Letter from Deacon Julie Stecker Regarding Youth + Family Ministries

To the young people and the adults who support them in the Metro D.C. and Delaware-Maryland Synods,

This past year has been…well, there are a lot of words you could fill in there. For me, that list would include stressful, frustrating, disappointing, and exhausting. But as I think back through 2020 and the beginning of 2021, month by month, I remember that there were bright spots, too.

  • I saw the ways people cared for one another, making masks and distributing food to communities in need, and staying home to protect one another.
  • I think about how churches, by and large, had to close the doors to our buildings but never actually closed: holding services online, visiting members and friends from a safe distance, and trusting that even when we can’t meet in person, God shows up.
  • And I consider the way young people like you had your classes, extracurricular activities, and friendships all take place almost entirely online – and I continue to be amazed at the ways you adapted and advocated for yourselves as we all figured out how to exist in the midst of a pandemic.

So, maybe, I could add hopeful to that list.

Now, as it seems like we’re getting closer and closer to being able to gather in person, I am feeling that sense of hope even more fully. We will be closely monitoring community transmission rates, vaccine rollout, and in-person schooling statistics, but we are hopeful that we will be able to gather for youth events in the 2021-2022 school year.

As we look forward to this possibility, we also invite you to consider becoming a part of the Lutheran Youth Organization (LYO), a leadership development program for those in grades 9-12 in the Delaware-Maryland and Metro D.C. Synods. Members of the LYO work throughout the year to hone leadership gifts they can use in their churches, schools, and communities, and these dedicated young people shape every aspect of our events for children and youth.

By clicking here, you’ll find more information about the LYO and a description of the different teams that make up this organization. As you read it over, if you find yourself thinking, “Hmmmm, this sounds like something I’m interested in” (or, “Hey, I know a young person who would be a great fit for this!”), consider attending one of our LYO Info Sessions on Monday, April 19 or Tuesday, April 20 from 6:30-8 pm on Zoom. You can learn more and register for a session online. These sessions will include an overview of the program and calendar for the year, reflections from current members of the LYO community (students, families, youth workers, rostered ministers), a chance to ask your questions, and an opportunity to see some new faces from around our synods.

I am so appreciative of the ways our young people and invested adults have shown such brave and important leadership over this past year, and I look forward to getting to know you better in the months to come!

Peace,

Deacon Julie Stecker
Youth + Family Ministry

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