Children, Youth, & Family Ministry

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.

Connect With Us!

Whether you're paid staff working full-time, part-time or are a volunteer, the CYF Team wants to connect with you!

  • Join our Facebook group to request and provide advice to your peers, share ideas and support one another.
  • Join our email list to receive notifications about upcoming events and be included in our network of resources.


The CYF Team hosts or sponsors regular events throughout the year. Specific details about these events appear on the calendar page of our website as the event draws nearer.

  • Welcome Event: The Welcome Event is designed to introduce recent arrivals to the Twin Cities' synods who work or volunteer with children, youth, and family ministries. This event connects you with other people who are passionate about CYF ministries. The next welcome event will be held in Fall 2022.
  • Synod Lunch at the Youth Ministry Extravaganza: Join other youth leaders from the Twin Cities for lunch and conversation during the national Youth Ministry Extravaganza. The 2023 lunch will be during the event in  Anaheim, California, Feb. 3-6. Learn more.
  • Ascension Day Breakfast: Celebrate the year of ministry with worship and conversation with other passionate CYF workers and volunteers. The 2022 Ascension Day Breakfast will be on Thursday, May 26 (time and place TBD).

Alternative Youth Gatherings

With the cancellation of Summer 2022's ELCA Youth Gathering, a number of alternative events have emerged, thanks to the creativity and initiative of folks who don't want youth to miss out! Here are a few alternatives your congregation may wish to consider:


God's Boundless Love @Camp
July 17-21 | Camp Onomia, Onamia

This camp offers daily worship and Bible studies, recreation and offsite service projects,musicians, speakers and campfires. There will be interaction with the local Native American culture, river canoe trips, swimming and paddle-boarding. Accommodations are "hotel-like." Special guests include David Scherer and Joe Davis, Jonathan Rundman Band, Rachel Kurtz and others. Registration is via youth group only for youth who have completed grade 6 and up. Space is limited; the cost is $400 per person, including four nights lodging and 11 meals. Reserve your expected group size ASAP or before Easter. Individual registrations will open on June 2 if space allows. Learn more.


Boundless (Still)
July 24-27 | Central Lutheran, Minneapolis

This gathering is hosted by Humble Walk Lutheran Church in St. Paul and Pastor Jodi Houge. Registration opens April 5 for grades 8-12 for programming that includes worship, group activities, service projects, art, music, a field trip to Valleyfair and more. Special guests include Rachel Kurtz, Joe Davis, Austen Hartke, Osheta Moore and Jenny Sung. Registrants are asked to stay on-site at the host hotel, the Holiday Inn Express. Registration opens tomorrow (April 5)! The estimated cost is $200, not including lodging. Learn more.


Multicultural Youth Justice Experience
July 21-23 | Online + Local

This event is an alternative to the ELCA's Multicultural Youth Leadership Event (MYLE), which was to precede the ELCA Youth Gathering. This event is for ELCA members who are Black, Indigenous, +/or People of Color (BIPOC) who will be entering grades 9-12 in the 2022-23 school year and their youth group peers who are of European Descent. European Descent youth in these grades will acquire training in allyship to BIPOC people and experience and celebrate the cultures of our BIPOC youth in unique ways. Learn more.


The CYF Team keeps a list of up-to-date resources. These resources include books, movies, curriculum, retreat centers, camps, trips, continuing education, and other networks. Click here for the resource list. (PDF).


Have a question that the resource list can't answer? One of the CYF Team representatives from this synod can help!