May 17, 2021

Youth Leaders and Pastors,

As we are continuing to adjust and adapt to the public health guidelines and gathering realities, it has been a gift to gather with youth leaders monthly over the last year to check in, connect, and share with one another.  I continue to hear how committed you are to the youth and families in your context, even as you are honest about the struggle of staying connected and deepening engagement.  It is a gift to be in ministry with you.

A planning team recently gathered to particularly discuss this summer's online CLAY event, and how we might be able to surround CLAY with connection and community on a synod level.  Knowing that there will likely still be restrictions around gathering in-person, we're exploring a variety of options and ideas and look forward to sharing more concrete plans over the next month or so.

But there are 2 ideas we think we can start working on now, even as we wait to see what might change in the weeks ahead. More information below.

Synod t-shirt

In talking to others, it seems that one thing we can do to encourage and promote MNO youth and CLAY 2021 is to continue our tradition of having an MNO t-shirt for CLAY.  This t-shirt could be worn during the CLAY event (whether that be in person or virtually)  and in shared photos on social media to show other groups across Canada what the youth of MNO are up to.

We are in the process of designing an MNO t-shirt for all youth and leaders and think that it would be a great way to connect groups from all over the MNO synod.  Over the next few weeks, Lisa Van Dijk will be collecting ideas and feedback about a shirt design, and then will oversee the design/order/distribution of the shirts.  Details are still being worked out, but we hope to keep the cost of shirts to $12-$13 each--similar to previous years.

If you have youth who would like to particularly give feedback and input about the t-shirt design, please contact Lisa ( before May 25.

More information about t-shirts will be shared in June.

National Youth Project Video

The National Youth Project on youth homelessness will come to an end with this CLAY.  If you have not yet hosted a conversation or learning experience with your youth about this issue, check out the resources provided. 

Beyond what CLAY will be coordinating, we are inviting youth to contribute to a collaboration video for MNO Synod.  In 1 minute or less, youth, leaders, parents and others in your context are invited to respond to one or both of the following prompts:
1. Homelessness is...
2. Addressing Youth Homelessness matters to me because...

Watch for information about how to submit those videos, which will be combined to create a communal contribution to the conversation about youth homelessness.
More information and details about both of these projects will be shared in June, along with additional ideas about surrounding CLAY with connection and community as a synod.

We will not have a youth leader check-in in June, but please connect with me directly if needed.  Watch for information about a gathering in July to discuss the specifics of the CLAY weekend as plans finalize.

Thank you for your care of and commitment to ministry with youth and families!

In Christ,

Deacon Michelle Collins
cell: 431-278-5146 (you can call/text me now!!)

Young Adult Ministry Highlights:

  • The May YA Zoom gathering has been rescheduled for June 14. (Meeting ID: 878 3449 6441; passcode: 373801; or use this link to RSVP). We will enjoy some fellowship and games of some kind.
  • Please invite young adults to add/update their contact information through this form:
This is communication intended for pastors and youth leaders sent by Deacon Michelle Collins regarding synod youth & young adult ministry.  As I am working on confirming contact lists, please help me by sharing this email with those who may be interested, and please check with the youth leaders in your context to confirm they received it.  You can email change in contact information to me at
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