Posts in Young Adult
October Newsletter from Pastor Kristin Engstrom in Senegal

Hello dear sisters and brothers in Christ, I hope and pray that as you and your congregations come back from summer holidays, that the rhythm of church life brings much joy and life to you all.

You can access (and share with others!) my October 2019 Newsletter at the YAGM Senegal blog or download as a PDF, and get a glimpse into some of the goings on—both sending the previous YAGM back to the US and welcoming a new group of YAGM to Senegal.

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Faith Lens: Gratitude, Good for the Heart

Want to live longer?  It turns out that looking on the bright side could save your life.  A study recently published in the medical journal, JAMA, found that people who look at life from a positive perspective have about a 35% lower risk of major heart complications, such as a cardiac death, stroke, or a heart attack, compared to those whose outlooks were pessimistic. 

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Young Adult in Global Mission: Ann Emilie Tjorhom

Ann Emilie is the Grand Canyon Synod participant in the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program. She is serving in Argentina/Uruguay by working within a local faith community.

A member of Peace Lutheran in Peoria, Ann Emilie graduated from the University of Arizona in May (2019) with two Bachelors of Arts: English and Spanish Linguistics.

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Faith Lens: A Little More

Just a couple weeks ago, at 22 years of age, singer/pianist Kodi Lee was named the winner of season 14 of America’s Got Talent. Early in the season, Kodi earned a Golden Buzzerto put him directly to the live shows in a performance that went viral online

Kodi Lee was born with optic nerve hypoplasia, which causes his blindness, and was diagnosed with autism at age 4. Early in life, he discovered a love of music that, according to his mom, gave him the ability to “withstand living in this world.”

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Youth Ministry Extravaganza Registration now Open

Registration is open for the Youth Ministry Extravaganza in Anaheim, CA, January 31-February 3, 2020.

The “E" is for all engaged in faith formation with children and youth. The goal of the Youth Ministry Network is to connect, learn and educate. The location for this year’s gathering is CA, so consider sending your volunteers and paid staff who work with children, teens and young adults in your congregation.

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Faith Lens 9/15/19: Pain in Losing, Joy in Finding

Faith Lens is a weekly Bible study that engages youth and young adults in connecting world events with the Bible, faith, and everyday life.

Warm-up Question: What is the longest time you have spent looking for something? Where did it end up being? How did you feel? (Be honest, it’s ok to say it was right in front of your face)    

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Senegal Reflections: Nioko Bokk (We are Together)

From Stephanie Petrilli comes our first article on the Young Adult Exchange with Senegal. Petrilli and others recently returned from the program.

When I told people that I was going to Senegal with my church, I got a lot of “good for you” and “have a wonderful mission.” It was hard to explain to people why I was going, that I wasn’t going there to build a school or feed hungry children, I was going to just be. 

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Faith Lens: It Goeth Before a Fall

Faith Lens is a weekly Bible study that engage youth and young adults in connecting world events with the Bible, faith, and everyday life.

It was a warm night in Springfield, Illinois on August 16th when the rapper Twista took the stage, spitting bars in his traditionally rapid-fire style. On the side of the stage stood a sign language interpreter. Her hair was buzzed short on the sides, a fiery red on top. She was bobbing up and down with the beat and, to everyone’s amazement, keeping up with Twista’s rapid rhymes.

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The Importance of Service

Kyle Lefler, a year round program coordinator at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp in NW Montana, shares this story of service.

Jesus walked. Miles & miles across the hills and valleys of the Holy Land. He and his disciples traveled great distances with little comforts to be with, among and beside the people.

While we need not always travel great distances to be of service to others, we are called to be out among our neighbors.

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8/26 Prayer: ELCA outdoor ministry staff in transition

Many of our ELCA outdoor ministry staff are ending their summer of service and transitioning back to school, new employment or other service opportunities in the church. As they work to discern their vocations and futures, ask the Holy Spirit to guide, inspire and equip them to share their faith and gifts with the church and society and to respond to God’s call to service and ministry. 

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Reflections on Synod Assembly from Allie Papke-Larson

From Allie Papke-Larson comes this reflection on attending the Grand Canyon Synod Assembly this summer. Papke-Larson is Program Coordinator for Lutheran Campus Ministries/Canterbury Episcopal Campus Ministries at Northern Arizona University and Youth Director at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Flagstaff.

I have to admit; this was my first Synod Assembly since I was 14 years old and living in northern Minnesota. Going into the assembly I was looking forward to experiencing, and really meeting, the Grand Canyon Synod (GCS) for the first time. As a new member of the synod it was apparent to me that GCS is going through change and transition.

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8/24 Prayer: Coaches and student athletes

Pray for coaches and student athletes of all abilities as they train for upcoming sports seasons. Pray that they will be safe from injury, experience joy and confidence in their physical activities, and have positive, caring people in their lives to help them cope with the challenges they might face — personal, family, spiritual, social, academic and athletic.

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My Year as an ELCA World Hunger Fellow

In July of 2018, I began the ELCA Hunger Advocacy Fellowship. This fellowship comes from a partnership between ELCA World Hunger, ELCA Advocacy, and statewide public policy offices across the United States. It’s a 12-month program that combines leadership development with impactful advocacy – working together to end hunger and poverty by engaging directly with local, state and national governments, and equipping people of faith to seek justice and equity.

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