The E.C.T. (Edgewater Congregations Together) Youth Group is a joint youth ministry for youth in grades 6th-12th from the neighborhood and from Ebenezer, Immanuel, and Unity Lutheran Churches in Edgewater. They gather the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month throughout the school year at 6:15pm for dinner and from 7:00-8:30pm for faith discussions, games, and worship. Throughout the year, they also participate in service projects and justice work, gather for social events, and serve as worship leaders in an entirely youth-led Ascension Day worship service. They also attend the annual ELCA Metro-Chicago Synod sponsored events: the fall all-night lock-in at Enchanted Castle and the winter retreat at Lutherdale Bible Camp. Every few years, the E.C.T. youth group participates in a mission/service and learning trip with other Edgewater youth groups, and every three years the high school youth attend the ELCA Youth Gathering.
Contact Pastor Emily Heitzman at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
ECT YOUTH GROUP NEWSLETTER: Sept.-Oct. 2016
2016 Edgewater Youth Coalition Mission, Service, and Learning Trip:
The Edgewater Youth Coalition was founded and is organized/led by Pastor Emily Heitzman. It consists of youth from various churches in the neighborhood of Edgewater, where they get together for social events, service projects, and trips.
On Saturday, August 6, 32 youth and five adults met at Immanuel Lutheran Church to head out on the Edgewater Youth Coalition’s second mission, service, and learning trip to Dubuque, IA. (Their first trip was in August 2014.) Youth who attended the trip this year came from the Edgewater Congregations Together Youth Group (Unity, Immanuel, and Ebenezer Lutheran Churches), North Shore Baptist Church, and the Ebenezer Lutheran Tutoring program.
During the trip, youth participated in team building exercises at Four Mounds high/low ropes course, led worship on Sunday morning and VBS in the evenings at their host church, and had fun exploring Dubuque. During the week, the youth did conservation projects and tested the pollution levels of Catfish Creek at Swiss Valley Nature Center; served a meal to homeless community members and people in transitional housing, worked in the community garden, and cleaned/organized items in the thrift shop at the Dubuque Rescue Mission; and learned about the sustainable/ecological farming and living at New Hope Farm (a Catholic Worker Farm outside of Dubuque) and worked on the farm. On Wednesday evening, the youth went to a Westminster Presbyterian member’s farm outside of town for a bonfire with s’mores and a hayride and they ended the trip on Thursday with a closing worship service with communion.
Every night, the youth gathered together for worship and to discuss the week’s theme: “living out your calling” based on Matthew 4:12-23. They learned what it means to be “called” by God: to follow Jesus in his way of life that is centered around loving God by loving our neighbors and being good stewards of all God’s creation. After large group worship and discussions, youth broke into small groups to further discuss how they were living out their calling each day on the trip and reflect on their experiences. The last night of the trip, they gathered with their small groups to share what they appreciated about each person in their group.
This was an incredibly powerful event for youth in our congregations and community, as they developed relationships with other youth from their community in a positive and safe space, grew in their faith understanding, practiced service and led worship, worshipped together, experienced a new setting, and had the opportunity to travel to a new place. We hope to return to Dubuque for another mission, service, and learning trip soon.
Visit us on Facebook.