Southeastern Synod Youth and Young Adult Ministry


Saturday, November 13, 2021

10am-12noon ET / 9-11am CT

via ZOOM

an ONLINE gathering of all youth (6th-12th grade) of the Southeastern Synod, 

especially those from Tennessee

Register Now →


We will explore what it means to SHARE OUR GOSPEL STORY together by gathering online and learning how God is active in our lives, even when we don't realize it!   

And this is what sets our SOUL ON FIRE!




The ELCA Southeastern Synod is pleased to name Hilton M. Austin, Jr., as the recipient of the Robert S. and Jean E. Graetz Advocacy Award.  Through his vision and tenacity, Hilton pulled together a network of advocates in the four states of the Synod, to organize the effort to be the church in the public square, and to be a voice for those who, many times, have no voice.
He tells his story on his Facebook page, of having gone through an unplanned change in his vocation, when he heard a call to open a State Public Policy Office in Atlanta.  In the first year he was able to host a gathering of other advocates in Georgia, and together, they worked on passing a Human Trafficking bill through the Georgia State Legislature.
As Hilton puts it, “The Lord said , ‘Go, be fruitful and multiply.’”  Fruitful he was. Over the past years the Synod Advocacy Council has been equipped with volunteers in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee, who work on Criminal Justice Reform, Healthcare, Immigration, LGBTQIA, Environment, and many other Social Justice issues.
Due to the cancellation of the 2020 Synod Assembly, the presentation of the award was made in a socially-distanced presentation, by Bishop Kevin L. Strickland, and Pastor Matt Steinhauer, Synod Director of Advocacy, in Atlanta on December 16.  Hilton’s wife, Patti, helped organize the surprise presentation, and there were neighbors, family and friends, who were able to be present to show their support, love, and gratitude for Hilton Austin’s good work.
In addition to the Synod Council Resolution (reprinted below), Hilton received an engraved award clock, and a cash award of $1,000, to be presented to the non-profit of his choice. Hilton chose the Georgia Interfaith Public Policy Center, which he also helped organize, and served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors, as the recipient of the $1,000.
Congratulations Hilton M. Austin, Jr.  Well done, good and faithful servant.
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Robert S. and Jean E. Graetz Advocacy Award Resolution
December 14, 2020
WHEREAS, Hilton M. Austin, Jr. opened the first State Public Policy Office in Atlanta, Georgia; and
Whereas, through his organizing and leadership the first Human Trafficking Bill was passed in the state of Georgia: and
Whereas, his tireless work for criminal justice reform and racial reconciliation continues to inspire public advocacy in others; and
Whereas, he took on the role of Director of Advocacy of the ELCA Southeastern Synod, and successfully developed a network of advocates and advocacy across the four states of the ELCA Southeastern Synod: Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee; and
Whereas, he was one of the founding organizers of the Georgia Interfaith Public Policy Center, and served as its Chair of the Board of Directors; and
Whereas, his willingness to answer God's call to “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God,” has led to engaging, and inspiring, countless others to do the same; therefore be it
RESOLVED, to award to Hilton M. Austin, Jr., the Robert S. and Jean E. Graetz Advocacy Award, in honor of his courage and faithfulness to the Gospel, in establishing a vibrant advocacy program in Georgia and the Southeastern Synod, that will continue for years to come, to provide a voice for the voiceless; and be it further
Resolved, to award Hilton M. Austin, Jr., $1,000 to be donated from the Synod to the non-profit of his choosing.

Mr. Hilton Austin, Ms. Patti Austin, with framed resolution

Bishop Kevin Strickland, Mr. Hilton Austin, Ms. Patti Austin, Rev. Matt Steinhauer

ALL TENNESSEE 2020 - November 14

For all youth in 6th through 12th grades


MORNING SESSION: on your own, in your household, or with your youth group (if you are gathering in-person, physically distanced, of course). Suggested start time is 10:00am EST / 9:00am CST.

AFTERNOON SESSION: we gather via ZOOM at 3:00-4:30pm EST / 2:00-3:30pm CST

CONCERT WITH RACHEL KURTZ: after our afternoon session, Rachel Kurtz will join in our ZOOM call to lead a concert!!!

So cool! So excited!

PLUS, we get to reveal the theme that SESLYO developed for our 2020-2021 youth events for the synod...Accept.  Embrace.  Spread Grace.

Cost?  FREE, since this event is a hybrid event, with part in-person / part-online

Who Can Come?  This gathering is for 6th-12th graders from congregations in the WHOLE SOUTHEASTERN SYNOD,

but especially for the Lutherans and friends of TENNESSEE. ALL are welcome.

This year, we are taking registrations on an INDIVIDUAL BASIS, NOT through a congregational registration.

To see information from prior years, scroll down...

ALL TENNESSEE 2019 - November 9-10

Check out the pictures from 2019 All TN HERE

All TN 2019 took place at Trinity LC, Tullahoma, TN


122 youth and adults met November 10 & 11 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hixson, Tennessee for All Tennessee.  During the event youth from across Tennessee gathered to learn more about the "GODISNOWHERE" theme by participating in different activities throughout Saturday afternoon.  Youth looked at where God was through an interactive Stations of the Cross activity, they also got to ask Pastor Ed Myers and Pastor Katherine Museus any question they wanted to ask, they learned about how we can be God's hands in the midst of disasters through the work of Lutheran Disaster Relief and put together hygiene kits for Lutheran World Relief.  To finish out their service that day they moved mulch on to the church's playground.  Worship started with a group of youth from Christ Kiswahili Lutheran Mission leading in song and during the confession participants were invited to take a piece of string to represent their confession and tie it on nails that formed "GODISNOWHERE" - a powerful way to see that God comes to us in the midst of our brokenness and as we communed together we saw God come once again in the body and blood of Christ. Special thanks to the volunteers of Trinity Lutheran Church for their hospitality and meals, as well as the ALL Tennessee planning team for their hard work putting it all together.