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Faith. Leadership. Fun: 2021 CCYM

By: Doreen Gosmire, director of communication, Dakotas UMC

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The Dakotas Conference Council on Youth Ministry (CCYM) is busy planning for 2021 activities. “The pandemic created a holding pattern for youth ministry events in 2020. We are excited for what 2021 has to offer,” says Rev. Jeff Lathrop, who serves as the Conference Coordinator of Youth Ministry and as the pastor at Wesley UMC in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Lathrop invited all youth ministry leaders and workers to the 2021 Youth Worker Academy, April 23-25 at Storm Mountain Center. The guest presenter will be Chris Hansen of Leadership Harbor. Find out more at  Get all of the details and register here

CCYM has been holding meetings via Zoom to keep connected and the ministry moving. “This past year has been different, “says Elizabeth Ortiz, who serves as the president of CCYM and is a member of the United Methodist Church in Sturgis, South Dakota. “We are excited to get some in-person events going this year.”

With her colleagues, Ortiz spends time connecting via Snap Chat, text, and in Zoom meetings. “Even though we have not been meeting, it is super important to keep connected,” says Elizabeth.

She is a senior in high school who has served on CCYM for three years and invites high school youth to consider applying to be a member of CCYM. “I have strengthened my leadership and my faith in CCYM. I lead by the example set by God. I have learned to bring my faith into everything I do and be patient,” Ortiz says. Learn more about becoming part of the CCYM team here.

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Members of CCYM at DakYouth 2019. Photo by Dave Stucke, Dakotas UMC.

Anna Mutzenberger, who serves on CCYM and is a member of First UMC in Fargo, North Dakota, is grateful to be connected and surrounded by people of faith. “It is great to be part of a group that is focused on faith,” says Anna. “We are all learning to lead. We keep each other accountable, and we support each other.”

Mutzenberger is looking forward to Leadership Training Camp (LTC) this summer. In July, LTC will be at Lake Poinsett around the theme “God in the Movies.” “There is a lot of flexibility for high school youth to choose workshops and how deep they want to dive into their faith,” says Anna. Get the details for LTC and register here

Tyler Rassmussen is serving for his third year on CCYM. He is a First UMC member in Brookings, South Dakota, who has grown in leadership and faith while serving on CCYM. “I was looking for a leadership opportunity, and CCYM offered that opportunity. I have been involved in so many ways, connecting with friends who I have bonded with as we grow deeper in our faith,” says Tyler.

Rassmussen’s favorite CCYM activity is DakYouth. DakYouth 2021 will be on November 12-14 at the Recreation and Cultural Center in Aberdeen, South Dakota. “Bent, Not Broken” is the theme with featured speakers: Mark DeVries and Jeff Dun-Rankin. Check out the details for DakYouth 2021 here.

Watch an interview with Pastor Jeff Lathrop about CCYM 2021 here.


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