LCMS Servant Event Leadership Conference

(FYI it is snowing as I write's a slushy mess right now but they're predicting 3-5 inches total overnight!!! Scenic Drive is closed and UTEP cancelled all its night classes!!!)

There is already an entry titled that, or something very similar, from November 2008, but here is another one because for the 2nd consecutive year, Chris and I spent 3 days at Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, IL, fellowshipping with and learning from people who do the same thing we do. Most of the curriculum was similar to last year, although I did see things a bit differently since I had almost a year of servant event coordinating under my belt instead of not actually having started my job yet. A lot of the workshops I feel like Chris and I could have led since the conference is predominately for organizations that only host a handful of events each year, and we hold like 40 something, but hearing other people's input, problem solving techniques, PR strategies, etc. is something that can always help us better YLM. It gave me the idea to create a Fan Page on facebook, which is different than a group because it shows up on people's News Feed everytime we change the status, picture, etc. If you have a facebook account you should become a fan unless you already are ;) The conference is good for networking too; apparently I mentioned our need for school supplies in one workshop, and a camp in AL is going to send us some. God had brought the camp's director and her husband to the very same workshop, and they didn't know where they were going to send them but that's an answered prayer now!

Once again, the Bible study was what I got the most out of. A YLM servant event leader who is bringing a group this summer actually wrote and led the whole thing. The title is "Who Do You Think You Are?" and the whole study is based on facebook (well, "biblebook") because that is where youth live these days (the conference is put on by the Youth Ministry Office so it's also predominately for organizations that host youth servant events.). It is arranged so that there is a morning devotion and an evening Bible study for each day of the trip. Each morning you discuss a word that describes a "minor" Bible character, then you let the youth guess all day who it might be and reveal it each evening as you dig deep into that person's story via their biblebook page. For those who are familiar with facebook, it shows their bio section, mutual friends, networks, status updates, and wall posts, and then leaves the person's picture and the "Pieces of Flair" section (basically a corkboard on which are posted buttons with witty sayings on them) blank for the youth to fill in. For example, one word of the day is "devoted," which leads into a study on Hannah. Chris REALLY loved the study, like moreso than me, and he wants to try and lead it for a couple groups this summer. He already did a mini version of it for the Thanksgiving group from his home church over the weekend (more on that later on).

I also learned that I am a "digital native," aka someone who has grown up around technology, as opposed to a "digital immigrant." The leader arranged the wall posts on the biblebook pages with the most recent ones at the bottom, which is the opposite of how facebook is arranged. The conference attendees are always pretty varied in age, but it was only the ones around my age who raised their hands when asked if we were confused by that or not!

Chris and I were privileged to spend the evening that the conference ended visiting a servant event congregation in nearby O'Fallon, IL, Blessed Savior Lutheran Church. They are already on the calendar for this summer so we wanted to encourage participation, plus Chris knew a bunch of people personally from being here at the same time as them a couple of years ago (I only knew the leader, Dorinda, from a couple e-mails and what Chris had told me.). She picked us up in Belleville, and after an afternoon of wandering around the Eckert's Country Store and catching up a little bit, we met up with everyone else at Casa Azteca--gringo Mexican food...haven't had THAT in awhile--and then headed over to the church where Chris presented the most recent YLM PowerPoint. I remember doing something like a couple years ago that when a past YLM volunteer that I worked with on one of my first trips here was in St. Louis for some reason, and the whole time in O'Fallon I kept thinking how cool it was to be on the OTHER end this time around! I can't wait to see them again in June!

Until next time, blessings!


tchrchill said…
Hey, it was great to see you --er, Chris, with your help, put that bible study to work with our "very blessed to serve" group last week. Loved having your family with us -- and, oh how I love this trip!! Blessings,
Carol (Chris' Mom)

(I really like my word verification word for this entry -- it's boollog. Doesn't that sound like a real something, like a halloween log --maybe with a pumpkin or ghost face--instead of a yule log, which is for Christmas?)