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June 9, 2014

234

An Invitation to Sign an Open Letter to the ELCA…

by tbuegler

Dear Network friends,

The Network’s Board of Directors has drafted the following letter, to be sent to Rev. Stephen Bouman, Executive Director of Congregational and Synodical Mission at the ELCA.  It requests that staffing in the area of children’s ministry at the churchwide offices be considered.

The Network Board invites you to co-sign the letter.  If you would like to do so, please make a “comment” below the letter and in that comment, put your name, your role/title, your congregation or organization and your city and state.  Please sign on or before June 17th to have your name included in the version being sent to Rev. Bouman.

Thank you!

Networked in Christ,
Todd

yay-3164803June 9, 2014

Rev. Stephen Bouman
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
8765 West Higgins Road
Chicago, IL 60631

Dear Rev. Bouman,

Greetings, in the name of our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

We are grateful that the Congregational and Synodical Mission unit of the churchwide organization added two program director staff positions for youth and young adult ministry in 2013. Thanks for your vision and commitment to forming and nurturing faith in youth and emerging adults. Paul Amlin and Rozella White have been marvelous partners with the ELCA Youth Ministry Network and great representatives of the churchwide expression.

We remain concerned however, about the lack of resources and support for those engaged in children’s ministry at the congregational, synodical, and churchwide level. As congregations have cut budgets and staffing, we are aware that a large number of youth and children’s ministry positions are being combined in our congregations. In our effort to identify and connect our members to training, resources, and support to those who do ministry with children we have recognized that there is no staff person on ELCA churchwide staff in the area of children’s ministry. We believe this is a gap that needs to be filled as quickly as possible.

We are aware of the importance of excellent faith formation beginning as early as possible in the life of a young person. Based on James Fowler’s Stages of Faith, and our own experiences, it is clear that our children from birth to age twelve require intentional shepherding and guidance in their faith development. If we take seriously that faith formation is a process of development, and that the baptismal journey is indeed a journey that begins at the font and continues throughout our life, then our church must provide guidance to parents, pastors, teachers, and lay ministers who are working with our infants, toddlers, and children at the beginning of this important journey.

We believe it is crucial that there be a person at the churchwide office, partnering with Paul and Rozella along with the rest of the CSM staff, working to make congregations aware of the best resources, to build partnerships around children’s ministry and to be a voice for those who work with the youngest within our church. We believe that it is essential that a person in this role

  • Has experience and expertise in the area of children’s ministry
  • Understands the full spectrum of faith formation as it spans all the ages
  • Has skills in working in large systems to affect change and to grow ministries

We hope that you will consider providing resources for a churchwide staff position in the area of children’s ministry. This is a vital ministry for the present and future of our church.

Respectfully,

The ELCA Youth Ministry Network Board of Directors
Erik Ullestad (chairperson)
Julie Miller
Rev. Ben Morris
Valerie Taylor-Samuel
Sue Megrund
Jeremy Myers
Tom Schwolert
Rev. Todd Buegler

And the following members of the Network:

 

234 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jamie T
    Jun 9 2014

    Jamie Travers, AiM, Family Ministry Coordinator, St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Devils Lake, ND

    Reply
  2. Jun 9 2014

    Raymond A. Hopkins III
    Director of Youth Ministries
    Upper Dublin Lutheran Church
    Ammbler, PA

    Reply
  3. Ethan Overcash
    Jun 9 2014

    Ethan Overcash, Minister of Youth & Family, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Charlotte, NC

    Reply
  4. Scott Maxwell-Doherty
    Jun 9 2014

    I am delighted to affirm the convictions of this letter. When we baptize our youngest we owe it to them to support in every way possible their journey of faith. Staffing a position of this nature affirms our core convictions in infant bAptism and early faith formation. Imagine a church that was committed to funding soup kitchens across the country but had no mechanism for writing checks or transferring money…in essence no treasurer…this would be epic fail.
    Please hire for this position.
    Thank you.
    Rev. Scott j. Maxwell-Doherty
    University Pastor
    California Lutheran University
    Thousand Oaks ca
    8054056664

    Reply
  5. Jun 9 2014

    Rachel M. Slough, Youth Ministries Coordinator, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, La Crosse, WI.

    Reply
  6. Jun 9 2014

    As a person responsible for Children, Youth, and Family Ministry in a congregational setting I would urge the central church to recognize that without children’s ministry there will be no youth ministry. Today’s parents want the church to help them raise their children in faith as they no longer have the community and family support for this task available in previous decades. Thank you for all you do for youth, and please extend that same concern to the children of our church.

    Reply
  7. Tania Schramm
    Jun 9 2014

    Tania Schramm, Interim Director of Children and Family Ministry, Faith Lutheran Church, Clive Iowa

    Reply
  8. De Ann Martell
    Jun 9 2014

    De Ann Martell
    Director of Children’s Ministry
    St. Andrew Lutheran Church
    Las Vegas, NV

    Reply
  9. Jun 9 2014

    Rev. Geoff T. Sinibaldo,
    Pastor, St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, New Canaan, CT.
    Dean, Southern CT Conference, New England Synod, ELCA.

    Reply
  10. Chris Madgwick
    Jun 9 2014

    Chris Madgwick
    Youth and Family Ministry Director
    Redeemer Lutheran Church
    PLymouth, WI.

