Members' Corner


What It Was Like to Be a Youth Leader at the Rocky Mountain Synod Youth Gathering

By Haley Reed


On January 13–15, I had the opportunity to go to the Rocky Mountain Synod Youth Gathering in Colorado Springs. I have gone to this gathering before, but this time was going to be even cooler for two reasons: For one, it was the first year that middle schoolers and high schoolers had a gathering together; and second, I was given the opportunity to lead a specific part of the gathering because I am part of YDT. YDT stands for Youth Discipleship Team, and it is made up of youth from all over Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Synod. We represent the youth of the Synod.


The theme of the gathering this year was “Wait What?”. We learned all about accepting each other and all of God’s children for who He created us to be. We learned not to judge people by what they look like on the outside but instead focus on who God created them to be on the inside. We heard from three speakers of various ethnicities and genders and gained a new perspective from their stories.


Because I am in YDT, I was given the opportunity to help run a workshop for different congregations. The workshop was a poverty simulation so people could experience what it might be like to have a different class standing. This workshop really opened the eyes of the people in the congregations because they were able to see living standards from a different perspective. This workshop definitely gave me, along with fellow youth, a lot of new perspectives to consider.


Overall, being a part of YDT is a really cool experience and a great way to increase my leadership skills, as well as spread the Word of God. We were also able to recruit a lot of people from different congregations across the Synod to help us plan our Rocky Mountain Synod Day for the for the 2018 ELCA Houston gathering. The gathering was so much fun, and I definitely learned a lot about loving and accepting others, not judging them for who I think they are but instead accepting them and loving them because they are God’s children and he loves us all, equally.



By Greg Schumann

Don’t be afraid. The word volunteer will not bite; it will not scratch; and it definitely will not hurt you. What it will do is give you a sense of pride, accomplishment, involvement, and ownership. I found that out a little over six years ago when I started volunteering to help make coffee. Eventually, I simply said that I would take care of the coffee every Sunday.


As luck would have it, I was sitting in the annual meeting, drinking some of that very coffee when it happened again. At the annual meeting, there was a need for one more person to sit on the nominating committee. All around the room, eyes looked down, or away, or closed completely. A tap on my shoulder and a voice said, “Why don’t you volunteer?” Oddly enough, there was no one standing behind me. The tap on the shoulder was from above! So I raised my hand and accepted the position. About 9 months later, I was meeting to help figure out who the next church council nominees would be. I had my list, made my calls, and found folks willing to serve. After one meeting, I had just gotten home and my phone rang: “Will you be willing to be on Church Council”? I thought—wait a minute, I was in that meeting and my name did not come up, but after some prayerful consideration I said yes. That was just over 4 years ago.


Bethlehem has a need for volunteers on a regular basis. That is what makes the church function and gives us all a beautiful place to worship, a strong educational base, and wonderful social events. There are so many ways we can be a servant to God. Setting up chairs, helping with dishes, helping with communion or ushering, bringing food for an event, being an acolyte, coordinating ushers or communion assistants, and many others are all ways we can give to our church and serve the Lord.

Please give volunteering a thought when asked. So many tasks take less than an hour. One hour, three or four times a year, means the world of difference to those around you. Please check the weekly bulletin for ideas on how you can help.

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