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. Youth Ministry Coordinator, Sarah Hausken advises the LYO board.
The SW MN Synod Sr. High and Jr. High Youth Gatherings are annual events!
Here are the dates for 2017:
- Jr. High Youth Gathering
November 17-18, 18-19, 2017
Willmar Conference Center
The ELCA Youth Gathering happens every three years. 30,000 high school youth and their adult leaders gather for a week of faith formation. 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.
“This Changes Everything,” based on Ephesians 2:8, “By grace you have been saved…”
SW MN Synod Gathering Coordinator:
Ph: (320) 235-2508
Notes from Ashley:
My name is Ashley Gilbertson and I am your SWMN synod ELCA Youth Gathering Coordinator. It is my job to walk alongside congregations in our synod and help prepare your leaders to bring groups of young people to Houston in 2018. Why should your congregation send kids to Houston? ELCA Youth Gatherings are a place for youth faith formation. They offer a variety of ways for youth to encounter Christ and grow in faith. They offer service learning, Bible study, worship in a variety of ways, and so much more!
If you haven’t brought a group of kids before and want someone to talk to about the process, please contact me–I would love to chat with you!
– Hold parent information and youth interest meetings
– Identify and confirm adults leaders for the Gathering
– Register for the 2018 ELCA Youth Network Extravaganza
– Firm up fundraising plans and goals, set dates
– Begin to collect Registrations and deposits
– Sept. 15: Early Bird Registration is open online / Submit non-refundable deposits ($150/person)
– Begin team building meetings
– Create a group covenant
– Start Getting Ready materials and regular pre-trip meetings (suggested monthly)
– Host adult leaders meetings / Cover expectations and trainings
– Nov. 15- Regular Registration rate beings
– Log onto registration portal to confirm all registrations and deposits have been received
– Continue fundraising
– Finalize transportation to and from the Gathering
What does the schedule look like this year?
SYNOD DAY– a day of Bible study, worship and fellowship with our youth from SWMN synod.
SERVICE LEARNING – a day of learning the stories of Houstonians, service projects, and advocacy. Transportation for this day will occur from hotels and include a provided lunch. (*please pack lunches for youth/adults with food sensitivities)
INTERACTIVE LEARNING – a day of hands-on experience related to theology, service, justice seeking, prayer, the arts, and fellowship.
COMMUNITY LIFE – daily opportunities for worship, fellowship, music, Bible studies and recharging.
What will Houston Cost?
The Gathering staff suggests budgeting between $900-$1200 to get youth to and from Houston. This includes a range in the cost of hotel rooms of $99-150. In the past our synod has traveled together by coach bus to conserve costs, this is something we could explore again this year.
No congregation is “too small” to send kids. The average size group at the Gathering is 3-7 kids.
**If you worry you’re too small, consider registering your youth with nearby congregations. (see page 17 in Gathering handbook)
|Early Bird||$350||Sept. 15 – Nov. 15, 2017|
|Regular Registration||$390||Nov. 16, 2017 – Feb. 14, 2018|
|Late Registration||$440||Feb. 15 – May 15, 2018|
Click here for more registration information.
Who is eligible?
Youth– who have completed grades 8-12 at the time of the ELCA Youth Gathering
Adults– who are 21 by the time of the ELCA Youth Gathering (see pages 11-16 of handbook for ideas on how to select adult leaders)