Complete Story


First Youth & Family Ministry Update for 2014 Filled with Great Events and Resources

Sign up now to begin receiving Gary Pecuch's twice-monthly Youth and Family Ministry e-bulletins. Contact Gary at today!



Middle School MiX

at Lutheran Memorial Camp January 10-12, 2014

Visit for details

Go to Retreats, Youth Retreats, Middle School MiX

OR Contact Jenny Frantz for details

Good Leaders, Good People, Fun Middle Schoolers...What more do you need?




2015 National Youth Gathering

Theme Announced: 

"Rise Up Together"

More information about the gathering will be coming out after the Extravaganza, which takes place late January---early February.


Youth Ministry Position Announcement

Bethel Lutheran Church in Grove City is looking for a part-time (20 hr/week) youth ministry staff person.
The primary responsibility of the staff member will be build a ministry of and for High School students and their families. Secondary responsibilities will include younger youth.
Interested applicants can contact Pastor Peter Ray for more information at 875-0510 or 


Two New Congregational Youth Staffers are Amoung Us!

Our Saviors, Dayton welcomes a new Youth and Children's Ministries Director - Daniel Jacob. Daniel is a graduate of Wittenberg and Yale Divinity School.


Christ-The-King, Centerville welcomes Erin Beckmeyer. She will be providing ministry as a part-time Youth Director. Erin recently graduated from Valparasio University. Filling this position is another step in Christ the King's overall congregational ten year plan. Vision....Don't leave home without it!



Jacobs Porch Retreat Update 

February 14-16, 2014

Time to get a bit serious about spots. Gary will be sending out an update to those on the interest sheet next week

The Porch always provides us with a quality event!

Give your High Schoolers a mid-school year 
opportunity to connect with others!




Our National Youth Gathering Coordinator

For 2015 Will Be:

Diane Schwiger-Alexander who is the Associate in Ministry working with youth & families at St. Peter's, Lancaster

Our Practice Discipleship Coach for 2014  through the Gathering Will Be:

Pastor Beth Westphal from David, Canal Winchester

You will be hearing more about Diane and Pastor Beth in February



This article from continues to cause a strong reaction!

Consider joinging the ELCAYMNETWORK

Facebook Group.

With Attendance down 61% in the last 20 years... 

To Sunday School or Not To Sunday School...

That is the Question


Why is No One Talking About This?

Network Executive Director Pastor Todd Buegler posted this blog on Dec. 2.  A huge response populated the Facebook Network Group in response with stimulating and thoughtful conversation.

A few months ago, I came across a powerpoint slide that Beth Lewis, CEO of Augsburg Fortress Publishers had used as a presentation to a group of pastors at a conference in Florida. (Thanks to Beth Lewis for the slide!)

When I saw the numbers, in all honesty, it took my breath away.

The slide presented a twenty year trend line for the number of children enrolled in Sunday School in ELCA congregations between 1990 and 2010. The slide also showed the differential during the same time period in enrollment in VBS.

Here’s the data in a nutshell: During this twenty year period, the number of children enrolled in our Sunday School ministries decreased from 1,007,774 to 400,375. That is roughly 61%.  

READ MORE on the Network Blog 




Faith Advance

Friday/Saturday January 17-18, 2014

Gary will be leading a Faith Advance at Advent, Columbus. Interested in attending? Send Gary an email. You can bring youth or just come check it out.



Youthworks Trip to Charleston West Virginia

It's Full! 

The July 13-18, 2014 trip to Charleston, West Virginia is full. Contact Nate at youthworks if you wish to be placed on a waiting list.


Transformation Zone Has Space!

Join us at the Transformation Zone Service Trip July 6-11, 2014. Cost $125. They even have a 5th/6th grade 1/2 week option. Contact Gary or click here for details:


Vision & Practice of 21st Century Faith Formation

John Roberto will be coming to the Marriott Courtyard University of Dayton July 8-10, 2014

Click Here For Details:

 21st Century Faith Formation
at Vibrant Faith Ministries


Bethseda Lutheran Community Volunteers

Bethesda Lutheran Communities, a national non-profit offering services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is looking for more than 700 youth volunteers to serve at four camp ministries around the country, including one Colorado. Bethesda Camps pair youth volunteers with individuals with developmental disabilities for five days of fun, fellowship and faith formation.

