A Message from Pastor Matt

I remember it was a call from another pastor that pulled our fledgling youth group into the wider church. We never would have gone otherwise. And then, when we arrived at that event, bewildered by the scene, it was youth minister who welcomed us in and made us feel at home.

Since that beginning, relationships like these have strengthened our congregation’s youth ministry in so many ways. We’ve found renewal in relationship and power in partnership.

As the church changes and transforms, I believe it will become more important than ever for all of us to do more faith formation cooperatively, connecting with each other near and far.

Locally, those connections include our local camp ministry, Lutheran Retreats, Camps and Conferences (LRCC) and the Western States Youth Gathering 2020, hosted by California Lutheran University. Nationally, they include the ELCA Youth Leadership Summit, the national ELCA Youth Gathering, the Multicultural Youth Leadership Event, and the tAble, but also, critically, ministries like Rescue Release Restore’s Multicultural Youth Leadership Academy and SIMBA / SIMSA programs (we’re working on that local LA chapter!). Partnerships and connections like these are part of the lifeblood for vibrant faith formation and powerful leadership development.

To that end, I’ll look forward to reaching out to local congregations and leaders, to learn how best to support your local youth ministry, as well as to connect our young leaders to regional and national opportunities. Please reach out to me anytime at matt.keadle@gmail.com.

Upcoming Youth Events

Western States Youth Gathering

June 25 – 29, 2020 at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. Left, right, and middle; up, down, and center; in, out, and around; past, present, and future; this, that, and the other; your place in God’s world is anything but static. You know the journey of faith comes with the challenge of the unknown. In the book of Matthew, Peter knows all too well the uncertainty in Jesus request to walk on water. The 2020 Western States Youth Gathering invites you to FOCUS.

2019 Lutheran Middle School Gathering

November 22 – 24, 2019 in Anaheim. The weekend program offers large group sessions with speakers and praise music. Friday night activities include extreme sports, games and much more! Saturday morning workshops will focus on teen faith topics and the afternoon will be spent at Disneyland. Sunday concludes with morning worship.

ELCA Youth Gathering

June 29 – July 3, 2021 in Minneapolis. Every three years, 30,000 high school youth and their adult leaders from across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gather for a week of faith formation known as the ELCA Youth Gathering. Through days spent in interactive learning, worship, Bible study, service and fellowship, young people grow in faith and are challenged and inspired to live their faith in their daily lives.

Director of Youth Ministries

Pastor Matt Keadle was born in California, grew up in Illinois, and studied in Indiana, Chicago, Mexico City, and Seattle before he was called to Los Angeles in 2011. Since then, Pastor Matt has served St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, a multi-cultural, multi-generational congregation at the intersection of South Central Los Angeles and the University of Southern California. Together with this family of God he baptizes children of all ages, lights campfires, learns new languages, advocates at City Hall, blesses bicycles, visits the sick, buries the dead, and is immersed again and again in the ancient stories of faith, hope, and love. He finds the greatest joy in co-creating spaces where diverse people of all ages can discover and claim their voice. He is co-host of The Vinyl Preacher, a weekly podcast exploring the intersection of the Bible and pop culture. Pastor Matt is married to Chris Heisser, a professor of history at Los Angeles City College, and together they are raising twin daughters Sierra and Maya.

 Children, Youth & Family Ministry Newsfeed

Pastor Matt: matt.keadle@gmail.com