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New to the Extravaganza?

The Extravaganza is the annual gathering of children, youth and family ministry leaders from across the ELCA. It is so much more than a conference: it’s space to be stretched, it’s worship, it’s inspiring speakers, it’s learning from colleagues across the country, it’s sharing your insights with others, it’s informative and transformative. The Extravaganza is renewing, educational and connects you with others…then sends you home strengthened for the ministry to which you have been called.

The Extravaganza is for the professional and the volunteer. It is for the old and the young. It is for the urban, the suburban and the rural. It is for pastors, it is for lay people. It is for all adult leaders who share in the adventure we call children, youth and family ministry! The Extravaganza is presented by the ELCA Youth Ministry Network, a professional organization for adults who shepherd children and youth ministries in congregations all around the ELCA. Learn more about the Network.

Thinking about participating in the Extravaganza, but don't know what to expect?

The Extravaganza, or the "E" as it is often referred, is so much more than a continuing education event. It is a gathering, both onsite and online, of adults who get what serving in a church can be like. The joys and the sorrow. The sense of call and the sense of isolation. Throughout the event there are intentional times for renewal, education, and connection. 
The event encourages leaders to come as they are. Engage in worship, meet new friends and build a support network to enhance the ministry they serve. Throughout the "E" you can be intentional about reaching out and using the time however you need. We have a Hospitality Team to help you navigate the city around the host hotel, or answer your questions onsite or online.

This event will be one live experience in two expressions, onsite in Anaheim and online wherever you already are. This year's event features: 

  • Learning Tracks led by specialists that will help to guide your learning throughout the conference. Workshops will align with each of the different track options.
  • Intensive Care Courses offer a deeper learning experience on a singular topic. This is an optional pre-event add on.
  • 30+ Workshops will give practical ways to grow skills and leadership for the year ahead.
  • 70+ Exhibitors for resources and tools to enhance your ministry.

You are invited to join children, youth and family leaders from across the ELCA for the Network’s annual conference! Join us onsite or online to be renewed, connect with other leaders, and grow in your ministry skills as we explore where God is calling us in the coming year!

Network Terminology

If you’re new to the Network and the Extravaganza, you might hear some terminology or shorthand references that are new to you. Below is a brief description of some common terms you will hear shared during the Extravaganza. If you have a question about the event and it's not listed, please contact the Hospitality Team Leader Elizabeth Hood.

CYF: A shorthand reference for “Children, Youth and Family” ministry.

“E” or “The E”: A shorthand reference for the “Extravaganza.”

E Team: The E Team is a group of 40 volunteers responsible for planning and implementing the Extravaganza. Team leaders and their team members meet year-round to plan and prepare. 

ICC (Intensive Care Courses): Two day intensive learning opportunities to go deeper into a topic prior to the main event.

Multicultural Initiative: The Multicultural Initiative strengthens the Network by increasing our diversity. Leaders of color apply each fall to be part of this leadership program.

Network Board of Directors: The Network's Board of Directors provides vision, direction and policies for the ELCA Youth Ministry Network.

Network Partners: The Network is sustained and enhanced through the financial and relational partnership with organizations who support the mission and vision of the Network.

SYMBOL: The network for synodical leaders in children, youth and family ministry.

Todd Buegler: Todd serves as the executive director of the ELCA Youth Ministry Network. He is also the Senior Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Owatonna, MN and loves Disney.

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