Joani Neufeldt to coordinate Youth Gathering 2022

Mennonite Church Canada’s nationwide youth gathering will happen at Camp Valaqua in Alberta




Mennonite Church Canada is pleased to welcome Joani Neufeldt as Event Coordinator for Youth Gathering 2022 in Alberta.

Amplify: Giving Voice to What We Have Seen and Heard, for youth ages 12-18, will take place at Camp Valaqua from July 31 to August 4, 2022, shortly after the main Gathering 2022 event in Edmonton (July 29, to August 1).

Neufeldt has extensive event planning experience. She plans the annual Charity Dinner and Silent Auction at Interfaith Food Bank. She is also a “lifer” at Camp Valaqua, having been a camper as a child/teen and, most recently, served as head cook. She is excited that Gathering 2022 youth will meet at one of her favourite places.

“I had a transformative experience at a large youth event in 1999 in St. Louis,” she says. “I am excited that Gathering 2022 will offer opportunities for a similar experience in a place that is spiritually special to me, and many youth across Canada.” 

Currently a member at Lethbridge Mennonite Church along with her husband Paul, Neufeldt grew up on a farm near Carstairs, Alta., and attended Bergthal Mennonite Church. She graduated from Canadian Mennonite University in 2006 with a degree in Biblical and theological studies. Recently she completed her second term as Christian Education Coordinator at LMC. She currently lives with her family in Coaldale. Her children are Cayden, 11, and Adeline, 3.

“Having someone like Joani on board is huge for our planning team to be able to put together a successful event,” says Kirsten Hamm-Epp, regional church minister for Mennonite Church Saskatchewan and planning team member. “Not only does she know and love Valaqua, she brings a wealth of both pastoral and event planning experience to help ensure Amplify offers our youth the best possible experience.”

Neufeldt looks forward to leading the Youth Gathering 2022 planning team and bringing her creativity to materials around the theme. She is passionate about youth programming because she has seen how important it is for teens to feel supported as they grow up.

“My own growth at Valaqua has shown how supportive adult involvement in teens’ lives helps them become adults who are committed to the church and other non-profit organizations,” she says.

Neufeldt began her position on Aug. 16, 2021.

(Photo courtesy of Joani Neufeld.)


Media contact:

Katie Doke Sawatzky