2020 ELCA Youth Leadership Summit • Digital Edition

Summit Schedule

All Times are Central Standard Time

Friday, November 6 Celebrating How God is Reflected in You

6:00 pm Dinner Together in Small Groups

7:00-9:00 Summit Opening Welcome, Games, and Worship

Saturday, November 7 Living Reflections of God in your Community

10:00-12:00 noon Morning Devo, Games, Info/Sign Up for the Afternoon Workshops, Music with the Gathering Band and Update from the Gathering Team

12:00-1:00pm Lunch Break

1:00-4:00 Workshops, Hear from Churchwide Programs, Discernment/Vocation with Augsburg and Wartburg Colleges

4:00-5:00pm Dinner Break

Saturday, November 7 How will the World see God Reflected in Me?

5:00-8:00 Games and Talent Show, Candletime, Worship and Sending

Intentional zoom breaks have been built into the schedule as well some other fun things, so you won’t be staring at your computer the entire time! 😉


Summit Chaplain: Vicar Elizabeth Peters

Elizabeth born in Harrisburg, PA and now lives in Gettysburg. She is a recent graduate with her Master of Divinity from United Lutheran Seminary. Before seminary she attended Penn State University and received a Bachelors in Telecommunications management. Elizabeth worked for CBS21 News in Harrisburg when she felt she had a call to go to seminary. She wanted to be a light for others in the dark places of the world. Elizabeth has been a part of 3 ELCA Youth Gathering planning teams and spoke at the 2018 Gathering in Houston. Elizabeth is newly married to her husband Jay who is also an ELCA pastor. She loves to sing with her sisters, play the cajon, exercise and pet cats. The Psalms are her favorite book in the bible.

Fun Fact: I take a nap everyday


Capital University Worship Band

Mariah Mills is from Columbus, Ohio, and is a second-year Master of Divinity student at Trinity Lutheran Seminary. She graduated from Capital University (’19) with a BA in Youth Ministry and Christian Education. When I’m not doing schoolwork, I’m usually doing something related to art or music!

Elyse Swihart is an Art Therapy major at Capital University (’21), with minors in Studio Aart and Psychology. Originally from Fredericktown, Ohio, Elyse and her boyfriend dressed up as Po and Tigress from Kung Fu Panda for Halloween.

Robin Terschak is a Vocal Music Education Major at Capital University (’22) from Vermillion Ohio. A transfer student who sings with the Chapel Choir, Robin once tripped on stage at Carnegie Hall.

Andy Perna is a Capital University graduate (’19) with a degree in Early Childhood Education/Intervention Specialist. He’s from Columbus Ohio and now works as a home healthcare professional. He’s also a Konami-certified Yu-Gi-Oh! judge.

Jonathan Hartman is an Instrumental Music Education major at Capital (’21) who hails from Fort Wayne, IN. Jon’s a pastor’s kid who dressed up with his girlfriend as Po and Tigress from Kung Fu Panda for Halloween

Samantha DiBiaso is a second year Master of Divinity student at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (’17) where she majored in Public Relations and Religion & Culture. Though she moved around in a military family, she claims Chesapeake, VA as home. She’s the Graduate Assistant in the Capital University Center for Faith and Learning and started playing violin at age 7!

Alex Mills, hailing from Columbus, OH, is a Film and Media Production major at Capital (’21) who filmed, recorded, and edited all of the music for the band. During his sophomore year of college, Alex won an award for stop motion animation.

Andrew Thompson is a second year Master of Divinity student at Trinity Lutheran Seminary who graduated from Capital University (’19) with majors in Religion and Philosophy. A native of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Andrew has read over 700 Marvel Comics and wants to serve as a campus pastor one day.


Vocalist:
Tyra Dennis
Estelita Jernigan
Donovan Wright
Paul Plata

Musicians:
Michael Lis – Guitarist

Special Guest:
Darrion Woodard – Keyboardist
Antoine Cummins – Bassist

Tyra “Tyralucia” Dennis is currently a music director/worship leader within the ELCA where she has had the opportunity to lead the music for and participate in many events including but not limited to the Middle School Youth Gathering hosted by LRCC, the Extravaganza, and the ELCA National Youth Gathering. She also made history by becoming the first African American Woman to lead the house band (and the youngest to lead it as well). She believes that she was called specifically to the ELCA to do work that God has designed her to do, being reminded to Worship From Within. In her spare time, she is constantly working towards creating a better tomorrow through various organized acts of activism and philanthropic efforts. She is excited to be joined by her 2018 House Band members.


