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ELCA World Hunger’s Big Game Challenge 2021!


The Big Game Challenge has kicked off, and our church is racing toward the goal of ending hunger!

While you are cheering on your team and celebrating with family and friends— let’s help tackle hunger together!


From kickoff to final whistle, Team Kansas City and Team Tampa Bay will seek to outdo one another for the sake of the gospel. The fans that donate the most through their team page to ELCA World Hunger by midnight Central time on February 7 will help their synod take home the title of ELCA World Hunger Champion — regardless of the outcome on the field. Whether your favorite formation is 3-4, 4-3, or 3:16, you can send your nickels and dimes to support your team!

Team Kansas City and Team Tampa Bay are currently neck-and-neck and asking for your support! You can support your team by visiting the ELCA World Hunger Big Game Synod Challenge 2021 fundraising page at!

Check out this video of Bishop Susan Candea of the Central States Synod of the ELCA encouraging supporters:


And not to be outdone, the Florida-Bahamas Synod’s Bishop Pedro Suárez is ready to prove that Team Tampa Bay has “the best football team and the most generous synod!”


Be sure to send us your game day photos, and may the best team win – so we can all tackle hunger together! #TeamTampaBay #TeamKansasCity #ELCAWorldHunger


Visit to be part of the action!


(Thanks to Lizzy Croghan at Creative Coworking, Evanston, Ill., for the image of Martin Luther)

Fundraising 101

by: Amy Wagner

The ELCA Youth Gathering offers a great way for congregations to be a part of the larger church. The Gathering can be quite a financial and faith commitment on the part of the congregation as well as the family, but I strongly believe this event belongs on the timeline of each person’s faith journey. With a solid plan in place, collecting the funding for this experience can be both faith-filled and joyful. 

Set a budget and have a plan

Start with a budget. What can the church budget cover? What will you ask families to pay? Know your goals, jot down ideas on how fundraising will play a part in the preparation of this experience and enjoy the process. I appreciate fundraising opportunities where the young people were able to share about why mountaintop weeks like these are important points in their faith journey.

Have a goal, now what?

Great, you know how much you hope to raise from now until the Gathering. How do you raise money? In one word, ask. Mike Ward has a fabulous resource called the $10,000 Car Wash on that changed the way I look at fundraising. Martin’s List is a database of original member-created resources for adults who work with young people and is included in your ELCA Network membership. He believes that through fundraisers, you are providing an opportunity for your entire congregation to be part of passing faith on to young people.

Fundraisers can also bond the group together through working for the common goal of sharing the story of why this event is an important part of the ministry and how it impacts the lives of the participants.

Butter Braids, Car Washes, Dinners, Flamingos, Oh My…

Be sure to check your congregation’s policy for fundraising; but there are many great and fun ways to raise money with endless lists on the Internet; like this one, or this one. You can do everything from butter braids to dinners to Dodgeball Tournaments to flamingoes. 

Another way to raise money is by creating opportunities for ongoing relationships when asking for support. This can be through a “Stock Sale” or similarly a bulletin board of envelopes marked with set dollar amounts stuffed with information about trip participants. In a sense you are creating built-in relational prayer partners. Donors not only get to give financially but they also get to know and pray for the participants by name leading up to, during and following the trip. You can get the details of the basic setup of these with a simple Google search

Thank Donors

Be sure to thank all of the people that helped get your group to the Gathering. This can be done with handwritten Thank You notes before you leave, postcards on the trip, specialized text messages with a photo during the week and/or a special dinner after your group as returned and so much more. There are many great ways to tell the impact of the experience to let them know how they made this life-changing week possible.


Since the 2009 ELCA Youth Gathering, Amy has served as Gathering Synod Coordinator for the Nebraska Synod. She was the Director of Youth Ministries for more than five years prior to serving the same congregation in her current role as Communications Coordinator.

Welcome ELCA World Hunger’s 2018 Summer Interns!


Each summer, the churchwide organization of the ELCA hosts interns for ten weeks. Interns help the ministries of the ELCA with a variety of projects and learn more about working within the church along the way. This year, ELCA World Hunger is happy to welcome Jasmine Bolden, Hannah Norem and Petra Ricekrtsen to the team!

