2015 Annual Report – Wade Zick, Associate Conference Minister of Faith Formation for Children and Youth

In the past year I have had the great fortune of working and leading an amazing team of colleagues that included Zac Norenberg, Gigi Nauer, Robin Raudabaugh, Jenny Buskey and Jessica Holmgren. Their commitment to ministry excellence is an amazing gift to the conference! I will miss their friendships and commitment to excellence that they have brought every day to their work. I also give thanks for the outstanding leadership of Kim Shaffer (PPC chair) and Lori Alford (Faith Formation Team chair) who have helped keep a sharp focus on these ministries and were partners in this journey from the beginning.

The Ashley endowment continues to fund a wide variety of projects across the conference and denomination. Grants totaling more than $35,000 were made to local churches in micro-grants and mission trip grants in 2014-15. Funding leadership development opportunities continues to be a priority with Cert School for Progressive Christian Youth Ministry, the ConNext Summit for Faith Formation leaders (October 2015) and six “4th Thursday” gatherings for connecting and resourcing of faith formation and youth leaders.

Below is a summary of some of the work we have engaged in faith formation & outdoor ministry over this past year;

Programmatic events for children & youth ministry

  • Two High School Conference Youth Events and two Middle School Conference Youth Event
  • Six 4Th Thursday Gatherings for Children and Youth Ministry leaders
  • Completion of a Certification Courses for Progressive Christian Youth Ministry

Local church and leader engagement

  • 60+ visits with children and youth leaders over coffee or a meal
  • 19 Sunday morning visits with congregations
  • Awarded congregations with $10,000 in micro-grants for Faith Formation and Intergenerational ministry
  • Awarded $25,000 in mission trip grants for congregations
  • Consulted with 10 church boards/committees around areas of faith formation ministry

Pilgrim Point Camp

  • Oversight for projects and expenditures for site improvements to Pilgrim Point Camp
  • Oversaw the implementation of youth camps to be congregation-centered
  • Continued to build a closer relationship with Luther Crest Bible Camp as maintenance & waterfront staff
  • Work with the staff for PPC to focus on programming and hospitality ministry excellence
  • Worked closely with Wayzata Community Church as a primary user of the summer season

Wider church activities

  • Board member for United Church Funds
  • Served as Chair and board member for the Resource Center for Churches
  • Planning team member for the ConNext Summit, an ecumenical faith formation leader event in Buffalo, MN
  • Planning Team member for Authorizing Ministry for the 21st Century held in December 2014

I give thanks for the many opportunities the past 8 years of ministry with the conference has afforded me. I especially give thanks to Karen Smith Sellers for this opportunity and to the other amazing colleagues that I have served with over the years – especially Rick Wagner, Alison Bents, Marita Karlisch, Barb Nilles and so many others. It has been fun and my prayers and hopes go with the conference.