Gathering Team

Molly Beck Dean serves as Director of the ELCA Youth Gathering. She has been working in youth ministry in congregational, camping, synodical and national settings since she was 18 years old.

Fun fact: She and her daughter run a big pet event in their hometown with the goal of getting rescue animals adopted and promoting pet themed small businesses in the community.

Justin Wilson serves as Program Associate for Communication and Administration for the Gathering. Living in Chicago, Justin loves to hunt out the best taco and ice-cream shops, spend time exploring and spending time on TikTok.

Fun fact: He has had two videos go viral and then lost all traction and failed his influencer dreams.


Speakers

YAGM: Young Adults in Global Mission

Kara Barkman (She/Her/Hers) is from Shelton, Washington. This fall, she is working for the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission program as a Short Term Recruiter for the West Coast. Kara served with YAGM as a 2019-2020 volunteer in Mexico as an English teacher in a secondary school. Kara is a 2019 graduate of Pacific Lutheran University, where she studied Global Studies, and was involved with the University Congregation, Interfaith Working Group, and the Admission Ambassador program. Kara also spent three summers working at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp in Montana, and one summer at Mar-Lu-Ridge in Maryland!

Journi App

“Ben Pearthree serves as the Leadership Initiative Coordinator for the Churchwide office in Chicago. Currently, he works in a project management capacity for Journi, the ELCA’s first leadership app. In this role Ben has been working to help develop a comprehensive solution to address the need for entrepreneurial leaders of all kinds across the ELCA and has had the privilege of serving as one of the ELCAs external liaisons for the project.

Ben’s specialty lies in political and religious communications. Prior to the ELCA Ben worked with the Archdioceses of Saint Louis Peace & Justice Commission as well as the USCCB to launch the first speaker series on race in the Catholic Church in 50 years. He has also worked to educate communities on predatory lending, the rights of immigrants, and in Saint Louis how to establish dialogue post-Ferguson. He has also had opportunities to work on campaigns with brands such as Toms, ModCloth, and OLLY.

In his spare time, he continues his research on fake news and media literacy, as well as enjoys time training youth as a swim coach. Recently he has worked to help launch a new swim club with the objective of reducing drowning deaths on the southside of Chicago.”

ELCA Campus Ministries

Rev. Lamont Anthony Wells is the Program Director for Campus Ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (LuMin). LuMin is a network of inclusive faith-based and service communities on and near campuses at over 240 colleges and universities across the country. He is also the current National President of the African Descent Lutheran Association (ELCA). Rev. Wells is the former Assistant to the Bishop/ Director for Evangelical Mission in the Metropolitan New York Synod. In his career, he has led programs and communities of multiple denominations in New York, Pennsylvania and Georgia, including having served as the Lutheran Campus Pastor for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the Atlanta University Center (AUC).

He most recently earned a Professional Certification in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion from Cornell University. As a professionally trained coach, he effectively helps individuals, groups, and organizations to unlock their potential and maximize their own performance.

Previously he earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Sociology at Morehouse College. Rev. Wells has also earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education and a Master of Divinity degree in Leadership from the Interdenominational Theological Center/Johnson C. Smith Seminary. He completed Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Emory University. Pastor Wells has studied Leadership at Harvard Divinity School, Princeton Theological Seminary and was named a clergy fellow of the Chautauqua Institute.

Pastor Wells is a member of the National Honor Society of Theta Phi and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Along with his years of service, he has received numerous honors and awards signifying his spirit of excellence, including his induction into the prestigious Board of Distinguished Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.

A dynamic speaker and prophetic preacher, Rev. Wells is frequently called to address organizations, churches, conferences, convocations, retreats, and workshops in various public, social, and ecumenical communities. His prophetic message of ecumenism and social justice motivates him as a leader, team builder, and community organizer.

