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Extravaganza 2021 Workshops

These are the workshops scheduled to happen during Extravaganza 2021.

Workshop Title &
Workshop Description &
Presenter Bio
Affirming Logistics: Showing God's Care for LGBTQ Youth in the Practical Details of Ministry Serving LGBTQ youth well often means re-thinking our assumptions. Where are those assumptions showing up in the logistics of our ministries? How do we serve LGBTQ youth well in the details of sleeping arrangements, sign-up forms, bathroom signs, and more? Join us as we offer some ideas and welcome conversation.
Logan Rimel Logan is a counselor and co-director for The Naming Project, a summer camp for youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities to explore their faith in a safe environment. They are also currently pursuing their Masters of Divinity at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA. Their favorite part of living in Berkeley is taking walks to look for jasmine plants and friendly cats.
Children Essential to the Kin-dom Mark 10:13-16 has too often been seen as fluff; but we will explore it's provocativeness with children seen as essential in the kin-dom of God. We will dive deep into scripture assessing how children are described in terms of spirituality, justice, and leadership. A closer understanding of the texts will hopefully lead to a stronger valuing of children in the Christian community in practical ways.
Janelle Hooper Janelle Rozek Hooper serves as Program Director for Ministry with Children for the ELCA as well as Pastor of Faith Formation at New Hope LC in TX. The longer she is at her job the deeper she has dug into children at the center of the Bible and wants to explore it alongside you. Janelle likes to say she works so she can afford to garden.
Collaborative Teams: From A Good Idea In Theory To a Necessity The COVID era has changed our ministries in many ways. As Christians, we know that God wastes nothing and consistently brings good from all things. The COVID era is no exception. We are not being pushed out of our comfort zones; it feels more like we are being drop-kicked! In this workshop, you will hear how one Family Ministry Team has shifted gears, ditched all plans, using innovative approaches to faith formation, and collaborating while remaining attentive to those we minister to, their families, and the leadership of the Spirit.
Molly Schroeder Molly Schroeder is an experienced leader and mentor in both the ministry and the nonprofit sectors. While the challenges many churches face can be overwhelming, she finds it to be a liberating and energizing time to be leading in God's church. Her passion for developing adaptive leaders and coaching them through their specific challenges is contagious. When not navigating the waters of change she enjoys navigating the lakes in her kayak with her tiny 3-pound canine companion, Sherman.
Creating with a creative God In this workshop we will lean and practice the spiritual practice of bible art journaling. We will learn what it is and how you can can use this to grow in your faith.
Kelsey Vickery I run a faith based YouTube channel focused on Bible Art Journaling. I feel that art journaling connects me to Christ in ways that deepens my Faith. A fun fact about me is that I have lived in four different states in the last ten years!
Embracing Grace: Thoughtful conversation on teen expectations, perception & connection. Through intimate and honest storytelling, this session will highlight the challenges facing teens in a world of perceived perfection and high expectations. We'll then share ideas about how to encourage and give permission to kids to "hold loosely" onto this world, and feel "held tightly" by God's grace.
Kristin Bouchard Kristin is the Youth Ministries Coordinator, where she is blessed to hang out with 6th-12th grade youth at events, co-teaching confirmation and (her favorite) coordinating the annual summer mission trip. She's a story-collector by nature, and thrives on listening to tween and teen perspectives, opinions and how God is working in their lives. Kristin is married to a very patient man and has two boys ages 16 and 12 who provide daily hugs and eye-rolls. Fun fact: She grew up on a small hobby farm in central Wisconsin, where her parents raised goats!
Faith Formation Beyond the Church Walls 2020 has introduced a new reality and forced the way we do our ministries beyond the church walls. Faith formation will be defined through the lens of different settings. Examples, insights, and resources of how we have adapted our approach since the pandemic will be shared.
