October 2011

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​Part of the Living Into the Future Together [taskforce’s report] http://tinyurl.com/3ad5eyw 
included the call for every ELCA congregation to have a mission
strategy by the end of 2012. This resolution was adopted by the 2011
Churchwide Assembly. It is the responsibility of the Congregational and
Synodical Mission unit of the ELCA, the churchwide unit in which the
Youth Gathering is housed, to fulfill that legislation. I am assuming
that the bulk of the work toward completing congregational mission
strategies will be carried out in collaboration with the Directors for
Evangelical Mission in each synod, whom we hope we also will be at the
Youth Gathering, along with the bishop from every synod. (Please make
sure your bishop has been invited and encourage your Director for
Evangelical Mission to participate as well.) 

I gratefully acknowledge the Holy Spirit when I observe how
beautifully timed the work of the (Youth) Gathering Coaches is with this
missional movement that is generating so much energy in our church
right now. This is an opportunity for us to position and equip youth to
play a critical role in shaping the mission of their congregation and
their synod. That is one reason why we chose to keep synods together at
the 2012 Gathering. Youth need to be at the synod mission tables and at
the table when mission is defined in congregations, but first they need
to know these conversations are taking place.

The Practice Discipleship Planning Team is making available, through Synod Coaches, training sessions  http://www.elcaymnet.org/CoachesAndCoordinatorsCalendar)
for adults to learn youth ministry best practices so that when young
people are invited to the conversation they speak from the context of
faith informed by Holy Scripture, prayer, worship and service. My hope
is that when youth are made aware of these conversations, they will
insist on being part of them as baptized members of the body of Christ.
What they learn and practice inNew Orleans will inform their
contribution to the mission of the ELCA in the world for the sake of
Christ.