Lutheran Seminaries

Living some of her childhood years at the very southern tip of Madagascar as a Lutheran missionary kid, Pr. Jennifer Shimota learned early on that the world God loves is a big, big place. When her family moved back to the U.S. she was in third grade, and her dad began serving congregations. Throughout her childhood, he served in Arizona and varies places in California, ultimately putting down some sort of roots in Southern California. She earned a B.A. in English from California Lutheran University, after which she was a church musician for a decade before earning her teaching credential from Chapman University. Jennifer was a high school English teacher at a funky public high school called Construction Tech Academy, where the learning was project based, and she had the very best students in the world. She loved teaching so much that she resisted for years as God began calling her to be a pastor. In 2007, she stopped resisting, sold her home, and moved her family across the country to South Carolina to attend Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS), where she earned a Master of Divinity degree. She was then called to be the pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in High Point, NC, where she served for six years until the summer of 2019, when she accepted the call to be the Coordinator of Seminary Enrollment at her beloved seminary, LTSS. She lives on campus with her Siberian Husky, Eleanor Rigby.

ELCA Young Adults

Savanna Sullivan (she/her/hers) serves as the Program Director for ELCA Young Adult Ministries in Chicago, IL. She is passionate about helping young people connect to their own spirituality and pushing the church to equip, amplify, and respect the voices of young leaders. Savanna was a main stage speaker at the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston, TX and loves banana pudding, the Clemson tigers, and memorizing poems.

Vocation/Discernment with Adrienne and Samantha

Adrienne Kuchler Eldridge

Adrienne (she/her) serves as the Public Church Scholars Program Director and Theology & Public Leadership Program Associate in the center for vocation at Augsburg University. The Christensen Center for Vocation equips and accompanies students, staff, faculty, and ministry leaders as they engage in place-based vocational discernment in the public square for the common good. These learning partnerships happen through a variety of initiatives that foster learning experiences and creative collaborations. Adrienne holds a BA in Youth & Family Ministry from Augsburg University and a MA in Organizational Leadership from St. Catherine University. When Adrienne is not accompanying students she is hanging out in St. Paul, MN where she lives with her family (middle school teaching husband and lego playing kiddo, dog and cat), watching one of the Star Wars movies, hiking in the woods, or eating a bowl of ice cream.

Samantha Pfab

Samantha (she/her) currently serves as the Accelerated Ministry Program Associate at Wartburg College. She also works within the Student Life office at the college helping with campus programming as well as advising the student organization Entertainment ToKnight. Sam graduated from Wartburg in May of 2020 with a major in religion and minors in Spanish, Leadership, and Public Relations. Outside of her involvements at Wartburg, Sam spends most of her time nose-deep in a book, watching Frozen 2, or spending quality time with her friends.


Workshops

Workshop: Extending Welcome to our LGBTQIA+ Siblings:

How intentional welcome can invite others into the fullness of God’s creation! With Ashlei Cramer (she/her), Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program Coordinator at ReconcilingWorks

“Ashlei Cramer (she/her), after finishing her bachelors at University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire in religious studies, packed her bags and headed off to St. Paul, MN! In St. Paul, she studied at Luther Seminary, where she acted as a leader in her LGBTQIA+ organization, Emmaus, as well as in Proclaim’s Seminary Outreach Team. In May of 2018, Ashlei graduated with her Master of Arts in Christian Ministry. As part of God’s call in her life, she lives into her work at ReconcilingWorks as the Reconciling in Christ Program Coordinator, to serve her fellow LGBTQIA+ community where faith and sexual orientation, gender identity and expression intersect. During your time with Ashlei, you will get the chance to hear more about the work of ReconcilingWorks as it pertains to the welcome, inclusion, and celebration of LGBTQIA+ people, ways you and your faith community can extend radical hospitality and invitation to those a part of the queer community, take, a look into Ashlei’s person journey as a queer woman, and action map next steps as you leave the summit today. When Ashlei is relaxing and enjoying her time outside of work, she enjoys trying out Minnesota’s many state trails, long boarding and exploring the outdoors with her wife, dog, and cat!”