Click Here: Bethesda Camps




Planning has begun for the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering. The gathering will be held in Detroit, Michigan, July 15 - 19, 2015. There are 15 planning teams, comprised of people from across the country, who are responsible for the daily programming at the event. These people have a passion for the church’s ministry to rear youth in the faith; they willingly give their time and talents and we rejoice!

Please be holding up the Gathering staff and the city of Detroit up in prayer as our partners continue to work to make Christ known. 

 Network App Update

The Network's mobile app, after roughly a six-month absence is back and up to full-speed again!  

Last May, the app was taken down as the company the Network works with to provide the app went through a significant internal crisis.  You can read more about that on the Network blog.


Social Media

If you’re managing social media for your church, it might be useful to know about some of the most surprising social media statistics this year. Here are 10 that might make you rethink the way you’re approaching social media.

Read the whole article 


We are passionate about helping churches and ministries of all sizes because they make a difference in people’s lives. We create innovative, cutting-edge mobile solutions and have helped thousands of ministries around the world achieve dramatic results in their mission. Small and large churches are now extending their outreach, growing membership and involvement, increasing giving, improving attendance and retention, communicating more effectively and so much more through our mobile solutions.  Thank you to iGivings for being a partner of the Network.  

Lutheran Outdoor Ministries


Summer VBS
Looking for a summer VBS theme but not interested in paying for a pricey boxed set? Lutheran Outdoor Ministries has a solution for you! New for 2013 LOM is offering a condensed version of its summer curriculum, Living in God's Time, to be catered to fit your VBS needs. This curriculum is perfect for churches looking to create continuity between the camp and VBS experience. 
Living In God's Time is an opportunity to explore how we mark time a little differently as Christians. In Jesus, we see God living among us and we learn of a different way of marking time as we learn about the story of Jesus through the church year. Living in God's Time is not a way to escape time, but a way to live more fully and enter into it with the love of Christ. Each day of the curriculum focuses on a different season of the church year so together your VBS students and adult leaders can explore that holy time even in the midst of today's busy culture.
VBS Package
Get all you need to run your own Vacation Bible School program, without paying for pricy boxed sets!  The VBS Package includes:
    • Day Camp/Lower Elementary Bible Study
    • “Living in God’s Time” Crafts
    • “Living in God’s Time” Games
Price: $65
For more information or to purchase the Living in God's Time VBS Package, visit:






There are great resources at the ELCA Youth MInistry Network website for all stages of ministry with family and youth and it is free to you at Martin's List.  Over fifteen different categories to choose from. There are lots of requests on our Facebook group for worship, outreach, learning and fellowship ideas. Remember Martin's List to look for ideas in these areas but also to post your resources. The Network that shares is a richer network.    


The ELCA Youth Ministry Network welcomes Trinity Lutheran College in Seattle as our newest silver partner organization! Thanks for your partnership!  Visit Trinity online to find out more about the college and what they offer.  VISIT TRINITY




Lots of people and churches have been posting job opening, descriptions with the ELCA Youth Ministry Newtowrk. Please remember that the Network also has an updated service on the Network website to post positions, job descriptions, and contact information.  Just head over to


Cluster Get Togethers,Training Events for Youth and/or Adults, and Youth Events...

are scheduled as folks raise their hand and say, "Hey, let's do one in my area."  Contact Gary and after a date, time, and location are chosen, he will advertise the event through facebook, youth & family e-bulletins, and hard copy mailings to congregations.


Synod Youth & Family Connections


A. Consider Joining the Synod Youth & Family Ministry Facebook Page

Just for you...a youth and family ministry facebook group page has been created focusing on our favorite topic.  Here's a chance to ask questions, have discussions, and share what you are doing in youth and family ministry to an entire network.

To join, send a request to Gary Pecuch through Facebook or send an email request and Gary will send you an invitation. 


B. Youth & Family E-bulletins are sent out the 1st and 15th of each month


C. A Hard Copy Mailing of Youth & Family Ministry happenings is sent out monthly to congregations 

 Look for the fluorescent Green Flier


D. Visit the Synod Website:  Click on the youth and family ministry tab


E. Connect with Gary directly  or 614-464-3532 extension 110 


Thank you for being a Youth Advocate in your congregation!