Youth Ministry is an integral part of the congregational and churchwide ministries of the ELCJHL. Ranging from Sunday School, Scouts, Youth Groups, and Young Adult Groups, individual ELCJHL congregations work to meet the youth of their congregations where they are, and to integrate them into the life of the church. The Youth Desk of the ELCJHL seeks to form the next generation of Lutheran leaders by providing education, fellowship, leadership training, and fun to young people across the church. Young people of the church are already becoming leaders in their own right, helping to lead activities for the younger youth and their congregations.
In addition to supporting the youth ministries of the individual congregations, the Youth Desk also works to build relationship on both churchwide and international levels. This can be very difficult at times, due to the continuing situation in Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank. Therefore, it is all the more important for the church to offer ways and means to connect Palestinian Lutherans together, despite the political and economic barriers.
ELCJHL Churchwide Youth Ministry
In recent years, the ELCJHL has placed renewed focus on empowering and equipping its youth, developing Churchwide programs for Sunday School teacher and curriculum development, youth leadership development, and relationship-building amongst the ELCJHL congregations.
Each year, the Youth Desk hosts a Summer Youth Conference for the youth of all the ELCJHL congregations. Three groups (ages 8 – 12, 13 – 18, and 18 – 23) meet at a local retreat center to play games, study the Bible, sing songs, and participate in many other activities. The youth continuously cite this as one of their favorite parts of church life and have asked for the conference to be extended to a full 5-day week.
Cross-cultural and international exchanges are an important part of our work, as we strive to facilitate connections between different groups. It is, at times, easier to send ELCJHL youth abroad than it is to gather the youth from all six ELCJHL congregations together in Jerusalem, the West Bank, or Amman. This is due to factors such as the separation barrier, checkpoints, and visa and permit issues. In recent years, ELCJHL youth have traveled to the United States, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Finland, among others. Youth return from these exchange experiences with great joy and excitement, and truly blossom through these opportunities.
For more information about the Youth Ministry of the ELCJHL, to learn of upcoming events, or to inquire about relationship-building opportunities, please contact:
Rev. Ashraf Tannous
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land