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Youth & Family Ministry E-bulletin August 15, 2017

Gary visited 30+ churches over the summer months. He promised a lot of things to a lot of people. He thinks he followed through on everything he promised. :)  

If you have not yet received information from him that you are expecting please zip him an email reminder. Thank you!


It's August....Nothing New In This Edition...Same Four Items  :)

  • Gathering Informational Meetings
  • Renew Retreat
  • Youth Ambassador Program
  • Calendar

First, as if you needed it, a reminder that the Gathering registration opens September 15th!

If you did not attend the informational meeting last May might be a good idea to get someone to attend ONE of the three remaining informational meetings before September 15th.

Note: all 3 upcoming Gathering informational meetings are identical based on current information and contain pretty much the same information as the May Gathering Meeting

  • Saturday August 19: Youth Gathering Informational Meeting from 10 to noon at All Saint’s, Worthington
  • Thursday September 7: Youth Gathering Informational Meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at St. John's, Vandalia
  • Wednesday September 13: Youth Gathering Informational Meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Good Shepherd, Cincinnati

And per Gathering Transportation...Gary is able to help you connect with others heading to Houston. Just zip him an email letting him know if you have bus spots available or need bus spots.


If you would like to help coordinate the RENEW RETREAT for this October please contact Gary. Coordinating simply means helping to coordinate an outside speaker or two and/or help to coordinate a couple of vesper experiences. Know someone who would be good for all of us to hear from? Send Gary your suggestions.



The Bishop's Youth Ambassador Program. Want your youth to understand what "churchwide" is before heading to Houston? Consider scheduling a Bishop's Youth Ambassador Program experience before next summer 


and Finally, here is the calendar of known events through June 2018. 

Summer 2017: LOMO Service Camp Opportunities 

August 19: Youth Gathering Informational Meeting from 10 to noon at All Saint’s, Worthington

September 7: Youth Gathering Informational Meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at St. John's, Vandalia

September 13: Youth Gathering Informational Meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Good Shepherd, Cincinnati

September 15: Youth Gathering Registration Opens (Early Bird Rate)

September 19: ELCA Educational Network Facebook Party 9 pm (Featured Guest: Gary Pecuch)

September 29-October 1: LOMO Families Helping Families Event

October 6-7: Confirmation Retreat at Camp Mowana

October 8: Apple Butter Festival at Lutheran Memorial Camp

October 13-14: Faith-In-Fun Retreat at Camp Mowana

October 20-22: High School Retreat at Camp Mowana

October 23-25: Renew Retreat at Lutheran Memorial Camp

November 2-5: ELCA Youth Summit in Houston, Texas

November 16: Youth Gathering Registration (Regular Rate Begins)

December 1-3: LOMO Family Advent Retreat

December 7: Bishop's Meet & Greets

  • A Daytime session at Procter Center from 10:30 am to 1 pm (Lunch Provided)

  • And an evening session at Synod Office from 6:30 to 8:30 pm (Snacks Provided)

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

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 10 am to 3 pm

January 26-28: Confirmation Retreat at Lutheran Memorial Camp

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

February 16-18: Confirmation Retreat at Lutheran Memorial Camp

March 2-4: Campus Ministry High School Retreat at Camp Kern

March 11: Maple Syrup Festival at Lutheran Memorial Camp

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

April 13-14: Confirmation Retreat at Mowana

April 15: Free Day at Camp at Mowana

May 6: Free Day at Camp (Lutheran Memorial Camp)

May 13: Mother’s Day Lunch at Camp Mowana

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...


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

Click Here 


Other Noteworthy Information... 

Our Southern Ohio Synod LOMO Board Members include...

  • Diane Coning (Vice President), Gloria Dei, Cincinnati
  • Rev Bob Miller, St. Paul, Dayton
  • Mike Poyer, Epiphany, Pickerington
  • Scott Haligowski, Epiphany, Centerville
  • Gary represents the Bishop on the Board


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...

  • Kay Labosky (All Saints, Worthington)
  • Peri Bonner (Galilee, Russells Point)
  • Pastor David Buchenroth (Lord of Life, Worthington)
  • Rev Carol Gesalman (Fifth, Springfield)
  • Rev Ralph Wolfe (Clinton Heights, Clinton Heights)
  • Deb Baldwin (First, Xenia)
  • Pastor Rachel Tune (Wittenberg University)

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. Need a 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

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 Network. 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.