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Deeper Dives

These learning opportunities provide more time to dig into a topic for learning and conversation. Most of the Deeper Dive options don't require pre-registration or an additional fee. Dives will additional fees and pre-registration are indicated with an "*".


Now What? 

You've volunteered or been hired to serve your church in a leadership capacity with children and/or youth. You're excited to be a part of the faith formation of these young and beloved children of God. You've found some adequate curriculum. You might even have some adult leaders/teachers who have agreed to accompany you in this mission. There are craft supplies in abundance. The rooms are decorated and ready to welcome young minds and hearts into a learning environment. BUT, you have no theological training. Now what? Thirty years ago, I was just like you. This Deeper Dive will introduce you to some core theological concepts, encourage a deeper understanding of some main Bible stories, and empower you to feel more confident in your leadership role. This is not a dive into the hows of children and youth ministry; it is a dive deeper into the whats of children and youth ministry.

Dive Leader: Jen Kooistra  Instagram  Twitter

Jen KooistraJen has been working with children, youth, and families in the church world since the 1990s. She is the divorced mother of two amazing young men and has just moved onto the campus of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, for her 4th year of study in pursuit of her Masters of Divinity with a CYF concentration. She received her BA from Gustavus Adolphus College in Elementary Education. Jen is frequently invited to speak at Synod Assemblies and work with congregations who are seeking to strengthen their Cross+Generational and Family Ministries. She strives to help people become more biblically literate and intentional in their faith formation curriculum and programming, especially Sunday School. Jen embraces being a life-long learner, the Oxford Comma, two spaces between sentences, French Impressionists, Messenger, and all things Paris. Although Jen will try almost anything twice, she does not drink coffee or eat anything fishy.



Faithification 2.0: Designing Faith Formation Games

This Deeper Dive follows up on the 2020 workshop introducing gamification in faith formation settings. We will begin with a refresher in some of the techniques for gamifying any sort of education, and connecting how gamification principles can enhance faith formation in your ministry setting. Then, we will dig into the details, and each participant will design their own game and learn the next steps in how to publish and bring your dream to fruition!

Dive Leader:  Rev. Stephanie Luedtke      

Stephanie LuedkeStephanie a minister and teacher who is always looking for creative new ways to engage people in growing in their faith, and who likes to think outside the box. She has discovered a love for speculative and science fiction and likes to dream of the church of the future.

Art With Jesus*

This class is going to explore the concept of bible journaling as a faith practice. We will create our own journals and then in a fun and creative way, walk step by step through the creative process. In the time spent in this class you will learn how to creatively connect to your faith in a tangible and meaningful way. You will learn how God sees us as creative and artist even when we don’t think of ourselves that way, and will leave refreshed and renewed in the practice of documenting your faith.

Special Note: This Deeper Dive requires pre-registration and has a supply fee of $25 required at the time of registration.

Dive Leader: kELSEY vICKERY    

Kelsey Vickery

Kelsey Vickery is excited to share her favorite faith practice with you! She is a mom, a wife, and a children’s ministry director from Houston TX, but in my spare time Kelsey loves to use Bible journaling as a way to document and express faith. She has been Bible journaling for more than 5 years now and it has totally changed her life. This practice allows a creative and fun place to look back on all the major life changes that have happened over the last few years from getting married, to moving away from home, having a baby, and even how she felt during the pandemic.

We Belong Together

As our youth networks grow and expand, we are compelled to  look at changing demographics, vulnerable populations, diverse needs, and social conditions of the communities we serve. This workshop will be a catalyst to create a more inclusive younger culture that will support belonging within youth ministry for everyone. Research indicates that participation in high quality activities and programs associated with improved and intentional social relationships is key and critical to assure equitable access and inclusive engagement. This deeper dive session brings the participant into focus for strategic development of a more inclusive, diverse, and accessible youth ministry.

Dive Leader: Rev. Lamont Wells  Instagram  Twitter

Rev. Lamont Wells

The Rev. Lamont Anthony Wells (He, Him, His) is the ELCA Program Manager and Director of the LuMin Network, a consortium of 300+ campus ministries across the USA. He is also the National President of the African Descent Lutheran Association. Wells is a certified Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion professional and has coached individuals, congregations, and corporations into creating cultures and practices of belonging.

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