    Reply
  11. Neil Christians
    Jun 9 2014

    Director of the Family Ministry Team

    Reply
  12. Kris Tostengard Michel
    Jun 9 2014

    Kris Tostengard Michel
    Pastor of Spiritual Formation
    Bethlehem Lutheran Church
    Minneapolis, MN

    Reply
  13. Martha Maier
    Jun 9 2014

    Martha Maier, Associate Pastor, St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Vancouver WA

    Reply
  14. Jun 9 2014

    Rev. Adam K. Butler, Associate Pastor – CYF Ministries, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, SD

    Reply
  15. Jun 9 2014

    Dr. Rich Melheim, Faith Inkubators, the Faith Inkubators Foundation & the Preschool Incubators Project, Specialized Ministry Call, St. Paul Area Synod, ELCA

    Reply
  16. Stephanie Coltvet Erdmann
    Jun 9 2014

    Rev. Stephanie Coltvet Erdmann
    Associate Pastor
    Transfiguration Lutheran Church
    Bloomington, MN

    Reply
  17. Jun 9 2014

    Chris St.Clair, Youth Director, Triumphant Lutheran Church, Garden Ridge, Texas

    Reply
  18. Amy L Juel-Palmer
    Jun 9 2014

    Rev. Amy L, Juel-Palmer, Director of Faith Formation Ministries, Vinje Lutheran Church, Willmar, MN

    Reply
  19. Michael Engfer
    Jun 9 2014

    Rev. Michael Engfer
    Director of Program Ministries
    St. Andrew Lutheran Church
    Las Vegas, NV

    Reply
  20. Tara
    Jun 9 2014

    Tara Ulrich; Diaconal Minister
    Director of Home and Family Ministry
    First Lutheran Church
    Minot ND

    Reply
  21. Jun 9 2014

    Jeremy Hallquist
    Director of Youth and Family Ministries
    South Santiago Lutheran Church
    Clear Lake, MN

    Reply
  22. Carole Joyce
    Jun 9 2014

    Carole Joyce
    Passing on the Faith Ministry
    Good Shepherd Lutheran
    Plainview, MN
    Also chair of the SE MN CYF adviory committee.

    Reply
  23. Rebecca Maser
    Jun 9 2014

    Rebecca Maser
    Youth & Family Ministry Director
    St. Matthew Lutheran Church
    Martinsburg, PA

    Reply
  24. Carrie Stiles
    Jun 9 2014

    Carrie Stiles, Director of Children, Youth and Family
    Fish Lake Lutheran Church, Harris, MN

    Reply
  25. Ian McConnell
    Jun 9 2014

    Ian McConnell
    Children, Youth, and Family Ministries
    iangmcconnell@gmail.com
    (612) 875-4062

    Reply
  26. Karen Wight Hoogheem
    Jun 9 2014

    Pastor Karen Wight Hoogheem, Faith Lutheran Church, Coon Rapids, MN

    Reply
  27. Jun 9 2014

    Jason Poole
    Youth Minister
    Faith Lutheran Church – Janesville, WI

    Reply
  28. Cynthia Wiste
    Jun 9 2014

    Cynthia Wiste, CYF Ministry Director at Trinity in Hayfield MN and the Financial Secretary of the Christian Education Network of the ELCA.

    Reply
  29. Brad Lindberg
    Jun 9 2014

    Brad Lindberg
    Pastor
    English Luther Church
    Ellsworth, WI

    Reply
  30. Mindy Makant
    Jun 9 2014

    Mindy Makant
    Assistant Professor of Religion
    Youth and Family Ministry
    Lenoir-Rhyne University
    Hickory, NC

    Reply
  31. Terry Baird
    Jun 9 2014

    Terry Baird
    Faith Formation Director
    First Lutheran of Richmond Beach
    Shoreline, WA

    Reply
  32. Jun 9 2014

    Valyn Metropoulos
    Pastor
    Amazing Grace Lutheran Church of Grays Harbor
    Aberdeen, WA

    Reply
  33. erin evans
    Jun 9 2014

    Rev. Erin Evans, Peace Ev. Lutheran Church, Greenock PA (Southwestern PA Synod)

    Reply
  34. Matt CK
    Jun 9 2014

    Matt Canniff-Kesecker
    Director of Youth & Family Ministry
    Faith Lutheran Church
    Sarasota, FL

    Reply
  35. David Ellingson, Professor of Children, Youth & Family Ministry, Trinity Lutheran College, Everett, WA
    Jun 9 2014

    My entire ministry (40 plus years) has been a joyful response to Jesus’ call to welcome children into God’s family. As a parish pastor, synod staff person, and now as a college professor I know that time and $ invested in our “little ones” in the forming of their faith is the most important element in my call! Adequate staffing in children’s ministry on a churchwide level is essential to both the present and the future of Christ’s church!

    Reply
  36. Jun 9 2014

    Lisa Gray
    Director of Youth Ministries
    Zoar Lutheran Church
    Canby, Oregon

    Reply
  37. Jun 9 2014

    Rev. Tim Orlowski, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Durango, CO

    Reply
  38. Jun 9 2014

    Robin Souhrada
    Director of Faith Formation
    Bethlehem Lutheran Church
    Cedar Falls, Iowa

    Reply
  39. Steph
    Jun 9 2014

    Rev. Stephanie Lord, Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, Louisville, CO

    Reply
  40. Leanne Elliott
    Jun 9 2014

    Leanne Elliott
    Director of Christian Education, Youth & Family Ministry
    Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
    Westminster, Maryland

    Reply
  41. Joyce Sailer
    Jun 9 2014

    children are the future

    Reply
  42. Nicole
    Jun 9 2014

    Nicole VanderMeulen
    Children’s Ministry Coordinator
    St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church
    Renton, Washington

    Reply
  43. Jun 9 2014

    Dawn Alitz
    Pastor, Minister of Faith Formation
    Our Savior’s Lutheran Church
    Stillwater, MN 55124

    Reply
  44. Beth Buck
    Jun 9 2014

    Elizabeth Buck
    Christian Education/Youth Coordinator
    Trinity Lutheran Church
    Galesburg, Illinois

    Reply
  45. Marnie Backer
    Jun 9 2014

    Marnie Dahle Backer
    Director of Family & Young Adult Ministries
    First Lutheran Church
    Sioux Fall, SD

    Reply
  46. Jun 9 2014

    Shawna Berg
    Director of Confirmation and Stepping Stones Ministry – Incarnation Lutheran Church, Shoreview, MN

