Youth Ministry

Youthfest 2018

Registration Packet:

Youthfest 2018 Registration Packet Youthfest 2018 Registration Packet (3635 KB)

Bible Bowl

Information about the 2018 Bible Bowl is not yet available.  Please check back later for updated information.  (The Bible Bowl website is available HERE).

Youth Calendar 

ELCA Youth Gathering

Youth Convo

Areas of Responsibility

Enabling youth to assume their place as full participants in the life of the church by serving youth and adults working with youth.

Report to the 2017 Synod Assembly

Youth Ministry in our synod is year-round work, and brings together not just youth, but young adults, pastors and lay people from across the synod. Our ministry encompasses global and local concerns, worship, fellowship, education, social justice, ecumenism and leadership! I am so very thankful for the large team of pastors and lay leaders who do this work, and for all the congregations and organizations that support this ministry on a regular basis. Here’s a glimpse at a year in the life of this ministry…

In July of last year, we were gathered for our annual pilgrimage to Kennywood for Lutheran Day. The bishop led a brief service of Morning Prayer with beautiful music! In August, a small group of us gathered for a Youth Leadership Event at the Lutheran University Center. We studied leadership and teamwork through the lens of Moses and Aaron leading the Israelites, and we also looked at our spiritual gifts and callings.
September brought the return of Sunday Night Live, also hosted by the Lutheran University Center, and we were visited by Mennonite friends as we studied conflict and peace-making. We then took a field trip to Heinz Chapel for Compline to close our evening together. Our October Sunday Night Live was also an ecumenical event with our brothers and sisters of the Western PA Conference of the United Methodist Church. Planned jointly by our denominations, we gathered at St. John’s Highland for a professionally-facilitated viewing of an excellent documentary about students’ encounters with racism.

November and December SNL took us from the Celtic spirituality of Iona Community of Scotland to the hills and hardwork of Millvale and the Stay At Home Mission Work Camp. Huge thanks to all who expertly led these events while I was “relaxing” at home on maternity leave!

We had fun at Trinity Lutheran in Freeport for our January SNL – gathering for “camp” games and “camp” music and worship! Whether it be Lutherlyn or elsewhere – outdoor ministry holds a special place in our hearts! February SNL at Nativity Lutheran in Allison Park was truly a brightly shining example of the creativity of our team. Talking about being salt and light in the world, we then gathered for a beautiful liturgy of Evening Prayer lit only by black light! Everything glowed in the dark – especially us in white t-shirts!

March SNL we focused on World Hunger, and participated in a simulation from Lutheran World Relief. We closed the evening with Taize songs by candlelight, anointing, and Holden Prayer around the Cross. At the time this report was due in March, teams were gearing up to do battle for our annual Bible Bowl, nearly memorizing the book of Revelation!

The month of April brings our synod-wide retreat for Jr. and Sr. High students at Camp Lutherlyn. This year again, we have invited our neighbors to the north in the Northwestern PA Synod to join us on retreat. We’ll enjoy each other’s company, getting away from it all for the weekend, and talk about bullying, healthy relationships, and God’s gift of community.

In May we will have had our first ELCA Youth Gathering planning meeting, as congregations prepare for this triennial event, taking place in Houston, TX summer of 2018. Fundraising and pre-planning from here on out! June brings us right here to Synod Assembly, where a group of young people gather for Youth Convocation.

My term as chair of the committee is ending, and I’ll take a big step back now – so I tried to start compiling a list of people I needed to thank. The list is far too long for this report. To the committee members and those unofficially working for the committee, to each congregation and organization that graciously hosted us, to each adult who volunteers their time so that more youth might hear the Gospel in their own language and learn the language of faith, and to the young people we work with who so often impress, teach, and lead me…. I am most grateful!


Committee Members

Chairperson: Pastor Erin Evans
Secretary:  Andrew Sabol
Synod Council Representative:  
Clergy:  Pastor Joel A. Benson; Pastor Brian Bennett; Pastor Ryan Kobert
Laypersons: Elisabeth Heckert; Virginia Kreisel; Kyra Short; Deacon Amy Santoriello
Resource Person:  Pastor Christina A. Hough
Staff: The Rev. Sarah Lee- Faulkner, Assistant to the Bishop