We are excited to share that the Metro D.C. and Delaware-Maryland synods have entered into a unique and innovative partnership to enhance our ministries with youth and families. Beginning February 1, Deacon Julie Stecker will serve as the Assistant to the Bishop for Youth + Family Ministry, bringing together the young people and those who work with them from both of our synods to engage in faith formation, leadership development, and deep community.
Deacon Julie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry with a concentration in Youth Ministry from Messiah College (now Messiah University) in 2009 and a Master of Arts in Ministerial Studies in Christian Education with a concentration in Youth and Young Adult Ministry from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (now United Lutheran Seminary) in 2011. She served her first call as Associate Director of Admissions at the seminary in Gettysburg until she was called to the Delaware-Maryland Synod staff in 2014. Her work on the synod staff has been primarily focused on Communications, and she was called to include Youth + Family Ministry in her responsibilities in 2017.
The Delaware-Maryland Synod was already poised to engage in a visioning process for the future of Youth + Family Ministries, and with this partnership, the intention is to incorporate voices from the Metro D.C. Synod so that a unified vision is cast. This collaborative work is a chance to grow in the ways we already work together to nurture the faith lives of young people, including our shared ministries at Mar-Lu-Ridge and The Humble Walk: Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of Maryland.
In the Delaware-Maryland Synod, there is an existing high school leadership development program, the Lutheran Youth Organization, that will now be open to members of both synods – including adults who are invested in the work of mentoring young people.
When it becomes safe to do so, we eagerly anticipate coming together for in-person youth events, a chance for young people to gather for a weekend of fun, Bible study, service, worship, and community-building with their peers, led by the LYO.
There will also be increased opportunities for youth worker networking and professional development, especially through the intergenerational and expansive work of the Metro D.C. Synod Leadership Academy.
As we begin this new season of our work together, we are committed to deep intentionality around including voices and experiences from both of our synods to provide the highest caliber of ministry among children, youth, young adults, and their families. If you have any questions or ideas, or would like to be notified of updates about Youth + Family Ministry, please email Deacon Julie at email@example.com.
Bishop Leila M. Ortiz & Bishop William (Bill) Gohl, Jr.