The Office for Children, Youth & Family is a ministry of the larger Center for Faith Formation at Lower Susquehanna Synod. Designed to help equip and educate over a lifetime, our events and ministry resources span all generations. In these pages you will find links to events that equip the teachers and educators themselves, but also events and resources designed for those in the first-third of life, their parents and grandparents.
Events for All Ages
While we offer events spanning a number of generations, but we focus on event ministry for those in the first-third of life. Some are more educational, while others focus on fellowship, but all have a common mission of faith formation, and helping 21st century disciples recognize their gifts for serving others in Jesus name. From Summerfest to Winterfest and every season in between, our events create community for youth, families, and congregational leaders to gather and grow in faith and in relationship with one another.
Brief descriptions of our events appear below, with links to event pages where you can see pics and videos from previous years, and learn more about the upcoming event and how to register. You can also “Like Us” at our Lower Susquehanna Synod Center for Faith Formation Facebook page to get regular updates on events, resources and activities.
To post a link to a CYFM event you are sponsoring, please contact our office.
NEW for 2017: Curriculum Design Workshops for Adults
At ALiVE 2016, and Winterfest 2017, the Office for Children, Youth & Family in cooperation with our synod’s Youth & Family Ministry Team, will offer workshops designed to help adults who volunteer or who staff congregational youth ministies, training in planning and development of youth ministry curriculum for congregational use. So often youth nights or youth group “meetings” become simply a night of fun and fellowship, when these gatherings could be be infused with faith formation opportunities that support and enhance Confirmation, or other traditional Christian ed activities.
At ALiVE, our team will work with adult workshop participants, to review the framework or a “model” for hosting a faith-formative youth night that incorporates scripture, prayer, and faith conversation, alongside of fun and fellowship activities. By using multiple intelligence-based theory to create learning opportunities that speak to a wide-range of youth and young adults, you can host evening, afternoon, or even weekend events that keep youth connected well past Confirmation, and that encourages them to invite and bring friends to youth nights.
At Winterfest, our team will actually walk through the curriculum design process, from the formulation of a year-long theme to identifying 8-12 sub-themes for individual meetings or sessions. Then they will work with participants to design sessions that stimulate conversation, critical thinking, and carry-out activities that will keep youth engaged and active in youth ministry at your congregation. Using video, music, active-learning, role-playing, skits, and other multi-sensory teaching dynamics, we will help you bring to life Biblical stories and narratives that help your young people become more confident in sharing their faith, praying, and using their faith in daily decision-making.
Adults who attend these events as congregational advisors, will pay NO ADDITIONAL fees to participate in these planning workshops, as this is included in the cost of attending the event. However, if an adult simply wants to attend to participate in the Winterfest curriculum planning and design workshops, they will either want to register for the full event, to have access to ALL workshops, or at the very least attend the “Care for Congregations: Faith Formation with Adults,” workshops on Saturday. It should be noted that we will NOT be able to do the full 8-12 session curriculum design work in two adult sessions at Winterfest, so those who really want exposure to the full planning, SHOULD register for the entire event, even if they are not attending to assist with their congregation’s youth. We will make the final curriculum material available to all who participate in any portion of this planning.
Finally, it should be made clear that when designing curriculum for congregational youth ministry, each congregation may have needs or a context specific to their group. As such, individual sessions may need tweaked to fit your group dynamic or context, depending upon group size, relational closeness of your group, and other dynamics exclusive to your setting. However, the theology, thematic, and practical elements of this curriculum will be consistent, allowing you as a leader to know that the material you are sharing is consistent with that of peers across the synod.
OFFICE FOR CYFM EVENTS
Winterfest: An annual event for senior high youth & young adults
ALiVE: An annual event for middle-school youth.
Summerfest: An annual event for ALL generations
Leadership Training Camp: An annual event for young leaders recommended by their congregation
Rise Up Together: Multi-generational events that connect volunteers t local service opportunities with people dealing with the adverse affects of poverty, hunger, addiction, homelessness and other needs. In addition, volunteers receive education on advocacy and community organizing.
Learning Ministries Workshops & Forums: Continuing ed events for Sunday school teachers, Confirmation leaders, youth ministers, volunteers and parents. To learn more about our events, like us at: LSS Center for Faith Formation
PARTNERSHIP EVENTS & LINKS
ELCA Youth Gathering(s): Gathering of 35,000+ Lutheran youth and advisors for service, faith formation, fellowship, prayer and worship. Visit the Gathering website at: ELCA Youth Gathering
(Look for a 2018 Gathering page, coming soon)
Youth Ministry Certification School (YMCS): A course in the practice, theory & theology of congregational children, youth & family ministry
Visit the website at: Youth Ministry Certification at LTSG
Theological Education with Youth (TEY): Offers events for teens exploring their vocation, but also how God is using their gifts in their neighborhoods and the world.Visit the website at: http://www.theologicaleducationwithyouth.com/
Hope in Haiti Service Trip: An annual servant trip to Institution Univers, a Christian school in Ouanaminthe, Haiti. Visit their website at: Hope in Haiti
LutheranHANDS Service Trip & Weekend Retreats: Events focused on serving those in primarily areas affected by a natural disaster.
Get more information at: LutheranHANDS latest post