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Youth & Family Ministry E-bulletin June 15, 2017

First an Update

Note that the Capital Bowl February 2-3, 2018 is for 7th-12th graders 

Then, looking for updates, news, discussions and sharing of ideas between e-bulletins? Get connected with the Synod Youth & Family Ministry Facebook Page. Contact Gary for an invite. Yep, non-Southern Ohio Synod folks are welcome to join us.

Next, The Christian Education Network of the ELCA takes center stage this time.

Summer Ministry Ideas
Inspired by Take Out Church, Pastor Julia Seymour created God on the Go, kits for the faithful Alaskan families with kids. The kits and all their contents fit into 64 ounce Ziploc containers with the lid snapping snugly. This keeps things watertight and is just-right-sized for throwing in a duffle bag, backpack or suitcase. Or pushing under the seat of the camper. Or having at the foot of a sleeping bag. 

You can order a FaithFixBoxfor families to have intentional interactive faith activities and devotions at home. Created by an ELCA Children's minister, each box covers a variety of themes.
Technology for Ministry
Trying out apps can be time consuming. has done the research for you in order to share these 15 great apps for ministry leaders.
Good Reads
For Children
How Full is Your Bucket (for kids) is an illustrated adaptation of the long-running bestseller. It is told through the story of a boy who learns a valuable bucket-filling metaphor and watches it come to life as the day unfolds.
For Adults
Rhythms of Grace is a unique, innovative and cutting-edge program resource designed to meet the spiritual needs of children and families living with autism-spectrum disorders. Participant families gather monthly with program leaders and volunteers for sessions that are a hybrid of worship and faith formation.



Shop for these and other items on Amazon Smile and designate "Christian Education Network of the ELCA" as your charity. The CENetwork receives a percentage of every purchase!

It's a party!
A Facebook party!
We are continuing our series of Facebook parties by popular demand!
Hosted by one of our board members, Emily O'Brion Dalen, our Facebook parties are a great way to learn from each other and meet others in the Christian education community. All Facebook parties begin at 8:00 p.m. Central in our Facebook group. Mark your calendars and join us!
Next Facebook party:
Tuesday, June 20: Ministry Evaluation



Next, here is some new material from Augsburg: Sundays and Seasons

And don't forget their confirmation curriculum: Fearless Faith Formation

And Milestone Ministries has Summer Modules

Or just get them all Child and Youth Milestones Ministry Manual

Then, here are some new dates to save...

Meet & Greets are a chance for those in youth ministry (both paid and volunteer) to spend some social time with the Bishop. We will gather RSVP's in the fall.

And the 2018 "Something More" High School equipping dates are also now on the calendar...

And finally, we are scheduling Youth Ambassador sessions for the 2017-2018 school year. We only have a couple of open slots remaining. Looking to host a session? Contact Gary


Otherwise, here is the calendar of known events through June 2018


Summer 2017: LOMO Service Camp Opportunities
July 15: Youth Gathering Volunteer Application Closes
July 15: Youth Gathering Financial Aid Application Opens

Note: all 3 fall gathering informational meetings

are identical based on current information.

August 19: Fall Youth Gathering Informational Meeting from 10 to noon at All Saint’s, Worthington
September 7: Fall Youth Gathering Informational Meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at St. John's, Vandalia
September 13: Fall Youth Gathering Informational Meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Good Shepherd, Cincinnati
September 15: Youth Gathering Registration Opens (Early Bird Rate)
October 23-25: Renew Retreat at Lutheran Memorial Camp
November 16: Youth Gathering Registration (Regular Rate Begins)

December 7: Bishop's Meet & Greets


Then in 2018:

January 12-14: The Middle School MiX at Lutheran Memorial Camp
January 16-18: The Rostered Leaders Conference

January 20: Something More Session I at Epiphany, Dayton

January 26-29: The Extravaganza in Houston, Texas
February 2-3: The Capital Bowl (7th through 12th Grades) at Capital University

February 9-10: Something More Session II (Place TBD)

February 16: Youth Gathering Late Registration Fee Begins
March 2-4: Campus Ministry High School Retreat at Camp Kern
March 12: Southern Ohio Synod Convocation

March 17: Something More Session III 10 to 3 pm Good Shepherd, Cincinnati

May 15: Youth Gathering Registration Closes---All Payments Due
June 24-27: MYLE
June 24-27: The tAble
June 27-July 1: Youth Gathering



Everything below this line is for new folks and/or

those looking for easy links to ELCA resources



Four Things the Church can do better on Social Media - Click Here




Sparkhouse offers multiple webinars every week

during the school year

Click Here

 Sparkhouse: sparkhouse develops faith formation resources for children, youth, and adults. They strive to spark new life in Christian communities through imagination and collaboration. Click Here to get to their main site or to see their new confirmation material: Click Here 


Goings On At 

Vibrant Faith logo


Visit Here For The Latest



And FYI, Youth Ministry Links...


is a Facebook presence for that provides links to all things youth ministry


The Two Most Important Things To Do In Youth Ministry....

Click Here 


Other Noteworthy Information... 

Our Southern Ohio Synod LOMO Board Members include...


Oesterlen Services for Youth is a Lutheran institution based out of Springfield.  
Pastor Bonnie Kinnunen is the chaplain.
The Southern Ohio Synod is represented on the Oesterlen Board of Directors by the following...

Become aware of these ELCA Youth Ministry offerings...

The ELCA offers us much. Below are few ways our denomination helps us out at the Synod and Congregational level.