Workshop: Creatively and Courageously Working Toward a Just World Where All Are Fed

Ending Hunger one high schooler at a time

Grace Hoening is a world hunger advocate who believes ending hunger is not only about providing food, it is about providing justice. She has been involved with ELCA World Hunger since she attended the ELCA World Hunger Leadership gathering back in 2018.
As a first year student, Grace studies music therapy at the University of Evansville. In high school, she was recognized as a peer minister in both the synod and conference levels. Grace enjoys playing in her church worship band. She served as youth representative for her synod council. One year, Grace had a competition with her friend to see who could take the most pictures with rostered ministers (she won.)
For her outstanding work towards ending hunger, Grace was awarded the DAR Good Citizenship Award and Peace Builder Youth Award.
Grace takes initiative to follow her passions and invites others to come along. She co-created, planned and participated in the first-ever Northern Illinois Synod’s “Cycle to Synod” an awareness- and fund-raising tour across the synod in support of ELCA World Hunger. Through this annual event, she has biked over 300 miles. Not only did Grace work locally to mobilize support, she actively shares her ideas and stories to amplify the message.
When Grace is not working on schoolwork or obsessing over cows, she works to reduce food waste with her job at MEANS Database, an online platform that makes it just as easy for businesses to give food to non-profits as it would be to throw away.

Workshop: God Calls

Sometimes, when we talk about God’s call on our lives, we think that can only mean being a deacon or a pastor in a congregation. When we think that way, we miss the fullness of what it means for God’s Spirit to call us to work for the sake of your neighbor. God calls us into many and varied fields, not just to seminary. When God does call people to seminary, it is to be formed into leaders in the church in some ways you might expect – and some ways you might not imagine to be “church work.” Bring your whole self to this workshop and join Pastor Jennifer to talk about what it means for God to call us into work for the sake of our neighbor. Let’s imagine together how God might be calling you.

Living some of her childhood years at the very southern tip of Madagascar as a Lutheran missionary kid, Pr. Jennifer Shimota learned early on that the world God loves is a big, big place. When her family moved back to the U.S. she was in third grade, and her dad began serving congregations. Throughout her childhood, he served in Arizona and varies places in California, ultimately putting down some sort of roots in Southern California. She earned a B.A. in English from California Lutheran University, after which she was a church musician for a decade before earning her teaching credential from Chapman University. Jennifer was a high school English teacher at a funky public high school called Construction Tech Academy, where the learning was project based, and she had the very best students in the world. She loved teaching so much that she resisted for years as God began calling her to be a pastor. In 2007, she stopped resisting, sold her home, and moved her family across the country to South Carolina to attend Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS), where she earned a Master of Divinity degree. She was then called to be the pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in High Point, NC, where she served for six years until the summer of 2019, when she accepted the call to be the Coordinator of Seminary Enrollment at her beloved seminary, LTSS. She lives on campus with her Siberian Husky, Eleanor Rigby.

Workshop: Disabilities

Emily Schmidlin is a lifelong member of the ELCA and lives in Kent, Ohio. She served as a member of the planning team for pre-gathering event for youth with disabilities in 2003 and 2006 and has attended many ELCA youth gathering since that time. She currently works as an outpatient mental health counselor with children and families. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family and volunteering. She lives and thrives with Cerebral Palsy, a condition that has been present since her birth but has not limited her dreams or achievements. She conquers the world with the assistance of her service dog, Lukodi. They have been a team for just over 9 years and have shared many adventures together. Her favorite scripture is “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” She strives to encourage others to become the best version of themselves while acknowledging the unique perspective that living with Cerebral Palsy brings to her personal and professional life.

Workshop: “Broken Crayons and Mended Quilts”

Rev. Nicolette Marie Peñaranda is the pastor of First Lutheran Church of the Trinity in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago, IL. Nic was raised in the Metro New York area where she attended Wagner College for her degree in Sociology, History, and Masters in Business Administration. While receiving her MDiv at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Nic began merging her love of art with scripture. This blend has led to a mural on display at Instituto Evangelico Argentino en Grand Bourg, Argentina and at the 2018 National Youth Gathering’s Creative Expressions area. She is now the 2022 National Youth Gathering’s Creative Expressions Manager to continue to put her craft to use. Outside of the church, Nic leads racial justice facilitations through her game MONadvocacy. The Peñaranda family now resides in Berwyn, Illinois where Nic is running for City Council member. When Nic is not accompanying a congregation or running for office, she spends time with her spouse Dennis, her daughter Mahalia, and her two cats Penne and Rigatoni.

