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  • 14 Sep 2015 8:41 PM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)

    Dear friends,
    I hope you have had a wonderful summer!

    Catherine Anderson, who began and directed the “Practice Discipleship Initiative” has chosen to step down from her role leading that ministry. Catherine is choosing to focus her energies in a new direction. She told me “I’ve loved being a part of the creative process. After working on PD for four years, I’m looking forward to working on something new.”

    For the past four years, Catherine has given dynamic and creative leadership to this program, which in partnership with the ELCA Youth Gathering, has created a network of synodical coaches that has provided local training events with total attendance in the tens of thousands.

    In addition, a library of learning videos and recorded webinars have been created that have been utilized by congregations and individuals throughout our church.

    And an amazing network of leadership development through all the synods of the church has been developed.

    Catherine’s leadership in the PD initiative will be missed. Of course, she’s not disappearing. Her work in the Northeastern Minnesota Synod office continues, and she will remain a vital part of the Network. We are very grateful for all that she has done on behalf of those who do ministry with children, youth and families. Thanks be to God!

    Tammy Jones West has agreed to step in as an interim director for Practice Discipleship through the upcoming program year. During that time we will initiate a program review and needs assessment to discern the direction for Practice Discipleship moving into the future.

    Please keep Catherine, Tammy and the Practice Discipleship Initiative in your prayers during this time of transition.

    Blessings on your fall ministries!

    Rev. Todd Buegler
    Trinity Lutheran Church; Owatonna, Minnesota Executive Director ELCA Youth Ministry Network 

  • 25 Jun 2015 2:47 PM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)
    I was texting back and forth with a seminary friend this morning and the topic of the ELCA Youth Gathering, Detroit, and how the Gathering will address issues like the Charleston killings and racism during our time together. This got me thinking. If someone has never experienced a youth gathering, or hasn’t been to one in recent years, they would have no way of knowing how deep and wide we go to deal with current issues, key issues, issues that get to what it means to love our neighbor and to learn from them.  Read more...

  • 10 Jun 2015 9:17 AM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)

    If you’ve been following social media for youth and young adult ministries in the ELCA you’ve been seeing a lot about an informational webinar about something called “innovation grants” for youth and young adult ministry. The webinar will be recorded and you can watch it later if you’re not available to follow live... read more

  • 28 May 2015 9:03 AM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)

    We're excited to announce that Faith Inkubators has signed on as a new "Silver Partner" with the ELCA Youth MInistry Network.

    Faith Inkubators is dedicated to the health and welfare of all God's children and the whole Christian church, it's congregations, families and children.

    The Network welcomes FaithInk into deeper partnership! Check 'em out at

  • 09 Apr 2015 3:33 PM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)

    It is with a great deal of sadness that we heard late last night about the death of longtime Network member and a former member of our Board of Directors, Rev. Beverly Conway.  Pastor Beverly served at Redeemer Lutheran Church in South Holland, Illinois.  


  • 09 Apr 2015 10:53 AM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)

    The web site for the ELCA Youth Ministry Network's Extravaganza 2016 has gone live!  It can be found at

    The "E" will take place February 4-8, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Anaheim, California.  Intensive Care courses will take place February 4-5 and the main event will happen February 5-8.

    The web site will have all of the event details, including links to booking housing and discounts for airfare.  

    The web site has been redesigned, taking in to account input from last year's Extravaganza evaluations.

  • 17 Mar 2015 10:01 PM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)

    Dear friends,

    The Extravaganza team leaders have received and processed the results of this year’s E evaluations. There’s a ton of data. 42 pages. Single spaced. With a smaller font.

    So I wanted to write a quick note to do two things  <read more...>

  • 12 Mar 2015 9:15 AM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)

    The videos of the keynote talks from Extravaganza have been released and are now available on the Network web site.  

    Network members can now access the videos by going to the video archive page at  You will need to log in to the site in order to access this page.

    These videos include the opening sermon by Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, the two keynote talks by Walt Wangerin, The two talks by Anna Rendell and the closing sermon by Krystal Shipp.

    Our hope is that you can use these videos both for your own personal ministry, and use them, if appropriate, with leadership teams within your congregation.  

    These videos now join an archive of 66 keynote talks given at Extravaganzas going back ten years.  All are available on this web page.

    Other supplemental videos from the Extravaganza will be made available in the near future on the Network's YouTube channel.

  • 24 Feb 2015 11:18 AM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)

    One of the most valuable tools that the Network produces every year is our salary survey.  The salary survey takes a look at salary and benefits for those who are paid for their ministry, as well as those who are volunteering.

    Our key question is: "How are congregations supporting those who are doing this vital ministry."  

    The survey is not intended to serve as guidelines, but rather a snapshot of how people are supported in their ministry currently.  

    The results are then "sliced and diced" by geographic region, education level, years of experience, gender and size of congregation.  

    Benefits including vacation, pension, health care and continuing education are also considered.

    Please take our salary survey.  It should take 5-10 minutes.  You can do so by visiting the salary survey page.

  • 16 Feb 2015 10:27 PM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)

    For those of us who've been around long enough to remember Help Sheets from the ELCA or to have perused those thick, paperback books full of youth group ideas, you probably really appreciate how easy it is to find information online. For those who are new to ministry alongside children, youth and families, navigating the vastness of the inter-webs and the myriad sites of material can be downright scary...  <Read More>

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