An Invitation to Sign an Open Letter to the ELCA…

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:

 

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  3. Ethan Overcash June 9, 2014 at 9:33 am

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

    Reply

  4. Scott Maxwell-Doherty June 9, 2014 at 9:39 am

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

    Reply

  6. 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 June 9, 2014 at 9:45 am

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

    Reply

  8. De Ann Martell June 9, 2014 at 9:46 am

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

    Reply

  9. 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 June 9, 2014 at 9:51 am

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

    Reply

  11. Neil Christians June 9, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Director of the Family Ministry Team

    Reply

  12. Kris Tostengard Michel June 9, 2014 at 10:10 am

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  15. 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 June 9, 2014 at 10:29 am

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  18. Amy L Juel-Palmer June 9, 2014 at 10:32 am

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

    Reply

  19. Michael Engfer June 9, 2014 at 10:34 am

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  22. 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 June 9, 2014 at 10:47 am

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

    Reply

  24. Carrie Stiles June 9, 2014 at 10:48 am

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

    Reply

  25. Ian McConnell June 9, 2014 at 10:48 am

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

    Reply

  26. Karen Wight Hoogheem June 9, 2014 at 10:54 am

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

    Reply

  27. Jason Poole
    Youth Minister
    Faith Lutheran Church – Janesville, WI

    Reply

  28. Cynthia Wiste June 9, 2014 at 11:09 am

    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 June 9, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Brad Lindberg
    Pastor
    English Luther Church
    Ellsworth, WI

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  34. 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 June 9, 2014 at 11:45 am

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  40. Leanne Elliott June 9, 2014 at 12:09 pm

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

    Reply

  41. children are the future

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  45. Marnie Backer June 9, 2014 at 12:33 pm

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  48. Patty Koplitz June 9, 2014 at 12:52 pm

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

    Reply

  49. Dean Smith
    Associate Pastor
    Trinity Lutheran Church
    Owatonna, MN

    Reply

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

    Reply

  51. Michelle Kleene June 9, 2014 at 1:00 pm

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

    Reply

  52. Nancy Henrichsen June 9, 2014 at 1:07 pm

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

    Reply

  53. Michael J. Odegaard June 9, 2014 at 1:09 pm

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

    Reply

  54. barbaraharner June 9, 2014 at 1:11 pm

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  57. Lauren Miller June 9, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Pastor Lauren Miller, Peace Lutheran Church, Charlottesville VA

    Reply

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

    Reply

  59. Desta Goehner
    Faith Formation Coordinator
    Southwest CA Synod

    Reply

  60. Kathy Hunstad June 9, 2014 at 1:44 pm

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  62. Ernest F Lehr III June 9, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    ERNIE LEHR
    YOUTH MINISTER
    ST MICHAEL LUTHERAN CHURCH
    PERRY HALL MD

    Reply

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

    Reply

  64. Jen Kooistra
    Pastoral Assistant
    ELC – Mount Horeb, WI

    Reply

  65. Susan Detwiler June 9, 2014 at 2:16 pm

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  68. Molly Sullivan June 9, 2014 at 3:03 pm

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

    Reply

  69. Amy santoriello June 9, 2014 at 3:24 pm

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

    Reply

  70. Minister of Faith Formation
    Beautiful Savior Lutheran
    Bloomfield Hills MI

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  73. thefightingmonk June 9, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    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 June 9, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Parish musician – Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Morristown, TN

    Reply

  75. Assistant to the Bishop, Rocky Mountain Synod

    Reply

  76. Deb Westerberg June 9, 2014 at 4:30 pm

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

    Reply

  77. Christina Kadelbach June 9, 2014 at 4:32 pm

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  79. Marissa Letscher June 9, 2014 at 5:09 pm

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  81. sarahgrans@gmail.com June 9, 2014 at 5:34 pm

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

    Reply

  82. Kristen Hitchcock June 9, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    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 June 9, 2014 at 7:38 pm

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

    Reply

  85. Anne Williams
    Minister for Learning
    Holy Trinity, Ankeny, Iowa

    Reply

  86. Rick Biedermann June 9, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Rick Biedermann
    Pastor
    Bethany Lutheran, Burlington, IA

    Reply

  87. Marian L. Henry June 9, 2014 at 8:27 pm

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  91. Sarah Gunderson June 9, 2014 at 9:23 pm

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

    Reply

  92. Diane Davis Santoriello June 9, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    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 Seibert
    St. John’s, Jersey City, NJ

    Reply

  94. Ian Hartfield June 9, 2014 at 9:34 pm

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  102. 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

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  106. Charlene Rollins, Trinity Lutheran Church, Dover, NJ

    Reply

  107. Wolfgang Laudert June 10, 2014 at 2:40 am

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  110. David Hamric
    Youth Director
    Ascension Lutheran Church
    Willow Street, PA

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  114. Marina Carson June 10, 2014 at 7:32 am

    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

  115. 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

  116. Jennifer Kalous June 10, 2014 at 8:21 am

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  118. Bambi Bogert-Schultz June 10, 2014 at 8:27 am

