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.



The CYF Team hosts or sponsors five 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.
  • Recharge: Recharge is a day-long continuing education event for CYF workers and volunteers aimed at reigniting a thoughtful passion for CYF ministries. Recharge typically happens at the beginning of the year. More details can be found at
  • Synod Lunch at the Youth Ministry Extravaganza: Join other youth leaders from the Twin Cities for lunch and conversation during the annual Youth Ministry Extravaganza.
  • Do Justice Retreat: The Do Justice Retreat is a weekend event for youth and youth workers interested in engaging in thought and action on pressing social issues.
  • Ascension Day Breakfast: Celebrate the year of ministry with worship and conversation with other passionate CYF workers and volunteers. Mark your calendars: the 2018 Ascension Day Breakfast will be on Thursday, May 10.


2018 ELCA Youth Gathering

Held every three years, the ELCA Youth Gathering attracts 30,000 high school youth from across the nation. Gathering for a week of faith formation through interactive learning, diverse worshiping experiences, Bible study, service learning, and fellowship, the young people who gather are witness to a powerfully transformative experience and are challenged to think in new ways about living their faith in their daily lives.


The 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering will be held in Houston on June 27 - July 1. The theme for the year, "This Changes Everything", is based on Ephesians 2:8, "By grace you have been saved..." Read more about the theme on the ELCA Youth Gathering website.


The Saint Paul Area Synod's Youth Gathering representative is the Rev. Jen Collins. Questions about this synod's presence at the Gathering may be sent to her at More details about the Youth Gathering can be found at



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. The resource list can be found here (PDF).


New to the Synod?

Are you new to youth ministry in the Saint Paul Area or Minneapolis Area Synod? Whether you're full-time, part-time, or a volunteer, the CYF Team wants to connect with you! Fill out this form so that the CYF Team can invite you to events and include you in their network of resources.



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