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  • 05 Feb 2015 11:20 AM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)

    The spring 2015 issue of the Connect Journal, published by the Network 3-4 times per year, in a change of pace, will be "The Funny Issue."  It is seeking stories of funny things that have happened as a part of your ministry.  And if your story is selected for publication, you will be rewarded with a $50 Amazon gift card!

    We all know that when working with young people, really funny things can happen...often when least expected.  We want to share these stories and be reminded of the gift of laughter.

    We're not looking for stories of funny things that happen at the expense of young people...but just genuinely funny experiences that have made you and your group laugh, and might do the same for others.  

    Stories should be between 300 and 750 words in length.  The Connect Journal editorial board will be the final judge and will make the selections.  (We're really funny people...we laugh a lot!)  

    ALSO...if your group has produced any videos that are funny, we'd love to receive those and to post them, or link to them on our Journal web site.  

    You can submit your story by emailing it to:  

  • 05 Feb 2015 9:26 AM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)

    To have gone to Extravaganza 2015, with the theme "Story" is one thing.  But to come home from it with a whole set of curriculum on that same theme that you can use throughout the year is an altogether different thing.

    And that's just one of the things that we're excited about this year.

    Each Extravaganza participant received a flash drive containing two folders.  In the Extravaganza folder, there is a brand new, "created-just-for-this-event" curriculum totalling 113 pages.  It includes resources for children, youth, young adult and intergenerational ministries, all based around the "Story" theme.  Youth Bible studies, children's sermons and more are all available.

    This curriculum is available to all Network members, whether or not you participated in the Extravaganza.  Members can access this material by going to  

    In addition on the 8GB flash drive, you can find the "Story" logo as both a .jpg and .png file, that you can use when promoting your ministry events.

    As an added bonus, we've included some of the Practice Discipleship training files and videos that you can access and use with your volunteer leaders.  We're hopeful that these resources, available as a 'member benefit' will help to strengthen your ministry!

    The fine print:  Please note that this curriculum was developed specifically for our Network members.  It is copywritten material.  Please don't copy and distribute.

  • 18 Jan 2015 10:51 PM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)
    The Network is excited to introduce new members of our leadership!  There are two new people who will be joining the Network’s Board of Directors.  Read More...

  • 08 Jan 2015 9:42 PM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)

    The Network is excited to announce that Portico Benefit Services, the organization that manages insurance and benefits for thousands of ELCA rostered leaders and staff as joined as a partner organization with the ELCA Youth Ministry Network.

    Network partner organizations enter into a covenant relationship with the Network, committing to mutual support and a focus on growing both organizations.  

    "We are grateful for Portico's joining with us" said Todd Buegler, Executive Director of the Network.  "As the Network continues to grow, we're glad for the chance to develop our relationship with Portico and to help both organizations grow."

  • 03 Sep 2014 8:30 AM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)

    Heidi Hagstrom has announced her intent to leave her position as the Director of the ELCA Youth Gathering following the 2015 event next summer.  Heidi has been studying in the M.Div program at Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque and intends to pursue rostered ministry as an ordained pastor within the ELCA.  The ELCA has posted the Gathering Director’s position and will be accepting applications for this vital leadership position through the month of September.  Read more...

  • 17 Jul 2014 7:11 AM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)

    Effective today, the Global Headquarters of the ELCA Youth Ministry is relocating!  You'll want to update your address book with our snail-mail address.  Read more...

  • 10 Jul 2014 8:17 AM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)

    Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp has chosen to enter into a partnership relationship at the silver level with the Network.

    Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp is situated in the majestic Rocky Mountains of western Montana. We are a camping ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America committed to proclaiming and living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Camp is owned and operated by 56 ELCA churches in western Montana and is open year-round to groups of all ages.

    Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp was founded in 1943 and is located on the west shore of beautiful Flathead Lake, about 40 miles southwest of Glacier National Park. On this stunning 225-acre waterfront site, the summer program serves over 2,300 youth of all ages, teaching about Christ and the appreciation of God’s creation.

    Summer camping at Flathead contains three distinct programs; Montana Youth, Glacier Wilderness Adventures, and Day Camps.

    Network partner organizations enter into an intentional relationship of mutual support with the Network.  Together, we believe that all of our organizations can be strengthened for the sake of God's mission.  

    For more information on partnership, you can visit the partners home page.

  • 09 Jul 2014 10:41 AM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)

    Nominations are now open for individuals willing and gifted to serve on the Network's 7-person Board of Directors.  The Board is responsible for the vision, mission and policies of the Network.  Terms are 3 years, and can be renewed once.

    There are 3 openings for the terms that begin immediately after the Extravaganza.

    For more information, please read the Network Director's blog post.  

  • 01 Jul 2014 12:01 PM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)

    Registration is now open for Extravaganza 2015, to be held from January 29-February 2, 2015 at the Marriott at the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit.

    The Extravaganza will draw together over 700 professional and volunteer leaders in children, youth and family ministry from every corner of the church.

    The focus of the Extravaganza is on creating opportunities for spiritual renewal, great continuing education and connection and networking.

    The theme of the 2015 Extravaganza is "Story" and will focus on how God's story and our stories are interconnected, and on how we can help young people and their families discover how God is working within their own stories.

    You can get more information on Extravaganza at

  • 26 Jun 2014 8:55 AM | Todd Buegler (Administrator)
    The Network's web site ( will be down for scheduled maintenance on Saturday, June 28 for approximately 12 hours beginning at 1am (central time).  During that time, no web site services will be available.

    The website "back end" (editorial and database tools) will be undergoing a significant upgrade.

    Updates on the service outage will be made on the Network's Facebook page and Twitter account.

    Thanks for your patience! 

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