Receives Tom Hunstad Award | Heidi Hagstrom Receives Tom Hunstad Award | Read more
ELCA Youth Ministry Network
- Heidi Hagstrom Receives Tom Hunstad Award
Receives Tom Hunstad Award
Heidi Hagstrom, the former director of the ELCA Youth Gathering received the "Tom Hunstad Award for Excellence in Children, Youth and Family Ministry" at the ELCA Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza.
Heidi is currently serving as the vicar of Fields of Grace Lutheran Parish in southwest Minnesota.
From 1997 to 2015, she served as the Director of the Youth Gathering, the largest event in the life of our denomination with over 39,000 participants at its peak.
Erik Ullestad, the chairperson of the Network board commented that: "The ELCA Youth Gathering looked very different in 2015 than it looked when Heidi started.
did the unprecedented thing of having two consecutive Youth Gatherings in the same city - because God wasnâ€™t finished with New Orleans, and neither was the ELCA
allowed service learning to be something that all participants were expected to engage in.
You acknowledged that pre-Gathering conversations among youth groups should be more than fundraisers and packing lists - instead, she
provided resources to equip youth and adults to engage in faithful conversation in the months before the Gathering."
is quick to deflect credit.
worked with a marvelous staff at Churchwide, and teams of hundreds (maybe thousands) of volunteers over the years to make the Gathering what it has become.
And yet - she
was at the heart of all of these conversations â€" bringing her
passion for justice, her
commitment to theological integrity, and the conviction that God was and continues to be present in the seemingly God-forsaken places in our world.