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ELCA Extravaganza 2021
The Extravaganza is the annual gathering of children, youth, and family ministry leaders from across the ELCA. It is so much more than a conference: it’s space to be stretched, it’s worship, it’s inspiring speakers, it’s learning from colleagues across the country, it’s sharing your insights with others, it’s informative and transformative. The Extravaganza is renewing, educational, and connects you with others…then sends you home strengthened for the ministry to which you have been called.
The Extravaganza is for the professional and the volunteer. It is for the old and the young. It is for the urban, the suburban, and the rural. It is for pastors, it is for lay people. It is for all adult leaders who share in the adventure we call children, youth, and family ministry!
The scriptures are full of stories of God’s people holding loosely to their plans and learning to trust in the grace and the mission of God.
And so, as God’s people, we are reminded that grace is a gift of God, and trust follows grace. God calls on God’s people to trust in God’s abundance, love and promise. Too often, we try and maintain our own sense of control. But if ministry in 2020 has taught us anything, it has taught us that we are not in control. The world is a broken, turbulent place and we cannot navigate these troubled waters by ourselves.
And so, obediently, we trust in the work of the Holy Spirit in the midst of turbulent times. And we partner with God, serving as God’s hands doing God’s work in a world that is in need of hope.
We hold loosely, letting go of our need to control, creating space for the Spirit to work, and trusting in God, who has a vision for the world.
Extravaganza 2021 will explore God’s call to hold loosely to our own plans, and our need to control, and to trust in the one who comes to create, to redeem and to sustain. God’s call for us to “Hold Loosely” and trust is more important now than ever, as we live and do ministry in a time of pandemic, of racial injustice and unrest, of social division and political turmoil.
Our conversations at #ext21 will center around five questions:
- How do we help those we work with navigate the grief of losing “normal?” How do we navigate that same grief for ourselves?
- How do we care for ourselves in the midst of accompanying others in their pain?
- How do we navigate change?
- What should we do next?
- How do we find hope in the midst of chaos?
It is in the words of Ephesians 2:8 that we are reminded that we place our trust in God’s grace, which provides guidance and direction during these hard days. And that this grace is a gift that we discover when we hold loosely.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” – Ephesians 2:8