Jasmine Bolden, Hunger Education Intern

Hello! My name is Jasmine Bolden, and I will be the ELCA World Hunger intern for hunger education this summer! Originally from the Eastside of St. Paul, Minnesota, I was exposed to the injustices of the world at a very young age, which helped push me in the direction of the Lutheran church, as well as piquing my interest in social justice. Recently, I graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., with a degree in Social Studies Education. As requirements for receiving my Bachelors of Arts degree, I was able to not only take courses on what has led and continues to lead to social injustices, but I was also able to work hands-on with those in my community who have experienced marginalization and exclusion.

I have participated in multiple practicums throughout the Twin Cities Area and volunteered at the schools near St. Olaf. One opportunity that has greatly impacted me and helped lead me to my position here at the ELCA, however, was Breakthrough Twin Cities. At Breakthrough, I was able to teach English to a group of underprivileged and under-resourced middle school students within the Twin Cities area for the summers of 2016 and 2017. As a teaching fellow, I learned much about myself and those in the world around me, and through listening to my students, I saw how education is so much more than school.  I was able to realize more deeply the inequities present not only near me but throughout the world, while I was also able to see hope for the future.

As I continue to grow throughout this summer with the ELCA, I look forward to taking what I learn and implementing it as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Thailand this Fall. I know that this summer the ELCA is where I am supposed to be, and I look forward to growing and learning with those around me and those within the community.

Hannah Norem, Fundraising Intern

My name is Hannah Norem, and I am honored to be the ELCA World Hunger intern for fundraising this summer. A lifelong member of Messiah Lutheran Church in Cypress, Texas, I was born and raised in Houston and just graduated from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with a degree in government/international affairs, religion and French. After this internship, I will be going to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to attend Wake Forest University in a 5-year joint degree program between the School of Divinity and the School of Law with the end goal of earning a Master’s in Divinity (MDiv) and Juris Doctor (JD).

I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with the ELCA World Hunger team because I have always been interested in working at the intersection of religion and justice. Advocating alongside neighbors experiencing marginalization because of my deeply rooted faith is a skill I have strengthened in college, so advancing the initiatives that ELCA World Hunger has put forth to serve others is something I am interested in. A special part of this internship that I am thrilled about is the ability to spread the message of ELCA World Hunger at the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering. Since my middle-school and high school years as a day camp counselor at my home church, I have loved working with young people, and to be able to go to my hometown and work with young people is a unique opportunity that I am blessed with this summer.

When not at work, I enjoy reading a good book, trying out local coffee shops, and attempting to finish the “easy” sudoku puzzle in under a minute (with varying degrees of success). I am excited to bolster the mission of ELCA World Hunger until all are fed!

Petra Rickertsen, Network Engagement Intern

Grateful for the opportunities which led me to the ELCA, I am elated to serve with ELCA World Hunger as the network engagement intern this summer! Attending California Lutheran University and serving our Southwest California Synod Hunger Team have been great outlets for my desire to accompany people in their mission to live out their purpose. Friends and co-workers know me to be working on several projects at once, whether it be initiating a hunger-focused project with Cal Lutheran’s Lord of Life Student Ministries, participating in an Interfaith Allies gathering, or helping a friend with a filming project. But they also know I’m never too busy to be found on a camping trip with good buddies. I also intern with a fitness and education-based nonprofit local to Thousand Oaks, California, called Fit 4 The Cause  as Advancement Intern, helping them fulfill their mission of making healthy lifestyles an option for people who would like some extra support in their fitness endeavors and who hail from low-income backgrounds.

In my breathing and being time, I will often pull out my guitar, pop open a book, dance around a park, or hang in my hammock, generally milking as much of the California sunshine that I can. I spent last fall continuing my Business Administration, Management and Theology and Christian Leadership studies in Paris. There, I also traveled to both experience new settings and visit distant relatives with new friends. I look forward to the coming Fall semester where I will be blessed to learn from the people of Europe again, this time through Cal Lutheran’s traveling Oxford program. Thereafter, I anticipate graduating from the university next May.

After five summers of helping make camp an open, loving environment for youth through Lutheran Retreats, Camps, and Conferences, I feel more prepared than ever to learn how the ELCA does the same in God’s great world. Thank you for taking the time to get to know me, and have a lovely day!