Workshop: ELCA Advocacy

Kyle Minden is a Hunger Advocacy Fellow with the Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin (LOPPW), a state-level office in the ELCA Advocacy Team. Kyle is a recent alumnus of Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Business Administration and a Minor in Social Entrepreneurship. Kyle is passionate about solving the systemic inequities and injustices that stem from public policy at the local, state, and federal level. At LOPPW, he is currently working across the state of Wisconsin to address hunger and poverty, advocate for environmental protection, and organize for criminal justice reform. After his fellowship, Kyle looks to attend law school and become an attorney for the public interest.

Workshop: AMMPARO/Sanctuary Ministry

Christopher Vergara, grew up in a charismatic non-denominational Spanish Language church in New York City. Having gone to parochial school his entire life, as having a Christian education was of the utmost importance to his single immigrant mother, he attended Martin Luther High School and then Valparaiso University where he was drawn into the Lutheran tradition. Returning to New York City to attend The Juilliard School, he became an active member of Saint Peter´s Church, where he has served as Parish Secretary, Vice-President and is the current President. At the Metropolitan New York Synod, he has served on the Synod Council, the Executive Committee, is Chair of the AMMPARO/Sanctuary Ministry, and was recently appointed to lead the synod’s Advocacy Taskforce. Most recently, Christopher, organized the memorial and made the motion at the recent church-wide assembly to have the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America declare itself a sanctuary denomination. Outside of his volunteer work, Christopher is a professional Costume Designer and a proud player of Gotham Knight’s Rugby (NYC).

Workshop: Leading Virtually

Savanna Sullivan (she/her/hers) serves as the Program Director for ELCA Young Adult Ministries in Chicago, IL. She is passionate about helping young people connect to their own spirituality and pushing the church to equip, amplify, and respect the voices of young leaders. Savanna was a main stage speaker at the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston, TX and loves banana pudding, the Clemson tigers, and memorizing poems.

Workshop: Journi App

“Ben Pearthree serves as the Leadership Initiative Coordinator for the Churchwide office in Chicago. Currently, he works in a project management capacity for Journi, the ELCA’s first leadership app. In this role Ben has been working to help develop a comprehensive solution to address the need for entrepreneurial leaders of all kinds across the ELCA and has had the privilege of serving as one of the ELCAs external liaisons for the project.

Candle Time

Candletime, a guide for Youth to lead a faith-filled conversation with their friends online or face to face.

Come join us for Candle Time on Wednesday. Zoom

Wednesday evening at 8 Eastern, 7 Central, 6 Mountain, 5 Pacific
(and of course 9 pm in Bermuda, 4 pm in Alaska and 2 pm in Hawaii)

The following are the Candletime guides for each of our times together which you can use to lead Candletime with your own small groups.

Candletime #19 (July 29)

Candletime #18 (July 22)

Candletime #17 (July 15)

Candletime #16 (July 8)

Candletime #15 (July 1)

Candletime #14 (June 24)

Candletime #13 (June 17)

Candletime #12 (June 10)

Candletime #11 (June 3)

Candletime #10 (May 20)

Candletime #9 (May 13)

Candletime #8 (May 6)

Candletime #7 (April 29)

Candletime #6 (April 22)

Candletime #5 (April 15)

Candletime #4 (April 8)

Candletime #3 (April 1)

Candletime #2 (March 25)

Candletime #1 (March 18)

YCLT Reflections

The ELCA Youth Core Leadership Team (YCLT) reflect on their time together in September planning for this years Youth Leadership Summit

Mary Winsor 2017-2018

I had so much fun planning the Youth Summit this weekend! It was awesome getting to have lots of leadership training and spending time with amazing friends! When you come to the summit we’ll have great speakers on advocacy and you’ll get to meet youth from all across the country! If you feel called you should apply to be apart of the Youth Core Leadership Team (YCLT) for next year’s summit! I can’t wait to see you all in November!!!

Zackary Grover 2018-2019

The Youth Core Leadership Team isn’t just a team, it’s a family. We share common goals and passions. We are all combined to create a driven force of God’s love. This year at the Youth Leadership Summit, you will experience first hand what his board is really capable of.

