Renew Retreat 2021

Each year, the youth ministers of Southern Ohio Synod gather to share stories, grow in faith together, and support one another–while also testing their skills on the latest board games and trading jokes around the campfire! The annual Renew Retreat is a wonderful time each year for faith leaders to experience some renewal in their hectic lives and ministries.

The Renew Retreat takes place at Lutheran Memorial Camp towards the end of October. Lutheran Outdoor Ministries in Ohio and the Southern Ohio Synod work together to ensure that this event is offered for free to participants. The 2021 Renew Retreat group represented two ELCA universities, two camps, and more than ten congregations, as well as the Office of the Bishop.

Unique speakers and presenters even offer some great workshops and discussions. In 2021, the discussions included a deep reflection on being intentional in ministry with Pastor Drew Tucker of Capital University, as well as a panel discussion on reflecting your Good News values in welcoming LGBTQIA+ folks into ministry with Ross Murray of The Naming Project and youth representatives of the LGBTQ community from Southern Ohio Synod. At the retreat, youth leaders even had the chance to check in about pressing topics like working with volunteers and effective communication. The group collectively decided that leaders need to “choose their volunteers wisely” and that when it comes to volunteers “you have to use them or lose them.” The group also observed that effective communication is “definitely getting harder” but that “last minute reminders are really working.”

Each Renew Retreat also features an opportunity for any participant to offer up great resources for ministry. In 2021, the group managed to come up with more than 30 resources including books, podcasts, apps, and more. [Thank you to Jen Jarman of Good Shepherd Lutheran in Cincinnati for compiling the resource list.]

On top of all the great learning and engagement, Renew Retreat participants enjoyed the splendor of God’s creation and all the beauty that Lutheran Memorial Camp has to offer. Time was spent together hiking through swaying pines amidst falling leaves, and feeling the radiant warmth of a campfire on a crisp fall night.

We look forward to seeing some of you at the Renew Retreat in 2022.