    Reply
  47. Lorie Garcia
    Jun 9 2014

    Lorie Garcia
    Director, Faith Generations Ministry
    Galilean Lutheran Church
    Corpus Christi, TX

    Reply
  48. Patty Koplitz
    Jun 9 2014

    Patty Koplitz
    Youth Leadership Facilitator
    St. Andrew’s
    Oshkosh WI

    Reply
  49. Dean Smith
    Jun 9 2014

    Dean Smith
    Associate Pastor
    Trinity Lutheran Church
    Owatonna, MN

    Reply
  50. Ed Wosinski
    Jun 9 2014

    Ed Wosinski
    Director of Youth and Family Ministry
    First Lutheran Church
    Muskegon MI 49445

    Reply
  51. Michelle Kleene
    Jun 9 2014

    Michelle Kleene
    Youth & Education Minister
    Immanuel Lutheran Church
    Clara City MN

    Reply
  52. Nancy Henrichsen
    Jun 9 2014

    Nancy Henrichsen
    Director of Children’s Ministry, First Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, SD

    Reply
  53. Michael J. Odegaard
    Jun 9 2014

    Michael J. Odegaard
    Director of Youth & Family Ministry
    Christ Lutheran Church
    Georgetown, Texas

    Reply
  54. barbaraharner
    Jun 9 2014

    Barbara Harner
    Director of Youth and Family Ministry
    Christ the Servant Lutheran Church
    Montgomery Village, MD 20886

    Reply
  55. Jun 9 2014

    Yes! I’ve noticed a campaign about fair wages popping up at some churches. As a life long servant of the church, this message should start with the log in the eye.

    Reply
  56. Jun 9 2014

    Sister Michelle Collins
    Director of Faith Formation
    Advent Lutheran Church
    Melbourne, FL

    Reply
  57. Lauren Miller
    Jun 9 2014

    Pastor Lauren Miller, Peace Lutheran Church, Charlottesville VA

    Reply
  58. Jun 9 2014

    Wendy Black, Lay Pastoral Assistant, Grace Lutheran Church, Tomahawk, WI

    Reply
  59. Jun 9 2014

    Desta Goehner
    Faith Formation Coordinator
    Southwest CA Synod

    Reply
  60. Kathy Hunstad
    Jun 9 2014

    Kathy Hunstad
    Director of Youth Ministry
    Trinity Lutheran Church
    Moorhead, MN
    NW Minnesota Synod

    Reply
  61. Jun 9 2014

    Rachel Hunstad
    Registered Nurse, 2012-2013 Young Adults in Global Mission – South Africa
    Minneapolis Synod

    Reply
  62. Ernest F Lehr III
    Jun 9 2014

    ERNIE LEHR
    YOUTH MINISTER
    ST MICHAEL LUTHERAN CHURCH
    PERRY HALL MD

    Reply
  63. Jun 9 2014

    Pastor Andrew H. Arnold
    Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church – Maple Valley, WA

    Reply
  64. Jen Kooistra
    Jun 9 2014

    Jen Kooistra
    Pastoral Assistant
    ELC – Mount Horeb, WI

    Reply
  65. Susan Detwiler
    Jun 9 2014

    Susan Detwiler
    Coordinator for Children and Family Ministry
    Ascension Lutheran Church
    Medford, Oregon

    Reply
  66. Todd Lewis
    Jun 9 2014

    Todd Lewis
    Youth and Family Coordinator
    Trinity Lutheran Church
    Stevens Point WI

    Reply
  67. Megan Floyd
    Jun 9 2014

    Megan Floyd
    Youth & Sunday School Coordinator
    Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
    Portage, MI

    Reply
  68. Molly Sullivan
    Jun 9 2014

    Molly Sullivan
    Director of Youth and Family Ministries
    Lord of the Hills Lutheran Church
    Centennial, CO

    Reply
  69. Amy santoriello
    Jun 9 2014

    Diaconal Minister
    Director of Faith Formation and Outreach
    Zion Lutheran, Penn Hills PA

    Reply
  70. Jun 9 2014

    Minister of Faith Formation
    Beautiful Savior Lutheran
    Bloomfield Hills MI

    Reply
  71. Jun 9 2014

    Janny Franken
    Director of Children’s Ministries
    Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
    Thousand Oaks, CA

    Reply
  72. Mary Toufar
    Jun 9 2014

    Mary Toufar
    Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministry
    Faith Lutheran, Waconia, MN

    Reply
  73. thefightingmonk
    Jun 9 2014

    William Johnson

    Former Sunday School teacher, confirmation leader, youth worker, all around Lutheran guy from Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church, Woodbridge, Virginia

    Reply
  74. Karoline Lancaster Novilla
    Jun 9 2014

    Parish musician – Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Morristown, TN

    Reply
  75. Assistant to the Bishop, Rocky Mountain Synod

    Reply
  76. Deb Westerberg
    Jun 9 2014

    Deb Westerberg
    Youth & Family Ministry Director
    Elim Lutheran Church
    Duluth, MN

    Reply
  77. Christina Kadelbach
    Jun 9 2014

    Christina Kadelbach
    Youth Minister
    Our Savior’s Lutheran Church
    Cloquet, MN

    Reply
  78. Jun 9 2014

    Anita Smallin, Director of Youth & Family Ministry, Trinity Lutheran Church, North Berhesda, MD

    Reply
  79. Marissa Letscher
    Jun 9 2014

    Marissa Letscher
    Director of Children and Family Ministries
    First Lutheran Church
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    Reply
  80. Jun 9 2014

    Bonnie Boord Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, West Hills, CA

    Reply
  81. sarahgrans@gmail.com
    Jun 9 2014

    Sarah Grans St. Peder’s Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, MN

    Reply
  82. Kristen Hitchcock
    Jun 9 2014

    Kristen Hitchcock
    Youth Director
    Living Lord Lutheran Church Bradenton, FL

