CHICAGO, IL (December 5, 2013) — Marti Burger, who has served 14 years as leader of youth and family ministries for the denomination, has been named director of Covenant Events.
In the newly created position, Burger will provide oversight for the events team plus lead the design and program planning for major denominational events. She will begin her new position December 15 and will provide transition leadership for youth ministry while a new leader is sought.
The Events Office was created in 2009 to coordinate common services required by all events. “Design and program planning has since that time been led by various administrators and ministry directors—the executive vice president for Annual Meeting and Midwinter, the director of youth and family ministries for CHIC, and the executive director of the Department of Women Ministries for Triennial,” said Doreen Olson, executive minister of the Department of Christian Formation.
“Event design and program planning in recent years has become an increasingly complex field requiring innovation and creativity to maintain meaningful connection with potential attendees,” Olson added. “This newly created leadership role includes design and program planning in order to address some of the challenges of this complexity within our own setting while maintaining a high value on Covenant events as a critical glue throughout our history.”
Burger has guided the last five CHICs, the triennial youth gathering that regularly attracts more than 5,000 people. In addition, she has annually led the planning for Youth Worker Connection and is a member of the design team for the upcoming Midwinter Conference for pastors.
“During her 14-year tenure she has been a beloved pastor to youth leaders across the denomination and has served in a consultative role to youth ministry agencies beyond our denomination,” Olson said. “She has guided us through a significant shift to integrate the family more directly in our youth ministry approach. Recruiting a speaker team, creating a Youth Ministry Network, and designing multiple leader development experiences for youth in cooperation with our camps and conferences are among her key accomplishments.”
Burger said she was excited for the new opportunity. “I love to get to know people and see how God has gifted them and then invite them to serve in leadership roles where they can thrive and grow,” she said. “Events are opportunities to empower individuals to live out their true identity as called by God.”
Burger added, “Working with the CHIC Council and the Connection Planning team are just a few highlights of ministry for me. The best part is that these two ministries will continue in my new role. I am excited to work with others in planning Midwinter, the Annual Meeting, Triennial, and a variety of ministry events.”
A search began today for the youth ministry position, and Olson anticipates someone will be chosen by Midwinter, which will be held January 27-31.
“The time is right for new leadership to emerge,” Burger said. “We have an incredible group of Youth Ministry Network facilitators and leaders. Many of these leaders have dreams and visions about the future of youth ministry in the Covenant. I am excited to see how God will work through this opening to bring youth ministry into a next phase.”