and developed thoughtful leaders with passion and fresh ideas.

Fellows are placed in various faith-driven public policy offices throughout the United States. The goal of the Hunger Advocacy Fellowship is to build ELCA World Hunger’s capacity to end hunger by deepening and expanding Lutheran advocacy efforts in synods, coalitions and networks.

There are six hunger fellows this year, and one of them works with Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin under the leadership of its director, Rev. Cindy Crane.  We have the pleasure of rubbing elbows with both as LOPPW offices


Hunger Fellow, Kelsey Johnson – The Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin (LOPPW) – Madison

Kelsey Johnson has an active history with the church. Most recently, she served as a ELCA Young Adult in Global Mission (“YAGM”) volunteer in Jerusalem and the West Bank. At the Lutheran School in Ramallah (West Bank), she assisted with English and art classes. She has explored topics related to refugees, baptism, and accompaniment.

Kelsey graduated with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa. She has interests in writing, using social media and working with young people.  She shares how grateful she is for this opportunity to learn and serve:

“My experience serving as a Young Adults in Global Mission volunteer in Palestine was formative in shaping how I see accompaniment as the model for social justice in the world. I didn’t realize there was such a huge overlap and call for advocacy in the ELCA, and I was so excited when I heard the Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin had received a grant for a Hunger Fellow. Though the fellowship is only in its second year, the Hunger Advocacy Fellowship is an opportunity and space I have felt called to for quite a long time. So far it has been an informative and formative continuation of my YAGM year of service. It builds on the passion I have for social justice, and connects it to tangible issues in the state, while keeping a broad view of social justice and advocacy in the world.” 

Our synod and LOPPW is so blessed to have Kelsey walking together with us!  Please keep Kelsey and all the Hunger Fellows in your prayers!

2018 ELCA Youth Leadership Summit

The ELCA Youth Leadership Summit is an annual gathering for high school youth identified as leaders and adult representatives from each synod from across the ELCA. Two youth in grades 9-12 and one adult per synod are invited to attend. This year Rev. Steve Kottke, Assistant to the Bishop for the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin will accompany our youth to the summit. All costs (including round-trip air travel from Madison Dane County Regional Airport) are covered for this event by our synod and the ELCA.

This summit focuses on leadership development through engaging speakers and thought leaders in key areas at the intersection of leadership and faith in daily life AND faith formation and building connections for high school youth in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Youth will be challenged to take home what they have learned to inspire action in their own synods and youth groups. The Youth Leadership Summit is a shared ministry between ELCA Youth Ministry and The SYMBOL Network (Synodical Youth Ministry Leaders).

The theme for the 2018 Summit is “Through Christ We Can” and will take place November 1-4 at Camp Carol Joy Holling in Nebraska using Philippians 2:1-5 as it’s scriptural base. The event will focus on young people’s call to ministry for the sake of others and advocacy because of their faith. For our learning and networking times we will be joined by various ELCA ministries and staff including Advocacy, Young Adult Ministries, Justice for Women and Global Mission.

2018 ELCA Youth Gathering Reunion & Evaluations

Sunday, September 30 from 4pm-7pm
@ Lake Edge Lutheran Church – Madison, WI
Dinner Provided ($3 per person suggested donation)
2018 ELCA YOUTH GATHERING CELEBRATION & EVALUATION
Keep the Gathering energy going! As part of the ELCA Youth Gathering’s ongoing efforts to grow in its mission of faith formation in teenagers, Gathering leadership are conducting a series of in-person listening sessions. We invite all youth & adults who attended the 2018 Gathering to join us in Madison for a time of reflection, conversation, and worship. RSVP Online at: https://tinyurl.com/gatheringreunion.

Mission Moment: Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM)

It is your mission support that makes these ELCA ministries possible.  Together we are doing What Matters in God’s kingdom!  Thank you! 

Meet our synod’s new Young Adults in Global Mission!

Another cohort of Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) volunteers have recently accepted the call into service, beginning in August.  The YAGM program has seen significant growth since its beginnings in 1999, and this is especially true since the start of the Campaign for the ELCA.  In the past five years, the average number of volunteers sent into service each year was 30 more than in the years prior to the Campaign.  This growth has only been made possible through generous individuals, congregations and synods who support this program and the faithful young adults who answer God’s call to service.  And with approximately 35% of YAGM alumni entering seminary, it’s also a strategic and timely investment.

Among the 80 newly called YAGM volunteers, two of them have named a congregation, campus ministry, ELCA camp or ELCA college/university as a faith home within the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin.  They are:

Rachel Perkins – Faith Lutheran Church in Janesville.  She will be serving in Southern Africa, and  John Baynton – Intervarsity Christian Fellowship in Madison, Luther Memorial in Madison and Blackhawk Church in Madison.

The YAGM volunteers will be sent to serve in 14 countries in 11 country programs alongside our companions in Argentina/Uruguay, Australia, Cambodia, Central Europe (Hungary & Servia), Jerusalem/West Bank, Madagascar, Mesico, Rwanda, Senengal, Southern Africa and the United Kingdom.  Young adults serve in a variety of areas including congregational ministry, human rights work, development projects, healthcare, education and youth work.  A year of service through the YAGM program helps young adults to think more critically about their own identity, God’s work in the world, and their place within it all.

Watch What Matters for more updates on these two young adults and their journey.  We will be publishing links to their blogs and newsletters when they become available.  For now, please keep them in your prayers and thank you for the support that your mission support provides these young disciples.  Your offerings and prayers are greatly appreciated!

God’s blessings to you Rachel and John!  We will be walking wet with you!

Visit the ELCA website for more information on the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Ministry program.

Might your son or daughter be ready for this opportunity?

Welcome Home!

It is hard to believe that the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering is now history. The memories of the week, however, will last a lifetime for the youth that you accompanied on the journey. The 724 youth and adults from our synod joined the 31,242 registered participants in Houston for an amazing week. I pray that the experience was uplifting and inspirational for your group and that your homecomings have been joyful.

As we close out the 2018 Gathering I invite you to stay connected. Over the next weeks the Gathering will continue to upload videos from the week to the ELCA YouTube channel HERE. Wondering about the impact of the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering?

So, what’s next? Planning for the 2021 ELCA Youth Gathering being held in Minneapolis has already begun and will continue over the next year as a theme is developed and planning teams are assembled. Continue to follow the Gathering Facebook page HERE along with our synod website HERE for all the details beginning in 2019.

It has been an honor to walk alongside each one of you for the past two years prior to and in Houston this past week. I continually pray for each of you and your ministries in the future. Thank you once again for your leadership and for making the ELCA Youth Gathering a part of your summer plans.

And always remember, “There’s Grace For That!” 🙂

In Christ-

Jason Xiong
Synod Coordinator – 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering
South-Central Synod of Wisconsin

JOIN THE ELCA YOUTH GATHERING VIA LIVE STREAM!

Livestream opportunities: http://elca.org/gathering

6/27 – MYLE worship – 6:45 – 8:15 pm CT

6/27 – The Table Worship – 10:00 – 11:30 am CT

6/27 – 6/30 – Daily Bible Studies – 3:30 – 5:30 pm CT

6/27 – 6/30 – Mass Gatherings – 7:30 – 9:15 pm CT

7/1 – Closing Worship – 9:30 – 11:30 am CT