In November, three youth and two adults from the Northern Illinois Synod traveled to Carol Joy Holling Retreat Center in Ashland Nebraska for the ELCA Youth Leadership Summit. Watch the video below to find out more about the trip.
The ELCA Youth Leadership Summit is an annual gathering for high school youth identified as leaders and adult representatives from each synod from across The ELCA. This summit focuses on leadership development through engaging speakers and thought leaders in key areas at the intersection of leadership and faith in daily life AND faith formation and building connections for high school youth in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Youth are challenged to take home what they have learned to inspire action in their own synods and youth groups. The Youth Leadership Summit is a shared ministry between ELCA Youth Ministry and the SYMBOL (Synod Youth Ministry Band of Leaders) Network.
Alison from Grace, Loves Park wrote this about her experience:
This year I was selected by the Northern Illinois Synod to be one of two youth representatives at the ELCA Youth Leadership Summit in Nebraska. I spent a weekend at the camp with other youth leaders from across the United States, and it was exciting to meet people my own age with similar beliefs, experiences, and values. The first night I was there, I and the other girls in my room held our own impromptu discussion on topics of faith, racial justice, and our general views of the world; these meaningful conversations gave me a broader view of issues throughout the country, some similar to my community and others wildly different, but just as important. The topic for the weekend’s events was Advocacy, and through various workshops and speakers, I learned about different types of injustice in the world. I was provided with tools and connections to help me get involved in these missions, and I learned how to bring my new knowledge and skills back home to my congregation. The connections I made at the summit will be lifelong, and I am now aware of many more ways to use my faith to help the people of my country. It was an honor to be selected to go, and it was an unforgettable experience that has enhanced my leadership in the Church.