    Reply
  83. Rick Mollenkopf-Grill
    Director of Youth Ministry
    Organic Youth
    the youth ministry program of the Niagara Frontier Conference, Upstate New York Synod
    Buffalo, NY

    Reply
  84. Ellen D. Doughty
    Jun 9 2014

    Ellen Doughty, ELCA Diaconal Minister; synod call to chaplaincy; member of St. Paul’s, York, PA

    Reply
  85. Jun 9 2014

    Anne Williams
    Minister for Learning
    Holy Trinity, Ankeny, Iowa

    Reply
  86. Rick Biedermann
    Jun 9 2014

    Rick Biedermann
    Pastor
    Bethany Lutheran, Burlington, IA

    Reply
  87. Marian L. Henry
    Jun 9 2014

    Marian Henry, Director of Christian Education, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Telford, PA

    Reply
  88. Jun 9 2014

    Jennifer Vasquez
    Diaconal Minister
    On leave to raise kids
    Doctor of Ministry student (faith formation)

    Reply
  89. Ryan Stagg
    Jun 9 2014

    Ryan Stagg Youth and Family Minister, David Lutheran Church, Canal Winchester, OH

    Reply
  90. Jun 9 2014

    Rev. dr. Ritva H. Williams, Pastor, St. Stephen’s, Cedar Rapids IA

    Reply
  91. Sarah Gunderson
    Jun 9 2014

    Sarah Gunderson
    Youth & Family Ministry
    Grace Lutheran Church-Hermantown MN

    Reply
  92. Diane Davis Santoriello
    Jun 9 2014

    Children’s ministry is the foundation of our church. Just as people in the secular world are finally realizing that it is the early education that makes the difference in a child’s education, we know that strong, meaningful experiences make a difference with our children. I am a retired public school teacher but I have seen how having a well trained leader who has a strong understanding of children’s ministry can lift the lay education and ministry members of the church.

    Reply
  93. Julie Marie
    Jun 9 2014

    Julie Marie Seibert
    St. John’s, Jersey City, NJ

    Reply
  94. Ian Hartfield
    Jun 9 2014

    Ian Hartfield
    Director of Congregational Life
    Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church – Omaha, NE

    Reply
  95. Katie Rykal
    Jun 9 2014

    Director of Children and Family Ministry
    Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
    Brooklyn Park, MN

    Reply
  96. Jun 9 2014

    Taylor Wilson
    Seminarian // Lutheran Musician // Pastoral Intern
    Lord of Life Lutheran Church
    Maple Grove, MN

    Reply
  97. Jun 9 2014

    For our future!

    Reply
  98. Jun 9 2014

    Mary Hess, Professor of Educational Leadership, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN

    Reply
  99. Jun 9 2014

    Jen Jarman, Director of Faith Formation, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Cincinnati, OH

    Reply
  100. Jun 9 2014

    Every church a child loving church.
    Dawn Rundman, Ph.D.
    Director of Children’s Development
    Augsburg Fortress Publishers & sparkhouse
    Minneapolis, MN

    Reply
  101. Jun 9 2014

    Nicole Eastwood
    Minister for Discipleship
    St. Stephen Lutheran Church
    Longwood, FL

    Reply
  102. Jun 9 2014

    Alicia Stephens
    Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries
    Joy Lutheran Church
    Tulsa, OK

    Reply
  103. Janice Lyon
    Jun 9 2014

    Administrative Assistant
    Faith Formation
    Bethany Lutheran Church
    Cherry Hills Village, CO 80113

    I would like to add my support to this thoughtful and well supported request.

    Reply
  104. Jun 9 2014

    Mark J. Jackson, Professor & Chair of Children, Youth & Family Studies, Trinity Lutheran College, Everett, WA

    Reply
  105. Lisa Lee
    Jun 9 2014

    Lisa Lee
    Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation
    First Lutheran Church
    Lodi, WI

    Reply
  106. Jun 10 2014

    Rev. Greg Kaufmann
    Assistant to the Bishop
    Northwest Synod of WI

    Reply
  107. Jun 10 2014

    Charlene Rollins, Trinity Lutheran Church, Dover, NJ

    Reply
  108. Wolfgang Laudert
    Jun 10 2014

    Rev. Wolfgang W. Laudert
    Pastor, West Union Lutheran Church
    Cologne, MN
    Minneapolis Area Synod, ELCA

    Reply
  109. Erika
    Jun 10 2014

    Erika Hiland, Minister of 4th and. 5th Grade Christian Education; St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Mahtomedi MN

    Reply
  110. Sean Miller
    Jun 10 2014

    Rev. Sean A. Miller
    Pastor, St. Matthias Lutheran Church
    Easley, SC

    Reply
  111. David Hamric
    Jun 10 2014

    David Hamric
    Youth Director
    Ascension Lutheran Church
    Willow Street, PA

    Reply
  112. Sally Riley
    Jun 10 2014

    Sally Riley
    Youth Director
    St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
    Richmond, Indiana

    Reply
  113. Katy
    Jun 10 2014

    Katy Grindberg
    Assistant to the Bishop
    Sierra Pacific Synod
    Burlingame, CA

    Reply
  114. Jun 10 2014

    Karen Matthias-Long
    Associate of the Bishop for Youth & Family Ministries
    ELCA Resource Center Coordinator
    Northeastern PA Synod
    Allentown, PA

    Reply
  115. Marina Carson
    Jun 10 2014

    I concur. Our children are our future, needing guidance. What a great place is the church to provide that! Let’s offer support and guidance to those providing those relationships to our children.

    Reply
  116. Gail Mangold
    Jun 10 2014

    Our youth are the church’s future. In order to continue the ministry of our Lord it is so important to support the youth and their leaders. Thank you

    Reply
  117. Jennifer Kalous
    Jun 10 2014

    Jennifer Kalous
    Director of Faith Formation
    Shepherd of the Hills
    Fort Collins, CO

    Reply
  118. Lori Gordon
    Jun 10 2014

    Lori Gordon
    Director of Youth & Family Ministry
    Trinity Lutheran Church
    Cook, MN

    Reply
  119. Bambi Bogert-Schultz
    Jun 10 2014

    Children more now than ever need the guidance of our churches and ministries! Please send them and their leaders the support they need to continue!

