Church, school youth workers to meet

Registration is open for LCMS Youth Ministry’s 2007 (YM2007) symposium for lay and professional workers among high-school-age teens in LCMS congregations, schools, agencies, and districts.

The event, also open to college students pursuing careers in church work and youth ministry, is Jan. 5-7 at the JW Marriott in Houston.

Registration is $200.  For details and to register, go to

“Youth Ministry Symposiums focus on issues timely to youth culture and the impact on ministry to and for young people across the LCMS,” said Gretchen Jameson, associate director for LCMS Youth Ministry — Communications.

Those scheduled to address the symposium topic — “Abandoned but not Lost: Reclaiming the Church’s Young People” — are Chap Clark of Gig Harbor, Wash., and Dr. Marvin Bergman, Seward, Neb.  Clark will focus on the material in his current book, Hurt: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers. 

Bergman, professor emeritus at Concordia University Nebraska, will introduce the findings of a new study he spearheaded on confirmation practices in the Synod. Symposium participants will consider the implications of the study’s finding for their confirmation and youth-ministry programs.

Commenting on the symposium topic, Rev. Terry Dittmer said, “Today’s youth often feel abandoned by the very institutions that have responsibility for them, including the family, schools, government, and even the church.  The church needs to raise its awareness of and sensitivity to its youth as it shares the faith with them.  This is a timely topic with no easy answers.  Participants are in for a challenge.”

Dittmer, who is director of LCMS Youth Ministry and the symposium’s director, suggested that “pastors may be particularly interested in this symposium.”

The event begins with a 12:30 p.m. lunch on Jan. 5 and concludes at 11 a.m. Jan. 7.

A pre-symposium youth-ministry practicum for those who arrive early will take place the morning of Jan. 5, led by Dr. Jim McConnell, who directs the Director of Christian Education program at Concordia University, Austin, Texas.

Posted Sept. 28, 2006

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