ELCA NEWS SERVICE
July 30, 2009
Lutheran Youth Organization Elects Nicolette Faison President
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (ELCA) -- Delegates to the 2009 Lutheran Youth Organization (LYO) Convention elected Nicolette Faison, Elmont, N.Y., July 29 to a three-year term as LYO president. She succeeds Nathaniel Viets-VanLear, Chicago.
About 200 delegates of the youth organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) met in convention July 26-30 at the University of Southern Mississippi. The LYO is an organization of nearly 100,000 high-school age members of ELCA congregations across the United States and Caribbean.
Faison, 17, is a member of New Hope Lutheran Church, Valley Stream, N.Y., and will attend Wagner College, Staten Island, N.Y., as a freshman in the fall. After graduating from Wagner, she plans to pursue studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) and become a pastor. Wagner is one of the 28 colleges and universities of the ELCA; LTSP is one of eight ELCA seminaries.
Faison said she supports the LYO goal of "uniting the youth and making sure our voice is heard in the church." She would like to see youth increase in their leadership skills and use those skills in the ELCA.
"I have outstanding, young individuals with me," Faison said of the others the convention elected to the LYO board. "They all come from different places, and hopefully we can all utilize each others talents to accomplish what we want to get done," she said.
Delegates elected Matt Wertman, Waynesboro, Va., LYO vice president and Hannah Knauss, Martinsburg, Pa., LYO secretary.
The convention elected "at large" members of the LYO board from each of the ELCA's nine regions:
1. Anna McCracken, Spanaway, Wash.
2. Paul Larson, Roseville, Calif.
3. Amanda Bennes, Bismarck, N.D.
4. Nicolas Pierce Conover, San Angelo, Texas
5. Apu Seyenkulo, Chicago
6. Cogan Blakmon, Anderson, Ind.
7. Jillian Foster, Rushville, N.Y.
8. Molly Crouser, Lancaster, Pa.
9. Preston Jutte, Franklin, Tenn.
"I am deeply inspired by the youth," Faison said, especially from her experience with her congregation's youth group and the LYO of the ELCA Metropolitan New York Synod. Those experiences led her to discern her call to become a pastor.
"I am excited not just for my term but for the future of the LYO and of the youth ministry in the ELCA," she said.
-- -- --
Information about the Lutheran Youth Organization is at http://www.ELCA.org/lyo on the ELCA Web site.
For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or email@example.com