    Bambi
    Building Coordinator & VBS Director
    Weisenberg Luthern Church
    New Tripoli, PA

    Reply
  120. Jun 10 2014

    Christin Fugate, Christian Education Director, All Saints Lutheran Church, Norwood Young America, MN

    Reply
  121. Jun 10 2014

    Many of our Children and Youth directors are not trained, but have heart for Christ and the youth/children of their congregations. They need guidance and resources.

    Patricia E. W. Jabre, AiM
    Minister of Discipleship and Youth
    Christ the King Lutheran Church
    Twinsburg, OH

    Reply
  122. Lisa Bouche
    Jun 10 2014

    Intentionally supporting the area of Children’s Ministry is being intentional about our belief that Children’s Ministry is a vital role not only in the congregation, but also in the faith lives of our families. We need to nurture this so that our children’s ministers can be faithful to their call, knowing that they are an integral part of God’s plan for our families.

    Lisa Bouche
    Family & Discipleship Ministries, First Lutheran Church, Gladstone, MI

    Reply
  123. Pastor Ivy Huston
    Jun 10 2014

    Pastor Ivy Huston
    Associate Pastor of Faith Formation
    St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, North St. Paul, MN

    Reply
  124. Debby Keba
    Jun 10 2014

    Many, many members of our congregation work so very hard to engage our youth in our ministry. They need your assistance to make their efforts fruitful. Please support all of us.
    Debby Keba, Bear Creek Camp Ambassador representing Weisenberg Lutheran Church, New Tripoli, PA

    Reply
  125. Jun 10 2014

    Leon Philpot
    Synodically Authorized Minister
    Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
    New Orleans, LA

    K9 Chaplain
    Extra Mile Ministries

    Reply
  126. Jun 10 2014

    Deaconess Deborah Matern Graf
    Trinity Lutheran Church in beautiful, downtown Reading, PA

    Reply
  127. Diane Shallue
    Jun 10 2014

    Diane E. Shallue, AiM
    Director of Christian Education and Small Group Ministries
    University Lutheran Church of Hope
    601 13th Avenue SE, Minneapolis, MN
    Past-President of the Lutheran Association of Christian Educators (now the Christian Education Network)

    I support this request wholeheartedly!

    Reply
  128. Stephanie Luedtke
    Jun 10 2014

    Stephanie Luedtke, Associate in Ministry
    Director of Cross+Generational Ministry
    Greater Milwaukee Synod

    Reply
  129. Per Nestingen
    Jun 10 2014

    Per Nestingen,
    director of youth ministry,
    Delano, MN
    Light of Christ

    Reply
  130. Maria Tarpinian
    Jun 10 2014

    Maria Tarpinian
    Director of Children’s Ministries
    Farmington Lutheran Church
    Farmington, MN

    Reply
  131. Jun 10 2014

    Bryanne Hensley
    Minister for Children
    Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
    Ankeny, Iowa

    Reply
  132. Jun 10 2014

    Anna Wencl
    Director of Youth Ministries
    Zion Lutheran
    Stewartville, MN

    Reply
  133. Shannon Lauder
    Jun 10 2014

    Shannon Lauder
    Director of Faith Formation
    Bay View Lutheran Church
    Sturgeon Bay, WI

    Reply
  134. Julie Vagle
    Jun 10 2014

    Julie Vagle
    Director of Youth Ministries
    Grace Lutheran Church
    Apple Valley, MN

    Reply
  135. Marilyn Sharpe
    Jun 10 2014

    Marilyn Sharpe
    Marilyn Sharpe Ministries, principal
    and 37 year volunteer in parent support and education at Mt. Olivet, Minneapolis
    Minneapolis Area Synod

    In baptism, we welcome children, not as the future of the church, but as the present of the church. We ask parents and sponsors to make promises to the child, to do faith formation in all of life. We as congregations make promises to support parents and children … and then we offer programs, often beginning at age 3 or older. Really? Help us equip all of the faith parents to all of God’s children to do faith formation 24/7, to recite the stories of God and their connections to our stories to the children in all of life together. All of us remember Jesus’ call to let the children come. Now is the time for the ELCA to support and equip all congregations and adults to do just that!

    Reply
  136. Mary JJ Keelan
    Jun 10 2014

    Mary “JJ” Keelan
    Youth Ministry Coordinator
    Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
    Manasquan, NJ

    Reply
  137. Jun 10 2014

    I concur

    Reply
  138. Jun 10 2014

    Susan Bentz
    Youth & Family Ministry
    St. Stephen Lutheran Church
    Stow Ohio 44224

    Reply
  139. Brian Middleswarth
    Jun 10 2014

    Brian Middleswarth, Associate in Ministry
    Member of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church
    Cedar Rapids, IA

    Reply
  140. Jennifer Boyd
    Jun 10 2014

    Jennifer Boyd, Pastor
    Trinity Lutheran Church
    Brewster, New York

    Reply
  141. Pastor Matt Staniz
    Pastor for Youth, Family and Service
    Saint Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church
    203 North Valley Forge Road, Devon, PA 19333
    (610) 688-0122 x107
    mstaniz@saintlukedevon.org

    Reply
  142. Peggy Carlson
    Jun 10 2014

    Children aren’t the future of the church; they are the church – here and now. Children need all of our resources now. Please consider the request to add a staff person dedicated to children,

    Reply
  143. Peggy Carlson
    Jun 10 2014

    Peggy Carlson
    1st Third of Life Ministries
    Church of the Cross
    Nisswa, MN 56468

    Reply
  144. Jun 10 2014

    Traci Vatne
    Messiah Lutheran Church
    410 H Street NE
    Auburn, WA 98002

    Reply
  145. Susan Tucker
    Jun 10 2014

    Susan Tucker
    Director of Youth & Family Ministry
    St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
    Claremont, NC

    Reply
  146. Jun 10 2014

    Brett Christensen – Associate in Ministry
    Director of Youth and Family Ministry
    Our Savior’s Lutheran Church
    Sun Prairie, WI

    Reply
  147. Marta Goldenman
    Jun 10 2014

    Now!