Debbie Streicher Debbie is Co-Director at Milestones Ministry and a Vibrant Faith MasterClass Instructor. She has worked with leadership across the country to develop faith formation programs and encourage a connection between the congregation and the home. Debbie loves sharing the gospel through puppet ministry!
Fundraising During a Pandemic: Who Knew That Was a Thing? The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to think about ministry in new ways. One of the things youth workers are needing to rethink is fundraising. As the pandemic settled in last spring, Gathering staff curated a resource for online and socially distanced fundraising. Come talk through this resource with us, including some important tips of why and how to fundraise. We also hope you'll bring your ideas, successes and failures with you to share with the group.
Molly Beck Dean & Justin Wilson Molly serves as Director for the ELCA Youth Gathering and Justin as the Gathering's Communication and Administration Associate. They both have a passion for equipping congregational leaders to do the best ministry possible with young people. Fun fact: on the Enneagram, Molly is an 8 and Justin is a 1.
Holding Loosely I am looking to discuss the power of holding loosely, how to hold loose and why we should hold loosely
Matthew E. Lovett I am an ELCA Youth Network Board Member, I believe we hold loosely by standing on the promises of God. Fun Fact: I enjoy playing the drums and writing songs.
Holding Loosely in the History (and Future) of Youth Ministry Explore snapshots of youth movements that started during times of social unrest and change (such as Sunday School, YMCA, and Youth for Christ), then consider how the issues of today (pandemic, politics, Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, environmental concerns, and more) might become the catalyst for what’s next in youth ministry.
Mark Jackson Mark Jackson serves as Director of Children, Youth & Family Ministry at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, MN. He's fascinated with history, including in the field of youth ministry -- he even wrote the entries for "Luther League" and "Parachurch Youth Organizations" in the Encyclopedia of Christian Education!
Holding Loosely in the Midst of Storms This seminar will look at the tensions of holding onto the promises and assurances found in the Word, while admitting the reality that life is messy and we are often confused. Tiger's story includes both elements and he will share some lessons that may help you as you navigate life's storms.
Tiger McLuen Tiger is the Executive Director of Youth Ministry Consultants--and taught youth ministry at Luther Seminary for 18 years. He has been helping leaders and churches share faith to the next generation for a LONG time. In spite of being a geezer, Tiger still rides his motorcycle and gets up on a slalom ski every summer.
Holding Loosely to 7 Phrases That May Save Your Ministry This workshop will look at 7 simple phrases that will help you stay focused in a distracting world. Tiger has boiled down some key principles into phrases that have been helpful to leaders over the years who want to stay focused and passionate about sharing faith to the next generation.
Tiger McLuen Tiger is the Executive Director of Youth Ministry Consultants--and taught youth ministry at Luther Seminary for 18 years. He has been helping leaders and churches share faith to the next generation for a LONG time. In spite of being a geezer, Tiger still rides his motorcycle and gets up on a slalom ski every summer.
Holding Loosely to Vocation This workshop highlights how certain practices, both new introductions and staples of youth ministry programs, are well suited to help students discover what vocational options exist for them and how both mentors and faith communities can be a meaningful, life-giving part of that discovery process.
Drew Tucker I'm the University Pastor and Director for the Center for Faith and Learning at Capital University. I love vocational exploration so much that I've built my career around it, focusing my doctoral research in it, and am writing a book on it. One fun (and also nerdy) fact about me is that my wife and I name all our pets after theologians.
How to Help People Who Have Depression and Suicidal Thoughts How to help people who have depression and suicidal thoughts by gaining insight and knowledge to pick up the warning signs. What to say - and not to say - to someone with depression or suicidal thoughts. Resources for those living with depression and suicide.
Jennifer Adkison and Carla Cross Jennifer: Jennifer is the youth director at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Granada Hills, CA. She is also a peer support specialist in mental health for DBSA (Depression Bipolar Support Alliance), and has lived with bipolar disorder for most of her life. A fun fact about Jennifer is that she has a 2 yr old Saint Bernard named Mishka who is her baby. Carla: Carla has been a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Granada Hills, CA for 18 yrs, since her oldest daughter first started preschool there when she was 3 yrs old. She is also a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and has treated children and adolescents for a variety of mental health challenges for years, so she has seen on a personal and professional level the impact of depression and suicide in teens. A fun fact about Carla is that she used to deliver balloons in costume when she was a young adult.
