Supporting Our Youth and Families
Jason, 16, lives in two homes. One week he lives with his mom and younger sister; the other week with his dad and step mom and their baby. Jason’s life is filled with constant change. Everything from figuring out which house his sports equipment is at, trying to manage being the youngest grade in high school, and trying to find a part-time job so he can afford drivers education.
All this is overwhelming for Jason.
In First Third ministries we support our lay and volunteer staff in churches so they can provide a space where Jason feels at home, is reminded often that he is a beloved child of God, can laugh and learn, be with friends, and experience a lively community of faith. This is why First Third ministry leaders are critical to congregational life.
The Minneapolis Area Synod is committed to ensuring that we provide safe places of worship and fellowship to everyone we serve. As part of that commitment we are providing information on Safe Gatherings as a resource for you in this important area.
Safe Gatherings is an online abuse prevention program that screens and educates staff and volunteers to help prevent abuse of children, youth, and vulnerable adults in group settings. When employees and volunteers are trained to identify potential abusers, recognize the signs of abuse, and know how to handle reporting, they are better equipped to prevent abuse.
Upon successful completion of the Safe Gatherings application, background and reference checks, and online training program, each applicant will receive documentation of approval valid for three years, and will have continued access to the online training program for one year.
The price per applicant for the individual church program available through the Safe Gatherings website is $45. This includes processing of two electronic references, a national and multi-county of residence 7-year background check, national and state of residence Sex Offender Registry check, and the 1.5-hour online abuse prevention and boundary awareness training.
More details >
Minneapolis and Saint Paul Area Synods’ CYF Team
Children, Youth, and Family (CYF) Ministry in this synod is led by the Minneapolis Area Synod and Saint Paul Area Synod Children, Youth, & Family Team. The mission of the CYF Team is to support, encourage, enhance, and develop children, youth, and family ministries as they effectively share the good news of Jesus Christ.
The CYF Team exists as a resource for congregations, as well as CYFM workers and volunteers. Whether you are just beginning an intentional CYF ministry, or if your congregation already has a robust program, the CYF Team is here to connect with and support you. This is done throughout the year with a number of events, learning opportunities, and meet-and-greets, as well as being a resource for all things CYF.
Have a question that the resources below can’t answer? One of the CYF Team representatives from this synod can help:
- Kris Bjorke, Assistant for First Third Ministries (MAS), MASfirstthird@gmail.com
- Paul Erdmann, Immanuel, Eden Prairie, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lonna Field, Augsburg, email@example.com
- Rev. John Hulden, Minneapolis Area Synod, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rich Holleque, Mt. Olivet, Plymouth, email@example.com
- Maggie Jones, Normandale Lutheran, Edina, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Stephanie Luedtke, St. Luke’s, Bloomington, StephanieL@stlukesbloomington.org
- Jen Rome, Pilgrim Lutheran Church, St. Paul, email@example.com
- Kelly Rowley, Edina Community Lutheran, Edina, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lisa Sampson, Elk River Lutheran, Elk River, email@example.com
- Julie Vagle, Trinity Lutheran, Long Lake, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vanessa Young, Grace Lutheran, Apple Valley, email@example.com