    Reply
  148. ingelaurie lisher
    Jun 10 2014

    Ingelaurie Lisher,AiM
    Director of Youth & Family
    St. Mark’s LC by The Narrows
    Tacoma Wa

    Reply
  149. Mark Edwards
    Jun 10 2014

    Rev Mark D. Edwards
    Emmanuel Lutheran Church
    Vienna, VA (Metro DC Synod)

    Reply
  150. Justin Snider
    Jun 10 2014

    Justin Snider, AIM
    Youth & Young Adult Ministry
    Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
    Olympia, WA

    Reply
  151. Jun 10 2014

    Yes!

    Reply
  152. Josh Kelly
    Jun 10 2014

    Joshua Kelly
    Director of Youth+Family+Education
    Grace Lutheran Church
    Hockessin, DE

    Reply
  153. Caitlin Jensen
    Jun 10 2014

    Caitlin Jensen
    High School Youth Pastor
    St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
    North St. Paul, MN

    Reply
  154. Char Leone
    Jun 10 2014

    Char Leone, Children’s Faith Formation Coordinator at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church by The Narrows, Tacoma WA, and professional Youth & Family ministry specialist.

    Reply
  155. Lisa Herlocker
    Jun 10 2014

    Lisa Herlocker
    Director of Discipleship and Faith Formation
    Bethel Lutheran Church
    Roseville CA

    Reply
  156. Paul Davis
    Jun 10 2014

    Paul Davis
    Director of Faith Formation
    Poulsbo First Lutheran
    Poulsbo, WA

    Reply
  157. Pastor Rachel Thorson Mithelman, St. John's Lutheran Church, Des Moines, IA
    Jun 10 2014

    Absolutely and as soon as possible!

    Reply
  158. Robin Kunkel
    Jun 10 2014

    Robin Kunkel
    Director of Family, Children and Youth Ministry
    Sharon Lutheran Church
    Selinsgrove, PA

    Reply
  159. Jun 10 2014

    Christina Verbick
    Director of Confirmation & Youth Ministries
    Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church
    East Bethel, Minnesota

    Reply
  160. Becky Cole
    Jun 10 2014

    Becky Cole
    Children & Family Ministries Director
    Holy Spirit Lutheran Church
    Kirkland, WA

    Reply
  161. Jun 10 2014

    Danielle Dadashi
    Director of High School Ministries
    Holy Spirit Lutheran Church
    Kirkland, WA

    Reply
  162. Mindy Tillberg
    Jun 10 2014

    Mindy Tillberg, AIM
    Lay Minister of Youth & Education
    Immanuel Lutheran Church
    Salina, Kansas

    Reply
  163. Emily Harrow
    Jun 10 2014

    Emily Harrow
    Director of Youth and Family Ministries
    Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Church
    Bellevue, WA

    Reply
  164. Jun 10 2014

    Terry Anderson
    Family and Children’s Ministry
    Our Redeemer’s Lutheran
    Ballard, WA

    Reply
  165. Jun 10 2014

    Sharon Holder – Youth Coordinator/Secretary
    Bowman Lutheran Church
    Dakota Prairie Lutheran Parish
    Bowman, ND

    Reply
  166. kayla
    Jun 10 2014

    Kayla Aspeslagh
    Director of Youth Ministry
    Christ the Servant Lutheran Church
    Louisville, CO

    Reply
  167. Critical for faith formation in ther 21st century!

    Reply
    • Critical for Faith Formation in the 21st Century!

      deacon Charlie Germain, Trinity, Brewster, NY
      Chair – Child Youth & Family Network – Metropolitan New York Synod

      Reply
  168. Jun 10 2014

    Jason Fisher
    Director of Youth & Family Ministry
    Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
    Champaign, IL

    And co-eater of biscuits and gravy with you Rev. Bouman at Lake Williamson near Carlinville a few years back.

    Reply
  169. Debbie Boyce
    Jun 10 2014

    Debbie Boyce
    Pastor, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
    Issaquah, WA

    Reply
  170. Gina Vacura
    Jun 10 2014

    Gina Vacura
    St Johns Lutheran
    Le Mars, IA
    Youth Committee and parent of four

    Reply
  171. Allison Sutton
    Jun 10 2014

    Allison Sutton
    Youth and Young Adult Ministry
    Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church
    Ballard, WA

    Reply
  172. Janice Smith, The Church of Hope, ELCA, Southwest CA Synod
    Jun 10 2014

    Helping our youngest see and share the loving world of God is at least as important as educating our lay people to be able to fearlessly embrace God’s great Good News that God loves all of us perfectly and unconditionally!

    Reply
  173. Beverly Conway
    Jun 10 2014

    Beverly Conway, Pastor, Redeemer Lutheran Church, South Holland, il. Former Board member YMNetwork

    Reply
  174. Myra Fozard
    Jun 10 2014

    Myra Fozard
    House of Prayer, Aliquippa, PA
    Southwestern PA Synod Christian Education Sub-Committee Chairperson
    Network Advocate for the CE Network of the ELCA for Region 8

    Reply
  175. Elisabeth Pynn Himmelman
    Jun 10 2014

    Elisabeth Pynn Himmelman
    Student Ministries Coordinator
    Bethel Lutheran, Madison, WI

    Reply
  176. Linda Walker
    Jun 11 2014

    I support the premise of this letter. Although I am retired, I served 28 years in education in congregational settings. Vbs was the best evangelism program of the church. It desperately needs revisionist and Lutheran resources.