Gabriella Mark 2018-2019

There are so many “holy moments” or “aha moments” this weekend, but when everyone was up late planning I really felt God’s presence because it was our passion that He gave us the drive to keep going, event at 11:15 at night. (even when the adults were telling us to go to bed) If you come to the 2018 Summit, you will grow in your faith and leadership skills and learn a lot about advocacy while being surrounded by other youth from all over the US and ELCA. The Youth Core Leadership Team is the most amazing opportunity of all time! On the YCLT we meet to plan the Youth Leadership Summit, grow in faith, learn communication skills, and become stronger leaders. This team offers a safe environment for us to grow as a team and have a strong sense of community. The YCLT is the opportunity of a lifetime, so apply now!

Maggie Nieberger 2017-2018

When you come to the Youth Leadership Summit, get excited to deepen your understanding of Advocacy and how it is carried out through programs across the ELCA. Also come with an open mind to meet new people from all over the US and to learn about their lives. The Youth Core Leadership Team is an amazing opportunity to become real friends with other like-minded faithful people from across the ELCA. I have changed so much as a person on this team and have learned things that I will use for the rest of my life like leadership skills and how to live out my faith in the world. It has been one of the most meaningful and impactful groups that I have ever had the chance to be apart of!

Luke Bjorklund 2018-2019

When you join the Youth Core Leadership Team you become very connected with others from around the country who are also looking to expand and build their leadership skills and grow in their faith with God. Being on the team opens up a world of possibilities that youth can do throughout the church. Being on this team includes learning how to plan big events like the Summit that the YCLT hosts. The Summit is an event for other youth leaders to come and build their relationship with God and broaden their horizons on how to be great leaders.

Nicole Krenz 2017-2018

Coming to the Summit is a great opportunity to get closer with God. It’s a phenomenal experience to meet people from all the synods and learn about them. But learning about and then being part of the Youth Core Leadership Team has been the best part. We get trained to be even better leaders than we already are. We also get close to God and the team too. The YCLT is just the best thing I’ve ever done in the church, and I have never regretted this decision.

Kyra Short 2017-2018

Being on the Youth Core Leadership Team gives you an amazing opportunities to build strong relationships with other young leaders in the ELCA while going through training that expands your leadership abilities. This weekend (YCLT Fall Retreat) allowed me to grow in my faith, strengthen friendships and build up my leadership skills.

Sophia Behrens 2018-2019

Youth should come to the Youth Leadership Summit because it’s an experience that creates lifelong friends while learning and being a part of a Churchwide event. At YLS, there’s people from across the country that you wouldn’t become friends with in any other situation, but through the core core value of Faith and being Gathered under God, you build relationships unlike any other. You learn a lot too! There are speakers through the weekend that share their passions and open up new possibilities for high shcoolers and youth getting ready to transition into college/young adulthood. This year, we learn about advocacy and will have simulations, games, and candle stations that you can also bring home to their congregations and synods. The Youth Leadership Summit brings about networking skills and learning opportunities that’s unlike any other and I can’t wait to see you all there!

Marshall Laidlaw 2018-2019

Being a part of the Youth Core Leadership Team, wow! It’s a group that is truly passionate about leadership and the church, and has been amazing to be part of! I’ve learned so much from the people on the team, and I have been rejuvenated with many new ideas I can take back to my home congregation. The Holy Spirit has moved through me greatly during my time on the team so far, and anyone who else wants an experience like this should apply to be part of the team.

Christian Marhenke 2017-2018

You should apply for the Youth Core Leadership Team! Your perspectives on the church and life will be changed. You will grow in your faith, learn new things already familiar but more in depth and you’ll discover yourself along the way.

Makenna Dawson 2018-2019

The Youth Core Leadership Team is such a great way to follow God’s call to leadership. You are able to grow through leadership training sessions that you can take back to your congregation and school or use to lead youth from across the United States like we will do at the 2018 Youth Leadership Summit. It is truly a life changing experience and will change you and your faith forever.

Sam Maston 2018-2019

The ELCA Youth Core Leadership Team is an opportunity to grow as a leader, nurture your faith, meet fantastic new people, visit the churchwide office, create memories you’ll keep forever and much more. Your fellow team members will become some of your closest friends, and the things you learn you can carry with you always; the experiences and time spent will be some of the best you’ll ever have.


