Youth and Family Ministry

The South-Central Synod of Wisconsin-ELCA Youth & Family Ministry Network maintains a strong online community via our Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/scswyouth/). Lay leaders, volunteers, pastors, and church staff engage with one another via posts and in-person conference networking. There is idea sharing, problem-solving and general conversation. The network provides support to one another in cooperation with the national ELCA Youth Ministry Network and the Region V Network facilitator allowing our synod to connect to other youth and family ministry leaders from across the country.
For more information about Youth & Family Ministry in the synod or to get connected:
Rev. Steve Kottke – Assistant to the Bishop
(608) 270-0201
Jason Xiong – Synod Council Representative
(847) 893-9226
Jennifer Kooistra – St. John’s Lutheran (Oregon)
(608) 291-4311

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.

If you are a youth in grades 9-12 who feel called to attend this summit, DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION HERE and return it to Rev. Steve Kottke in the synod office by September 25, 2018 to be considered. Rev. Kottke and Bishop Thomas-Breitfeld will be reviewing each application and will choose two youth to represent the synod at this year’s Summit.

A hallmark of youth ministry in the ELCA and the South-Central Synod of Wisconisn is the ELCA Youth Gathering. Every three years, 30,000+ high school youth and their adult leaders from across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gather for a week of faith formation known as the ELCA Youth Gathering. Through days spent in interactive learning, worship, Bible study, service and fellowship, young people grow in faith and are challenged and inspired to live their faith in their daily lives.

An important part of the Gathering’s ministry are the two pre-events, the Multicultural Youth Leadership Event (MYLE), a faith formation and leadership development event primarily for youth of color, and the tAble, a gathering that gathers, blesses and empowers youth with disabilities.

The 2021 ELCA Youth Gathering will take place June 29-July 3, 2021 in Minneapolis, MN. Visit our synod Youth Gathering page to learn more at www.scsw-elca.org/ministries-and-partners/youthministry/elcayouthgathering/

Recent News & Events

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. WILL ONE OF YOUR YOUTH REPRESENT OUR SYNOD at the Next Leadership Summit? Applications Are Being Accepted - Deadline: September 25, 2018.

2018 ELCA Youth Gathering Reunion & Evaluations

Keep the Gathering energy going; join us on Sunday, September 30, 2018! 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.

Welcome Home!

It is hard to believe that the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering is now…

Documents & Resources

Synod & Congregation Protection Plan

Synod plan and example/recommended plan for congregations for the protection of Children, Youth, Families & Vulnerable Adults

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