Internal Welcome and External Witness: LGBTQ Youth Ministry and Public Advocacy Let’s assume LGBTQ youth feel like your congregation is a safe place where they will feel affirmed and loved. In this workshop we will talk about the work ministries can do to build the world where LGBTQ youth experience that same safety even if they never step inside of the church doors.
Ross Murray Ross Murray is a consecrated Deacon in the ELCA and a founder and director of The Naming Project, a faith-based camp for LGBTQ youth and their allies. He is also the Senior Director of Education & Training at the GLAAD Media Institute. Ross is also a producer for Yass, Jesus!, a queer Christian podcast hosted by actor Daniel Franzese and former TBN host Azariah Southworth.
Keeping Middle School Kids Engaged In normal times, middle school youth struggle to fit in as their bodies and brains are undergoing reconstruction - and now add a global pandemic to the mix! How can we keep them connected during all of this? If you were doing something in your ministry that worked before, don't give up on it - reform it! If you are struggling and feel like you want to give up, please hang in there! You are not alone! In this workshop, I will share what I have learned about reforming Confirmation, youth group, mission trips and service projects in a hybrid way (online and in person) in an effort to keep kids connected - during the pandemic and beyond.
Tammie Zarfos I am the Director of Confirmation and Jr. High Ministries at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Kirkland, WA, working with 7th, 8th and 9th grade youth for 13 years and a volunteer youth leader at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church in Renton, WA for over 30 years. Those Jr. High years were very difficult for me so I believe the more care and support we can give the youth during this age of change, the better. A fun fact about me is that I love to quilt and create at least one quilt each year for one of the high school seniors in our Senior Quilt Program at Holy Spirit.
Keeping Youth Together in Covid I will present the out of the box thinking I implemented as a result of other youth leaders that inspired me to implement to keep the youth engaged during Covid.
Mitzi Jones-Patterson Youth Director for 5th graders through young adults 30 years.
Love the water and enjoy swimming
Love your Neighbor: Missions and Justice Multiple times throughout the bible Jesus gives us examples of what it looks like to love our neighbors. In fact, Jesus says “There is no greater commandment than these, to "Love God with everything that you have and love your neighbor as yourself.”  Missions is often equated with the mobilization of people to action but what about justice? As we mobilize, we must actively seek to understand the injustices that exist for those who live in the communities we serve.
Erica Schimelpfenig I have spent the past 20 years doing ministry at YouthWorks. In my role as executive director, I am passionate about pointing teenagers toward God through service experiences because I believe they broaden perspectives and help develop life-long passions centered in loving God and our neighbors. I also have an unhealthy love for red and blue sour patch kids and happily share all other colors with my husband of nearly 17yrs and our 3 kids.
Navigating Wilderness Whitewater in the Winter In our workshop, I am going to share with you the characteristics of a leader who is prepared for an uncertain future. I will help you recognize which of these characteristics you best embody and which you can further develop. And we will consider how we can take these leadership qualities front and center in a time when what we do is far less important than how we do it.
Stephanie Luedtke Stephanie is a Deacon serving in a congregation in Minnesota. She is always looking for creative new ways to engage people in growing in their faith, and likes to think outside the box. She has discovered a new love for science fiction and likes to dream of the church of the future.
Neutralizing Chaos Are you struggling with worry, anxiety, isolation, confusion, and disconnection from your youth? Neutralizing Chaos shares how loss and grief play a significant role in navigating those challenges through uncertainty and being able to move forward again, together.