2019 Youth Leadership Summit

For those who attended the 2019 YLS, please fill out the EVALUATION FORM

ELCA Youth Leadership Summit

October 31-November 3, 2019
Lutheridge Conference Center, in Arden, North Carolina

The ELCA Youth Leadership Summit is an annual gathering for high school youth identified as leaders and an adult representative from each synod. The 2019 Summit will Equip the youth leaders through Peer Ministry Leadership. They will learn to welcome and include others in all situations promoting diversity and acceptance.  They will learn to share God’s love and grace through their daily connections, becoming aware of the hurts and needs of those around them and living out the Good Samaritan story. Through the peer ministry training the participants will learn how to be careful listeners, to guide healthy and purposeful conversations, to clarify concerns and values, to ask open-ended questions and make observations, and know when a task is to large and how to ask for help.

Youth will be challenged to take home what they have learned and to inspire action and teach others what they learned in their own synods and youth groups.

The Youth Leadership Summit is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and partners with the Domestic Mission Unit, the Faith Formation Team, the SYMBOL Network, the ELCA Youth Gathering, 65 Synods across the United States, ELCA Disability Ministries, and ELCA Ethnic Specific Ministries.

Who attends?  Two youth in grades 9-12 and one adult per synod are invited to attend. Synods are asked to pay attention to gender, ethnic and ability diversity when selecting youth leaders to participate.

Theme Verse: Ephesians 4:11-13

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Schedule:

We start with dinner on Thursday, October 31st at 6:00 pm Eastern and conclude on Sunday by 11:00 am Eastern.  A detailed schedule will be provided closer to the event.

When booking flights into Charlotte Airport (CLT), be sure to plan arrival no later that 3:30 pm on Thursday October 31st and depart no earlier than 2:00 pm on Sunday November 3rd.

Music:

Pastor John Tirro, University of Tennessee Tyson House

Special Guests:
  • Lyle Griner, Peer Ministry Leadership
  • Bishop Tim Smith, NC Synod
  • Savanna Sullivan, ELCA Young Adult Ministries
  • Molly Beck Dean, ELCA Youth Gathering
  • Jessica Stewart, Lenior Rhyne University
  • Chris Harris, Newberry College
  • Brenda Poggendorg, Roanoke College
Costs:

All lodging, meals, programming, and a bus to and from the Charlotte Airport are provided by a gracious grant from the ELCA. Your synod’s responsibility is to provide the flights for the two youth and one adult attending from your synod and any incidentals they might incur during their travels.

2018 Youth Leadership Summit

ELCA Youth
Leadership Summit
Nov. 1-4, 2018 at
Camp Carol Joy Holling
in Ashland, Nebraska

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. 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.

Location: Camp Carol Joy Holling in Ashland, Nebraska
Who Attends?

Two youth in grades 9-12 and one adult per synod are invited to attend. Synods are asked to pay attention to gender, ethnic and ability diversity when selecting participants.

Photo Gallery from the 2018 Youth Leadership Summit
Theme: Through Christ We Can

The theme for the 2018 Summit is “Through Christ We Can” and will use 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.

Event Chaplain:

Pastor Kevin Strickland

Guest Speakers:

Advocacy — Alaide Vilchis Ibarra
Welcoming of All — Aubrey Thonvold
Women’s Justice — Diane Brauer
Amparro — Alaide Vilchis Ibarra and Advocacy Intern
World Hunger — Jeanny Sharrick and Sophia Behrens
Young Adult — Savanna Sullivan
Environmental Advocacy — Dr. Laura M. Hartman
Racial Justice — Nicolette Faison

Musical Leadership:

Korey Breutzmann and Band

Sunday Offering:

Our Sunday offering will go to the Nebraska Synod’s “Micah 6:8” project. It combines efforts of people interested justice, world hunger and advocacy, and one of their efforts includes AMMPARO training. They also helped support our synod’s Racial Awareness, Reconciliation, and Engagement (R.A.R.E.) team members to attend the recent anti-racism training in Chicago.

Schedule:

We start with dinner on Thursday, November 1st at 6:00 pm Central and conclude on Sunday at 10:30am Central.

Costs:

Event Registration is covered by the ELCA via a special grant for youth leadership development

Synods are responsible for transportation to and from the Omaha Eppley Field Airport. (OMA). Transportation between OMA and the camp will be provided.

Questions?

Contact us via e-mail.