There will be plenty of learning opportunities at WSYG2020. Workshops will engage a variety of learning styles and interests. There will be deep conversations about tough topics, informative workshops of interest to youth and their adult leaders, connections to ELCA-wide ministries, opportunities to engage with artistic expression through music and art, and a chance to be active with games and fitness sessions. Please contact Lisa Herlocker with ideas for workshop topics, presenter ideas, or volunteers to lead worship.

Rev. Dr. Alexia Salvatierra  “Welcoming the Stranger – The Immigration Crisis”  We will expose students to the real stories of migrants and refugees, as well as the broader narrative of how immigrant and non-immigrant churches are working together to respond to their plight.  We will also highlight the work of the “puentes” network (bilingual, bicultural millenial Christian leaders who work with our support circles.)                    

Molly Schrey  “Stop the Noise!”  Does your life, at times, feel like it’s spinning out of control?  Does your mind feel chaotic and scattered?  You are not alone.  Join us to interactively explore how to periodically unplug from the chaos and gain control of your life again!                

Drew Stever  “Queer Self, Queer Church”  Being queer-identified in the institutional church can be exhausting. Code-switching, not feeling seen, wondering when God is going to stop being referred to with only male pronouns, etc. Hear stories from a Professional Queer Trans Lutheran Pastor talk about their experiences and give tips on how to maintain a sense of self.

Regina Q. Banks  “Roots and Wings: Lutheran Tradition for Action Today!”   The ELCA has wonderful social statements that give members a great foundation upon which to go out and serve our neighbors. I’d like to explore what that can look like to young people taking their first steps out on faith.          

Brian Krause  “Focus on Me!” People with disabilities are often defined by their disability.  In this workshop youth will practice going beyond first impressions to focus on the individual to create true, authentic relationships.  

Rev. Melissa Maxwell-Doherty “Soul Collage: Creating Space for Meditative Reflection through Collage”  Pause + Reflect + Image + Glue + Story + Your Life = Soul Collage. Stir imagination about your life through pictures, images, and pausing to wonder what it might mean. During this workshop you will create a Soul Collage, have silent time to journal, and share insights in conversation with others.​ No art background needed.

Matt Keadle “Boundless! for Youth” Come learn about “Boundless,” the 2021 ELCA Youth Gathering in Minneapolis! Learn why you should go, learn how you can get there, and get your questions answered. This workshop is geared toward YOUTH thinking about attending the Gathering.

Nicholas Ferrante “Science from the Scripture” “This is a is a love story… It’s the story of science and faith, two lovers who had a falling out that resulted in a bitter rivalry for the last few centuries” (Csinos). In this workshop, we will explore how science and faith need not exist in separation, rather they help bolster the other in a beautiful symbiotic relationship. We will be discussing topics that relate to our own spiritual connection to “natural philosophy” formally known as science.

Colleen Windham-Hughes “Embodying Openness” We live in a world with people different than we are and situations that can feel uncomfortable. We say it’s a good idea to be open-minded, yet we often neglect our bodies, which show discomfort through sweating, crossed arms, and closed signals. Learn skills of being open to others and practice body postures that keep you present when you’re feeling uncomfortable.

Luis Ochoa “Disconnected” With so many activities on our schedules and different kinds of pressures of having to rely on technology for everything in our lives, we can lose track of what’s happening around us including our relationship with God. Let’s put our phones down, and play some games that require teamwork and reflect on what it means to be connected with other people and our faith.

Jim Gonia “Claiming Our Gifts – Our ELCA DNA” What makes our life, witness and ministry as ELCA Christians distinct? What do we have to offer to the wider Body of Christ and to the world? Come explore 14 key marks of our ELCA DNA and learn why our gifts are so essential for our times.

Sarah Sumner-Eisenbraun “Art as Worship” “Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.” ~Chuck Klosterman. Worship is a lot like art- seeing God in things that don’t appear to be sacred. In our workshop we will use creativity as an act of worship. We will then create together interactive visual and hands-on elements that will be used from the Main Stage for WSYG Worship.

Dan Gibson “Soul Surfing: Diving for Lost Treasure” People can squander their whole lives away in search of “treasure” that they think will bring them happiness, contentment, and fulfillment. Did you know that there is treasure buried deep down within each of us that is waiting to be unpacked, rummaged through, relished in, and can be put to good use? Come join Pastor Dan Gibson as we “dive beneath the surface” to discover what that treasure is, and how to find it!

More to come! Check back soon.