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Nearly four years ago, the ELCA launched its first comprehensive campaign, Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA, with the goal of raising $198 million in support of churchwide ministries across the United States and around the world. Now, as we enter the final year of this five-year effort, we look to the future of this church by highlighting the campaign’s Leadership priority, including the ELCA Fund for Leaders and Youth and Young Adults. Through these ministries, we are accompanying youth and young adults in their faith journeys and supporting talented, gifted seminarians as they prepare to begin a life of rostered ministry.

With the $4 million campaign goal for Youth and Young Adults, the ELCA will support new and growing youth leadership academies, camps, labs, and schools across the country; provide funding for leadership internships with Lutheran Services in America; and provide grants for collaborative and creative youth and young adult ministry initiatives.

How will this campaign affect LCOS youth and young adults? From June 27, 2018 to July 1, 2018, our Director of Youth and Family Ministry, Jaime Frazier, will accompany two youth from LCOS, Sophia Howard and Hailey Melcher, to the National Youth Gathering in Houston, Texas. Sponsored by the ELCA, the gathering will focus on the theme, “This Changes Everything” and hopes to help the youth become leaders in the church. The expected attendance is 30,000. Nadia Volz-Weber will address the crowd; the New Jersey Synod Bishop, Tracie Bartholomew, will meet with NJ youth; Houston will find service projects for 30,000 kids; representatives from seminaries will discuss their calling to ministry; and all partici-pants will worship together and take communion.

Jaime, who grew up in LCOS, loved her Youth Group experiences here. After graduating from Immaculata University with a major in religion, she earned a master’s degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, concentrating in Youth and Family Ministry. Jaime feels that “church is a welcoming place for youth, a second home” and wants to help them deepen their faith.

Pray for this life-changing ministry and consider a gift to the campaign. In this copy of The Messenger you will find an envelope which you may use to make your donation and return it to LCOS. We will forward donations to the ELCA campaign. Invest in our youth and young adults and the future of our church.