The Youth, Young Adult, and Family (YoYaFam) Committee of ReconcilingWorks supports individuals, families, congregations and ministries who advocate the acceptance and full participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, their families, friends and allies into the congregational and organization life of the Christian Church, specifically focused on youth, young adults, families, and intergenerational life.
The YoYaFam Committee accomplishes this mission by:
- Providing resources and referrals to individuals, families, congregations and ministries working to educate and edify a fuller understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity in their own settings.
- Building relationships with organizations and people who work with youth, young adults, and families for the purpose of collaborating, sharing resources, and making a difference.
- Holding ReconcilingWorks accountable to the gifts and needs of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities between 15-30 and those who work and care for them.
For the first time, ReconcilingWorks was officially invited to participate in the ELCA National Youth Gathering, held July 22—26, 2009 in New Orleans. ReconcilingWorks was invited to host a 10’x10’ booth in the “Interaction Center” of the Youth Gathering. The ReconcilingWorks booth was busy Wednesday through Saturday from nine to five. Hundreds of youth, adult leaders, and pastors came by. Participants could don a set of headphones and watch stories from ReconcilingWorks’s “I Love to Tell the Story” training at Hearts on Fire, or browse a selection of stoles from the “For All the Saints” stoles project. Many wrote prayers for the church on prayer shawls, to be used at the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. Some only stayed long enough for a sticker, button, or tattoo, but many stayed to hear about ReconcilingWorks’s mission and work, and added their voices to the call for a fully inclusive church by signing up to become Reconciling Lutherans. By the end of the week, 303 buttons, 1649 stickers and 3,361 temporary tattoos had been given away. In addition, 598 people from across the country signed up to become Reconciling Lutherans
Faith-Based Youth Camps for LGBT Youth
The Youth, Young Adult, and Family Committee recommends the following faith-based camps for LGBT youth.
July 24-29, 2011
Bay Lake Camp, Deerwood, Minnesota
Theme: I Love to Tell the Story
The Naming Project Summer Camp is for 15-18 year olds or those who have completed 9th-12th grades who are of any sexual orientation or gender identity or expression who are interested in discussing and understanding sexuality in terms of their own spiritual journey and are excited to spend time with other teen campers and staff while canoeing, swimming, hiking, singing, doing arts and crafts. The theme for this summer’s session is I Love to Tell the Story. Campers will spend the week talking about how our stories connect with the ongoing story of God’s relationship with humanity. Each day, campers will spend time actively crafting and expressing their stories.Youth will be actively involved in conversation around their life experiences and Biblically based themes.This week of camp will give youth the opportunity to experience God’s love and the care and support of community in new and incredible ways. Throughout the week there will be dialogue with staff and guest speakers, while enjoying the great outdoors and summer camp fun!
April 1-3, 2011
Camp Lutherhill, LaGrange, TX
The Spiritual Pride Project is a new ministry that hopes to serve as a resource, a discussion forum, a community, and a sounding block for youth of all sexual orientations. More specifically, we are a weekend retreat where both sexuality and spirituality are seen as equally valuable gifts from God. It offers a weekend camp retreat as a safe, accepting and loving community where GLBTQIA (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Question Intersex and Allied) youth can discuss how their sexuality and spirituality are beautiful gifts from God. The camp accompanies youth on the faith journey as they celebrate and struggle with our faith, family, friends, school, relationships, and everything in between. This is still camp after all, so everyone enjoys God’s creation and have a blast sharing our creative talents, playing games, and challenging each other. All People of all belief backgrounds are welcome!
April 8-10, 2011
Bear Creek Camp, Wilkes Barre, PA
Theme: Gift and Trust
This is an opportunity for young people who identify as LGBTQ and their allies and who are Christian to come together and safely share worship; faith journeys and struggles; and enjoy fellowship with other Christian teens. The camp is designed for 15-17 year olds who currently in 9th to 12th grades who are lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/ or questioning and their allies and who are interested in discussing and understanding sexuality alongside their own spirituality and are excited to spend time with other teenagers and staff in fellowship, worship, games, Bible Study, crafts, and guest speakers.
If you have questions about the camp or would like more information, please contact Fred Wolfe at 215-387-2885.