The ELCA Youth Ministry Network 

The ELCA Youth Ministry Network is a major part of our church. Here is their Mission Statement...

The ELCA Youth Ministry Network exists to strengthen and empower adult youth ministry leaders in service to Christ as a part of God's mission. 

They are a dues paying membership organization and are worth checking out.

Click Here for More Information 


You should also be aware of the Practice Discipleship Training Initiative (PD). In its fourth year, PD is an outgrowth of the Youth Gathering, funded by the ELCA Youth Ministry Network and supported by Churchwide. Its goal is to provide training to adults in congregations who work with youth. 


And then there's SYMBOL... 

SYMBOL stands for the Synodical Youth Ministry Band Of Leaders. Symbol is a network of adults interested in youth ministry at the Synod level. It bridges the gap between Churchwide and our local congregations. Offering retreats and other events, Gary is a member (there are no dues) and he attends as many of the events as possible. If you are interested in learning more and/or wish to attend SYMBOL events on behalf of our Synod connect with Gary.


The Youth Summit:

Giving youth the opportunity to become involved in the wider church, the Youth Summit is an annual leadership event held each autumn. Each Synod is eligible to send two youth and one adult to the event. 



FYI, Gary is a member of The Christian Education Network Of the ELCA (Formerly LACE). Stay tuned for updates or: Click Here


Church Mutual

Church Mutual Risk Reporter Ideas: Mission Trip Tips...

Click Here


Gary's Stuff

Gary's Book Give-A-Away:

A free Faith Webbing book was offered to each Synod congregation in 2014. And a free What's In Your Bag? book was offered to each Synod congregation in 2015. Have not received your set yet? Contact Gary.

Need additional books? Visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Xulon, or Gary usually has a few in his trunk if you want a "free" book. He prefers to give them away to Southern Ohio Synod Churches.

Faith Webbing 

Faith Webbing    Yep, we all know Gary loves the Faith Webbing Concept. Connect with Gary if you would like to hear more or to schedule a visit. Over 150 of our congregations have been given a book free of charge.


Outcome-Based Youth Ministry

And yep, it does not take much to get Gary talking about equipping our children and youth with the necessary Faith Skills to live out their personal calling in life.

 Outcome-Based Youth Ministry


FYI, A free book was offered to all Synod congregations in 2015. Over 120 were passed out at the Synod Assembly that year.

Faith WebbingJust so you know... As many of you know Gary & Laurie have been in youth ministry for...well...let's just say a long time. Over the past few years they have been consistently receiving contacts from congregations outside the Southern Ohio Synod asking for youth ministry consultation. Many of them ELCA congregations.

In response, Gary & Laurie have developed a web-based youth ministry coaching service called The website is designed to meet the needs of congregations outside of the Southern Ohio Synod and will be interdenominational in nature.

The new venture has the blessing of Bishop Dillahunt and will not affect Gary’s work in his position in the Southern Ohio Synod. Oh Yeah, you do not need to visit the new website. Gary will continue to provide all of the same services for Synod congregations at no direct charge through your congregations mission support.


Cluster Get Togethers, Training Events for Youth and/or Adults, and Youth Events...

are scheduled as folks raise their hand and say, "Hey, let's do one in my area." Contact Gary and after a date, time, and location are chosen, he will advertise the event through facebook, youth & family e-bulletins, and hard copy mailings to congregations. We currently have two clusters that meet regularly. One in Central Ohio and one in Middletown, Ohio. Each cluster group meets three to four times a year.


Standard Synod Youth & Family

Connection Information


A. Consider Joining the Synod Youth & Family Ministry Facebook Page

Just for you...a youth and family ministry facebook group page has been created focusing on our favorite topic. Here's a chance to ask questions, have discussions, and share what you are doing in youth and family ministry to an entire network.

To join, send a request to Gary Pecuch through Facebook or send an email request and Gary will send you an invitation.

B. Youth & Family E-bulletins are sent out the 1st and 15th of each month

C. A Hard Copy Mailing of Youth & Family Ministry happenings is sent out quarterly to congregations

Look for the fluorescent Green Flier

D. Visit the Synod Website:

To find the youth and family section simple go to the home page and click on the words "read more" on the Faith Formation tab (middle-right). Once there you will find all kinds of forms, and resources for children's. youth, and family ministry.

E. Connect with Gary directly or 614-464-3532 extension 4

Thank you for being a Youth Advocate in your congregation!




Standard ELCA Links & Information



ELCA Resources Home Page: Click Here 


Good Gifts: Click Here 


Malaria Campaign: Click Here


World Hunger Products: Click Here


Faith & Spirituality Products: Click Here


Global Mission Resources: Click Here


Social Issues Resources: Click Here


Stewardship Resources: Click Here


Young Adult Ministry Products: Click Here


ELCA Merchandise: Click Here


ELCA World Hunger Resources

The ELCA World Hunger Folks have some great resources including service learning guides, brochures, and various action campaigns to choose from. THESE ARE REALLY GOOD RESOURCES!

Click Here For Details





There are great resources at the ELCA Youth Ministry Network website for all stages of ministry with family and youth and it is free to you at Martin's List. Requires Membership to the ELCAYMNetwork.  




Lots of people and churches have been posting job opening, descriptions with the ELCA Youth Ministry Newtowrk. Please remember that the Network also has an updated service on the Network website to post positions, job descriptions, and contact information. Click Here 

Requires Membership to the ELCAYMNetwork.



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