Laura Sharp-Waites Having been a P-12 Special Educator and College Professor for 15+ years prior to having Breast Cancer where I encountered a number of loss events causing grief. This lead to me becoming an Advanced Certified Grief Specialist which is my full-time ministry. Fun fact: Avid Traveler from walking with penguins in South America to tracing Jesus steps in Israel.
Power and Culture in Youth Group How do we identify power in our ministry and in our lives? How do we respond to power in a faithful way? This course encourages people to discuss power and how we can move from "power over" to "power with." People will learn more about feeling empowered and confident, while finding new ways to share power with others.
David Scherer and Joe Davis David Scherer teaches intercultural competence at Luther Seminary. He is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory and has been working with individuals and organizations for the last 20 years to help them deepen their Gospel welcome for all people. Joe Davis is a nationally touring writer, speaker, and performer based in Minneapolis, MN. He is the frontman of emerging soul, funk, and spoken word ensemble, The Poetic Diaspora, and the co-founder and Artistic Director of H-Cubed: Harrison, Healing, and Harmony, a monthly event series centered on healing through the arts. As a student and educator, he has served as teaching artist at dozens of high schools and universities as well as being the Artist-in Residence at Luther Seminary where he received a masters in Theology of the Arts.
Preparing for the ELCA Youth Gathering Hear from Gathering staff and leaders the top ten things you need to know and do to prepare yourself and your congregation for the 2022 ELCA Youth Gathering. There will be time for Q&A and to share your own tips and best practices.
Molly Beck Dean Molly serves as Director for the ELCA Youth Gathering. Fun fact: She and her daughter run a pet event in their hometown focusing on adopting out animals and promoting local pet-themed businesses.
Recognizing God in a Challenging World Through Milestones Recognizing milestones in our lives provides an opportunity to build and strengthen relationships. During the pandemic we have been challenged to find new ways to be together and celebrate both every day and significant milestones. Examples will be given and you will learn how to design your own milestone.
Debbie Streicher Debbie is Co-Director at Milestones Ministry and a Vibrant Faith MasterClass Instructor. She has worked with leadership across the country to develop faith formation programs. She believes recognizing God in everyday moments strengthens relationships and grows us in our faith. Debbie's favorite place to be in the summer is on a paddleboard!
Relationships as Self-Care Life is hard. Ministry is hard. But holding it loosely together makes it all worthwhile. Join us for a conversation about the joy of authentic, life-giving relationships. This is not a how-to, but rather a time to practice BEING together.
Rev. Priscilla Paris-Austin and Rev. Kacey Hahn Priscilla and Kacey have been friends for 5 years, pastoring two churches in the Seattle area. They have found joy and energy by doing life and ministry together at any opportunity and have found their relationship is a form of self-care. They have been living parallel lives, love walking the mall, are on the same launch schedule for their children and are in each other's COVID bubble.
Rooted and Open: Grounding your community in core beliefs, branching out into the unknown Core theological convictions should not be walls that prevent engagement with our neighbors. Instead, they can provide a blueprint for change and engagement across differences. This workshop helps participants identify core theological convictions and imagine they can be held loosely to allow for creative change in a shifting context. Case studies from congregations involved in Augsburg University's Riverside Innovation Hub will help us see how this can be done.
Kristina Fruge & Jeremy Myers I currently serve as managing director of the Christensen Center of Vocation at Augsburg University in Minneapolis. Part of my role in the past 3 years has included stewarding the Riverside Innovation Hub - a learning community of local congregations discerning the call to be neighbor while guided by their context, their core convictions and young adult leaders in their community. My fun fact is that I am in love with rocks and the tiny details of nature. If I were a dragon, this is the treasure I would hoard in my liar, but instead my collection is stashed in bowls, jars and pockets or captured in images on my iPhone.
Same Boundless God The theme for the 2022 ELCA Youth Gathering is "boundless: God beyond measure". How do we, both in our youth ministry and personally, see, experience and hang on to this boundless God in the midst of a pandemic and in a time of uncertainty and unrest? Join Gathering leadership for a time of reflection, prayer, scripture study and sharing.