    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

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

    Reply

  120. 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

  121. 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

  122. Pastor Ivy Huston June 10, 2014 at 9:22 am

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

    Reply

  123. 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

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

    K9 Chaplain
    Extra Mile Ministries

    Reply

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

    Reply

  126. Diane Shallue June 10, 2014 at 9:29 am

    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

  127. Stephanie Luedtke June 10, 2014 at 9:32 am

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

    Reply

  128. Per Nestingen June 10, 2014 at 9:33 am

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

    Reply

  129. Maria Tarpinian June 10, 2014 at 9:58 am

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  131. Anna Wencl
    Director of Youth Ministries
    Zion Lutheran
    Stewartville, MN

    Reply

  132. Shannon Lauder June 10, 2014 at 10:24 am

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  134. Marilyn Sharpe June 10, 2014 at 11:13 am

    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

  135. Mary JJ Keelan June 10, 2014 at 11:19 am

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  137. Brian Middleswarth June 10, 2014 at 11:41 am

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

    Reply

  138. Jennifer Boyd, Pastor
    Trinity Lutheran Church
    Brewster, New York

    Reply

  139. […] If you are in leadership in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and would like there to be a staff role at churchwide related to children’s ministry, check out this letter and consider joining the signers. […]

    Reply

  140. 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

  141. 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

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  146. Marta Goldenman June 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Now!

    Reply

  147. ingelaurie lisher June 10, 2014 at 1:14 pm

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  149. Justin Snider June 10, 2014 at 1:38 pm

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  151. Caitlin Jensen June 10, 2014 at 2:06 pm

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

    Reply

  152. 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

  153. Lisa Herlocker June 10, 2014 at 2:18 pm

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  155. Pastor Rachel Thorson Mithelman, St. John's Lutheran Church, Des Moines, IA June 10, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Absolutely and as soon as possible!

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  160. Mindy Tillberg June 10, 2014 at 3:30 pm

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  165. Critical for faith formation in ther 21st century!

    Reply

    1. Critical for Faith Formation in the 21st Century!

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

      Reply

  166. 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

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  169. Allison Sutton June 10, 2014 at 5:45 pm

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

    Reply

  170. Janice Smith, The Church of Hope, ELCA, Southwest CA Synod June 10, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    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

  171. Beverly Conway June 10, 2014 at 6:21 pm

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

    Reply

  172. 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

  173. Elisabeth Pynn Himmelman June 10, 2014 at 9:44 pm

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

    Reply

  174. 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

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

    Reply

  176. Carol Seilhymer June 11, 2014 at 5:56 am

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

    Reply

  177. Kathryn E. Perry June 11, 2014 at 6:03 am

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

    Reply

  178. 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

  179. Gracia Johnson June 11, 2014 at 10:34 am

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

    Reply

  180. Terri Robertson June 11, 2014 at 10:45 am

    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

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

    Reply

  182. Pastor Shelley Cunningham
    Zumbro Lutheran Church
    Rochester, Minnesota

    Reply

  183. 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

  184. Maryland Mayer June 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm

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

    Reply

  185. Meredith Matthews June 11, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Meredith Matthews
    Former Youth Director
    First Lutheran Church
    Redlands, CA

    Reply

  186. Dena M. Dahlman, RN, BSN June 11, 2014 at 4:38 pm

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

    Reply

  187. 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

  188. Beth Smallbeck June 11, 2014 at 5:30 pm

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  190. Ruth AliHassan June 11, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    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

  191. Gary Schaeffer June 11, 2014 at 7:14 pm

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

    Reply

  192. Lisa Mensinger June 11, 2014 at 9:09 pm

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  194. Christian Education Coordinator
    Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
    Kingston, PA

    Reply

  195. Stacy Bickett June 12, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Youth Director
    American Lutheran Church
    Worthington, MN

    Reply

  196. Mrs. Trisha Yenchick June 12, 2014 at 10:58 am

    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

  197. Michael Zimmerman June 12, 2014 at 11:16 am

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  199. Jason Reed
    Youth Ministry Specialist
    New Jersey Synod, ELCA

    Reply

  200. Rev. Larry and Helen Henrichs June 12, 2014 at 10:13 pm

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

    Reply

  201. 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

  202. Rev. Jared M. Parker June 13, 2014 at 3:38 pm

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

    Reply

  203. Brent S. Paloconski June 15, 2014 at 12:47 pm

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  205. Terri Elton
    Luther Seminary
    St. Paul, MN

    Reply

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

    Reply

  207. Catherine Anderson June 16, 2014 at 10:37 am

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  209. Heather Hansen June 16, 2014 at 11:01 am

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  212. Sarah Hausken, SW MN Synod Youth Ministry Coordinator

    Reply

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

    Reply

  214. 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

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

    Reply

  216. shelly3thieman June 16, 2014 at 6:20 pm

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  218. Debra Detweiler June 16, 2014 at 8:52 pm

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

    Reply

  219. Dick Dahle, Associate Pastor
    Augustana Lutheran Church
    Boone, Iowa

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  223. Faith Doerzbacher June 17, 2014 at 1:53 pm

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  225. 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

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  228. Deborah Poole June 18, 2014 at 3:38 pm

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

    Reply

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

    Reply

  230. 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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