calendar February 7, 2023 in Youth

SEPA Represents at The YMN Extravaganza

SEPA Synod was well represented at The Extravaganza, the annual gathering of children, youth and family ministry leaders from across the ELCA, which just wrapped up (Feb. 3-6) in Anaheim, Calif. The event was hosted by the ELCA’s Youth Ministry Network.

Participants in Extravaganza 2023 gathered for one live experience in two expressions, on-site in Anaheim and online, under the theme “Enough.”

The event included three pre-Extravaganza “Intensive Care Courses” that explored specific areas of interest, more than 30 workshops, more than 70 exhibitors, and four different learning tracks, each guided by a leader in its area of ministry and supplemented by workshop topics.

SEPA youth leaders got together during The Extravaganza.

This year’s Extravaganza also included a major announcement regarding the ELCA Youth Gathering, to be held July 26-20, 2024, in New Orleans under the theme “Created to Be.” Two essential parts of this event’s ministry are its pre-events: the Multicultural Youth Leadership Event (a faith formation and leadership development event for youth of color or whose primary language is not English, and the largest gathering of people of color in the ELCA) and the tAble (for youth living with a wide range of physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities, and for their caregivers).

This year, attendees of the Extravaganza learned, the Gathering will waive fees for the first 1,000 registrants who attend the MYLE and the first 200 registrants who attend the tAble.

“Because they’re such crucial parts of the ministry of the Gathering, we are thrilled to be able to support MYLE and the tAble in this way,” said Tammy Jones West, director of the 2024 ELCA Youth Gathering and an ELCA deacon. “Our hope is that more young people will get to experience these important ministries, which we know create a lifelong impact. We’re thankful to a generous donor that makes this opportunity possible for the young people of this church.”

Every three years, thousands of high school youth and their adult leaders from across the ELCA meet at the Gathering for a week of faith formation and fellowship. Through speakers, discussions, Bible study and immersion in the host city, attendees are inspired, challenged, given opportunities to explore their vocation, and called to live out their faith in their daily lives.

Registration for the Gathering opens Sept. 15, 2023. Participants in the pre-events must attend the Gathering as well. The registration fee covers on-site food, housing and programming for the pre-events. Transportation to New Orleans and registration for the ELCA Youth Gathering is not covered.

Financial assistance is available for youth attending the Gathering. Applications for this assistance open Sept. 15 and close on Oct. 15. More information is forthcoming.