Lutheran Youth Organization

The Lutheran Youth Organization (LYO) is an organization of high-school age young people who are members of the ELCA. There are nearly 100,000 ELCA youth across the United States and the Caribbean.

The LYO is a place where the voices of young people are lifted up in the church. This ministry happens through young people discussing and advocating issues of importance to them concerning faith, youth ministry, the ELCA, local communities, and the world.

The LYO Board is made up of 15 youth and 10 adults from our synod. They plan and coordinate the synod’s Jr. and Sr. High Youth Gatherings and raise up the voice of youth on a synod level. Youth who serve on the LYO board are in grades 9-12 and are elected at the Sr. High Youth Gathering. Each conference has an adult representative on the LYO board that is elected or appointed by the conference. A synod youth ministry coordinator advises the LYO board.

2024 LYO Board Group Photo

LYO Board Elections

At the Senior High Gathering (March 2024), students from across the synod elected 13 high schoolers to serve as members of the LYO Board. The LYO Board is now tasked with appointing two more students to serve on the board with a particular focus on expanding the diversity of the students represented on the board. Recognizing that the election process can sometimes unintentionally exclude people who have gifts to serve, these two positions are not elected but rather are appointed by the out-going board. The intent of these positions is to bring diversity and a balanced mix of gifts and skills to help further the mission of the LYO board. The elements of diversity we consider for these appointments can vary widely from race/ethnicity to gender, from neurodiversity to differing physical disabilities, from geography to economic class. All applications are welcome!

After appointment, board appointed members are considered at large members of the board with full speaking and voting privileges. They are eligible to be elected to officer positions. The elected youth will choose their own officers during LYO training in June 2024.

The LYO Board is responsible for planning and leading the Jr. and Sr. High Youth Gatherings and representing the voice of youth on a synod level. The LYO board is a leadership team that requires leadership skills, maturity, a significant investment of time, and a desire to grow in and share one’s faith. Board members receive training to grow in their skills and accomplish their assigned tasks.

Serving on the LYO board involves a time commitment of attending LYO training in the summer, 2 weekend meeting/retreats, and planning/leading the Jr. and Sr. High Gathering.

The 2024-2025 LYO board must commit to attending all of the following events: 

  • Training: June 9-11 , 2024 (Gustavus Adolphus College, St Peter, MN)
  • Planning: September 14, 2024 (Synod Office in Redwood Falls)
  • JH Gathering: November 21-24, 2024 (Willmar, MN)
  • Training: January 17-18, 2025 (Green Lake Lutheran Bible Camp)
  • SH Gathering: either March 6-9, 2025 or April 3-6, 2025 (location TBD)

If you know you will be unable to attend more than one meeting or will not make your participation in the LYO board a priority, please consider letting someone who is able to make the commitment and be present for more meetings have the chance to serve on the LYO Board. Your commitment to LYO starts with a training to build foundational skills in leadership and create relationships of trust within the LYO community. Participation in training is essential and expected.

All candidates must fill out this online application before May 17, 2024. If you do not receive confirmation that your form was submitted successfully, please contact Pastor Christa Forsythe at [email protected].

Upcoming Youth Gatherings

16 July

ELCA Youth Gathering

All day

Link for ELCA Youth Gathering

Keep our youth connected


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