    Reply
  177. J Stepp
    Jun 11 2014

    Janice Stepp
    Ebenezer Lutheran Church
    Lake Stevens Washington
    Northwest Washington Synod 1-B

    Reply
  178. Carol Seilhymer
    Jun 11 2014

    Carol Seilhymer
    Children, Youth and Family Coordinator
    Lutheran Church of Peace
    Maplewood, MN

    Reply
  179. Kathryn E. Perry
    Jun 11 2014

    Kathryn Perry, member of Luther Place Memorial Church, Washington, DC

    Reply
  180. Nancy Durie
    Jun 11 2014

    Nancy Durie
    Christian Ed Team
    Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
    Princeton Junction, NJ

    We need dynamic resources for our volunteers. Please don’t make each busy working family re-invent the wheel. Let’s get the kids tuned in. But please hire someone who is not only an academic but who has taught kids themselves and knows what works.

    Reply
  181. Gracia Johnson
    Jun 11 2014

    Gracia Johnson
    Youth & Christian Ed Coordinator
    Trinity Lutheran Church
    Bismarck, ND

    Reply
  182. Terri Robertson
    Jun 11 2014

    Terri Robertson
    Youth & Family Minister
    St. Andrew Lutheran Church
    Whittier, CA

    We need your help in ensuring that we can connect children and their families to the church – and help us work to build relationships and walk with children AND parents as they grow in their faith together. As much time and effort as we put into youth minister, we won’t be successful if we ignore or shortchange ministry to children and families.

    Reply
  183. Jun 11 2014

    Emily Clamser
    Director of Youth and Family Ministries
    St. Paul’s ELCA, Wilmington

    Reply
  184. Jun 11 2014

    Pastor Shelley Cunningham
    Zumbro Lutheran Church
    Rochester, Minnesota

    Reply
  185. Kristi Weiser
    Jun 11 2014

    As an instructor of elementary children for over 25 years, I realize the importance of shaping and guiding children at various stages. I would hope that you would take seriously this letter and take the necessary steps to providing our youth with adequate, positive role models to prepare them for what they will face in life. We look to these children for our future!

    Reply
  186. Maryland Mayer
    Jun 11 2014

    Maryland Mayer, Children’s Ministry Director, Clairemont Lutheran Church, San Diego California.

    Reply
  187. Meredith Matthews
    Jun 11 2014

    Meredith Matthews
    Former Youth Director
    First Lutheran Church
    Redlands, CA

    Reply
  188. Dena M. Dahlman, RN, BSN
    Jun 11 2014

    Dena M. Dahlman, RN, BSN
    Faith Community Health Nurse
    Holy Spirit Lutheran Church
    Eldersburg, MD

    Reply
  189. Jun 11 2014

    To truly be Gods Hands, our ELCA must have an integrated approach (birth to adult) to making disciples. That requires equal attention to children, youth and young adults. Traditional Sunday School models have not been successful for 10+ years. We need leadership to help resource congregations in finding effective approaches to minister to and with young children and their families. Funding for a children’s ministry leader needs to be a priority.

    Pastor Sandy Bentz
    Sr. Pastor Hope Lutheran Church
    Temecula, CA

    Reply
  190. Beth Smallbeck
    Jun 11 2014

    Beth Smallbeck Minister of Youth and Family
    Grace Lutheran Church
    Wenatchee WA

    Reply
  191. Constance
    Jun 11 2014

    Constance Mithelman, Youth Ministry Leader, Hope Lutheran Church, Temecula, California

    Reply
  192. Ruth AliHassan
    Jun 11 2014

    As a member of St.Andrew Lutheran Church in Whittier, CA, I have seen how a trained Youth Pastor can help inspire the young . We treasure our Terri Robertson, and pray that all congregations will be able to share in the excitement of enthusiastic programs such as she has helped put together. Please do not let this vital part of congregational life be lost. Our youth are our future .

    Reply
  193. Gary Schaeffer
    Jun 11 2014

    Gary Schaeffer (AIM)- Saint James Lutheran Church, Limerick, PA

    Reply
  194. Lisa Mensinger
    Jun 11 2014

    Please support the struggling families today, especially in remote places like Salt Lake City, UT

    Reply
  195. Katy Lundeen
    Jun 12 2014

    Katy Lundeen
    Youth and Children’s Music Director
    Clairemont Lutheran Church
    San Diego, CA

    Reply
  196. Jun 12 2014

    Christian Education Coordinator
    Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
    Kingston, PA

    Reply
  197. Stacy Bickett
    Jun 12 2014

    Youth Director
    American Lutheran Church
    Worthington, MN

    Reply
  198. Mrs. Trisha Yenchick
    Jun 12 2014

    As a mother of two teenage girls raising them in a church, and trying to surround them with friends of like-minded families it is very essential. I am also a teacher with in our churches Christian curriculum preschool for the past 11 years. I am served for the past 11 years in some capacity file my children were small then it turned into young teens. they now are at the age where mom and dad are no longer cool to be with. So other adults in their life to help guide and support them on their faith journey is huge. I have seen it all too often children are emerged in the church thru confirmation and all too often we don’t see them again until they are bringing their children to be baptized. So finding a way to establish even more securely their walk with the Lord during those young formative years will hopefully hope to bridge that gap that we see all too often.

    Reply
  199. Michael Zimmerman
    Jun 12 2014

    Director of Youth and Family Ministry, Center Lutheran Church – Newville, PA and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – Dillsburg, PA

    Reply
  200. Julie
    Jun 12 2014

    The Rev. Julie Webb
    Associate Pastor
    Napa Valley Lutheran Church
    Napa, CA

    Reply
  201. Jun 12 2014

    Jason Reed
    Youth Ministry Specialist
    New Jersey Synod, ELCA

    Reply
  202. Rev. Larry and Helen Henrichs
    Jun 12 2014

    Rev. Larry Henrichs, retired. Helen Henrichs; St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Waco, Texas

    Reply
  203. Steve Aves
    Jun 13 2014

    Well written. It’s easy to consider the most vocal now (adults), and ignore the silent (children), yet we’ll pay the price in the future.