Molly Beck Dean Molly Beck Dean serves as Director of the ELCA Youth Gathering and has been in youth ministry in congregational, camp and synodical settings.
Sexuality and Faith Conversations It is crucial for us to learn how to create space to have nourishing conversations around sexuality in our churches. In this workshop you will get to practice having conversations around sexuality and faith that you can directly use in your context.
Kara Haug Kara is the CoFounder of Reframing our Stories LLC (formerly known as Grace Unbound), a sexual health business that changes the narrative on how we talk about sexuality and relationships. Kara received her Masters in Theological Studies from PLTS and her Post Grad Certificate in Sexual Health Education and Counseling from the University of Michigan. Kara's favorite thing is to connect with a person over coffee and believes that lip sync parties are epic.
Staying Power: Creating Longevity In Your Minsitry Without Losing Your Mind Ministry can be difficult. In my 23 years of CYF Ministry, I have seen many people come and go. This workshop is designed to help us stay healthy in ministry so that we might stay in ministry. These self-care ideas are born out of years of struggle and persistence, and are for anyone who is struggling with their place in ministry and/or who wish to serve the church for the long haul.
Jeff "Spanky" Amlotte I've served as Director of Youth & Family Ministry at Mamrelund since 1998. I've been blessed and lucky to have served this long. Grace and forgiveness is the real key to my longevity in ministry! Speaking of grace, I've been married for 17 years and am a father of 3, the third of which we adopted from China. And speaking of staying power; I am a lifelong, devoted, die hard fan of the Detroit Lions!
Telling Middle Eastern Stories to Non-Middle Eastern Audiences (including why the term "Middle Eastern" is quickly falling out of favor) We live in a culture where we don’t often hear the stories of Middle Eastern (also known as Southwest Asian and North African) folks in mainstream media. For many of the young people in our ministry, church is where they first experience stories from a Middle Eastern perspective. What does it look like for us as ministry leaders to tell the stories and share the cultural history of Middle Eastern people to a mostly non-Middle Eastern audience? How does seeing depictions of Jesus as a white man affect the people in our pews? How does the way we talk about the past influence our attitudes now? Let’s start exploring these complicated issues together.
Danielle Dadashi Danielle Dadashi has worked in youth ministry for over a decade. She loves traveling, reading, and telling jokes that make teenagers roll their eyes. She feels called to create a loving, safe, and welcoming faith community where teenagers can form relationships with each other and God.
The ABC’s of DEI strategies for Youth Networks Implementation ideas and strategies for Youth Networks. Building foundations and principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion through the lenses of relationships and engagement that elevates the experiences of young people served in various contexts.
Lamont-Anthony Wells Pastor Lamont-Anthony Wells is the Program Director for ELCA Campus Ministry/LuMin network. His passion for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is often shown through his leadership as the National President of the (ELCA) African Descent Lutheran Association. Lamont also has a great love for acting and was a finalist for the role of Theo Huxtable (Cosby Show) in the early 80’s.
The Power of Forgiveness Grace. We talk about it. We preach about it. We theologize it. But how many of us struggle with it? More specifically, how many of us struggle with forgiveness? Forgiveness is complicated, but so vital for all of us. In this workshop, we will look at what Jesus had to say about forgiveness and what forgiveness really means in our lives. Spanky will also share personal stories of how forgiveness changed his heart. If you are holding tightly to anger, resentment, or guilt come and hear about "The Power of Forgiveness."
Jeff "Spanky" Amlotte I've served as Director of Youth & Family Ministry at Mamrelund since 1998. I've been blessed and lucky to have served this long. Grace and forgiveness is the real key to my longevity in ministry! Speaking of grace, I've been married for 17 years and am a father of 3, the third of which we adopted from China. And speaking of staying power; I am a lifelong, devoted, die hard fan of the Detroit Lions!
Coming in January...
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