At the 28th Annual Conference in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Elisabeth Ortiz, president of the Conference Council on Youth Ministry (CCYM)* received the Harry Denman Youth Award. She is an active lay member of Sturgis United Methodist Church in Sturgis, South Dakota.
Elisabeth Ortiz has always had a strong passion for ministry. Children’s ministry is what drives her to be engaged at her local church. Ortiz stated, “Seeing how children’s ministry impacted me inspires me to do the same for children’s ministry, in hopes of having the same impact on them that I had.”
Elisabeth decided to be a part of CCYM because she believes it is important to be around others who have the same values and basic faith principles as she does. She states, “A great way to grow in your faith is by being around others who are also growing in their faith, then you’re able to grow together.”
When asked about the incoming group of youth, new to CCYM, Ortiz stated, “Their numbers are small, but mighty.” Going on to say, “God will work within them to help them lead and navigate this coming year. The CCYM adults are great guides to be able to help lead them to hold great events for the youth of the Conference.”
One of those adult members of CCYM, Rev. Peggy Hanson, is impressed with Elisabeth's caring heart, adding, "Anyone who spends 5 minutes with Elisabeth will see how Jesus is working in and through her, through her compassionate heart, her incredible thoughtfulness, and her ability to see and meet people where they are at."
Through Elisabeth’s leadership, she has helped build relationships between herself and her CCYM peers, the adults, her local church, and throughout the Dakotas Conference. She has empowered youth involved in CCYM to actively live out their faith.
This fall she will be attending Dakota Wesleyan University and will be working towards a major in nursing and minor in behavioral sciences. Ortiz is excited to also become a part of DWU’s campus ministry.
*CCYM is a group of up to 20 youth and 10 adults who serve Jesus Christ through service to the youth and youth workers of the Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church. Each year, a new council is selected to work together for one year. To serve on CCYM: Apply online here.