    Steve Aves
    Young Adult Volunteer
    St. John’s Lutheran Church
    Bloomington, IL

    Reply
  204. Rev. Jared M. Parker
    Jun 13 2014

    Rev. Jared M. Parker
    Lead Pastor
    Christ Community Lutheran Church
    Columbia, IL

    Reply
  205. Brent S. Paloconski
    Jun 15 2014

    Brent S. Palochonski
    St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
    New Windsor, MD
    Former ELCA Youth Ministry Network Board member

    Reply
  206. Jun 16 2014

    Ariel Williams, Director of Youth & Family Ministries – Emanuel’s Lutheran Church, Seguin, TX

    Reply
  207. Jun 16 2014

    Terri Elton
    Luther Seminary
    St. Paul, MN

    Reply
  208. Jun 16 2014

    Erin Haligowski
    Director of Youth Ministries
    Epiphany Lutheran Church, Dayton, OH

    Reply
  209. Catherine Anderson
    Jun 16 2014

    Catherine Anderson
    Coordinator of Youth Ministry: Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA
    Director, Practice Discipleship Initiative
    Duluth, MN

    Reply
  210. Lynn
    Jun 16 2014

    Lynn Leisen
    Faith in the Home/Milestone Ministry
    Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Maple Grove, MN

    Reply
  211. Heather Hansen
    Jun 16 2014

    Seminary Intern
    St. John’s Lutheran Church
    San Antonio, TX

    Reply
  212. Jun 16 2014

    Trixie Richter
    Congregational Life Director
    Redeemer Lutheran Church, Winter Park, FL

    Reply
  213. Mary Gorges
    Jun 16 2014

    Mary Gorges
    Youth Minister & Director of Children & Families Ministries
    First United Lutheran Church
    Sheboygan, WI 53081

    Reply
  214. Jun 16 2014

    Sarah Hausken, SW MN Synod Youth Ministry Coordinator

    Reply
  215. Jun 16 2014

    Rev. Kent Claussen Gubrud, Senior Pastor, Christus Victor Lutheran Church, Apple Valley, MN

    Reply
  216. Jun 16 2014

    Mary Kaye Ashley, pastor on leave from call BUT have provided early childhood faith formation parent support to parents of newborns for last 15 years out of personal funds and worked as a parent/family educator in MN’s Early Childhood/Family Education public school education programs for the last 27 years and lifelong volunteer in children, youth & family ministry, (any time I’m not employed to do so, and sometimes, in addition to), including coordinating a middle school ministry this summer as a volunteer at my home church, Oak Grove in Richfield, MN (Summer Stretch)
    rostered in Saint Paul Area Synod
    Please help us to connect with families from birth on to build the most comprehensive ministry we can. Jesus said “Let the little children come to me.” – shouldn’t we be helping them find this God of love?

    Reply
  217. Marcy Colvin
    Jun 16 2014

    Marcy Colvin
    Director of Youth Ministry
    Trinity Lutheran Church
    Mason City IA

    Reply
  218. shelly3thieman
    Jun 16 2014

    This is long overdue!
    Shelly Thieman
    Chair, Faith Formation and Spiritual Practices
    Windsor Heights Lutheran Church
    Windsor Heights, IA

    Reply
  219. Tracey Hirst
    Jun 16 2014

    Tracey Hirst
    Chair, Family Life and Youth Committee
    Windsor Heights Lutheran Church
    Windsor Heights, IA

    Reply
  220. Debra Detweiler
    Jun 16 2014

    Debra Detweiler
    Director of Christian Education
    Trinity Lutheran Church
    Perkasie, PA

    Reply
  221. Jun 16 2014

    Dick Dahle, Associate Pastor
    Augustana Lutheran Church
    Boone, Iowa

    Reply
  222. Jun 16 2014

    Kathye Hamm
    Director of Children’s Ministry
    Bethlehem Lutheran Auburn, CA

    Reply
  223. Sarah Parker
    Jun 16 2014

    Sarah Gosma Parker, director of Children and Family Ministry at Christ Community Lutheran Church, Columbia, Il

    Reply
  224. Jun 17 2014

    Reblogged this on kwicks71 and commented:
    this is a move our church needs to make

    Reply
  225. Faith Doerzbacher
    Jun 17 2014

    Faith Doerzbacher, Director of Family Life Ministries, Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Port Huron, Michigan

    Reply
  226. Jun 17 2014

    Nate Althoff, Children, Youth and Family Ministry Director, Valley of Peace Lutheran Church, Golden Valley, Minnesota.

    Reply
  227. Megan Moroff
    Jun 17 2014

    Megan D. Moroff
    Former Youth Team Lead & Director of Senior High Ministry
    Roseville Lutheran Church, Roseville, MN.
    Current Boundary Waters Canoe Guide for Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry, Cook, MN.

    Reply
  228. Lauren Busey
    Jun 17 2014

    Lauren Busey
    Director of Faith Formation
    Trinity Lutheran Church
    Evanston, IL

    Reply
  229. Abby Triebel
    Jun 17 2014

    Abby Triebel, Youth a Ministry Director, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Poughkeepsie, NY

    Reply
  230. Deborah Poole
    Jun 18 2014

    Deborah Poole
    Minister of Children and Youth
    Pisgah Lutheran Church
    Lexington, SC

    Reply
  231. Scott Broam
    Jun 19 2014

    Scott Broam, member, council, Good News committee
    Pisgah Lutheran Church, Lexington, SC

    Reply
  232. tbuegler
    Jun 19 2014

    Thank you all for signing his letter! Including the board, we have collected over 240 signatures. The letter was sent on to Rev. Stephen Bouman yesterday.

    Reply

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