The LCMS Young Adult Ministry website, www.lcmsyam.org, has a new look and a number of new features.
Jessica Bordeleau, a consultant for LCMS Young Adult Ministry (which is with the Synod’s Office of National Mission [ONM]), outlined for Reporter how the site changed Nov. 5. Her work for the ONM is through its Youth Ministry office.
“In addition to the new graphic design,” she wrote via email, the website “has an updated layout, a streamlined content and organizational [flow], a significant increase in the use of images and new content that includes videos, devotions, a section of recommended links, FAQs and weekly highlights.”
She also pointed out that the site features podcasts of interviews with young adults, authors of young-adult ministry resources and those active in young-adult ministry. And it offers young adults Bible studies and devotions, social-networking opportunities, information about upcoming volunteer events, media reviews, and links to other resources, as well as “advice and tips for those starting ministries designed to serve young adults.”
Bordeleau stressed that “the majority of contributors to the site are young adults volunteering their time.” For example, she said its blogs are “written by young adults sharing their struggles and joys as Lutheran Christians in a sea of nonbelieving peers.” The site “will continue to encourage readers to leave comments and start discussions by including Facebook reply boxes below each post,” she added.
The website has been online since 2007, when it was created by a task force of young adults assembled by LCMS Youth Ministry.
“Young Adult Ministry in the Synod strives to empower young adults in their 20s and early 30s to be leaders of faith in their communities and congregations,” Bordeleau told Reporter. “It also endeavors to equip and encourage congregations to reach out to this generation that has been largely unchurched since childhood and is searching for answers that can only be found in Christ.”
She said that according to a recent “National Study of Youth and Religion,” some 80 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 “are completely ambivalent about religion. “If such young adults saw the love of Christ in their peers, perhaps their ambivalence might turn to interest,” Bordeleau said, adding that the website is meant to be a platform for young adults to “reflect Christ’s love.”
She said that such love also was evident at an LCMS Young Adult Servant Event last spring in St. Louis that attracted 60 young-adult volunteers from as far away as California. For that servant opportunity, young adults facilitated two events designed to introduce immigrant families to The Peace Center — a resource center operated by Christian Friends of New Americans, an LCMS Recognized Service Organization. Specifically, young adults cleaned and painted the center and led a family night and field day for immigrant children.
That servant event was made possible with a Burst Project Grant from Wheat Ridge Ministries.
“Every aspect of the event was carried out by young-adult volunteers,” said Bordeleau, who added that another recent LCMS Young Adult Servant Event in California benefited the area’s homeless population.
“For a generation not known for its religious fervor, these groups beat the odds,” she said.
Posted Nov. 21, 2012