Chicago Mission Trip

Organic Youth is heading to the streets of America’s third-largest city to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need, along the way discovering where God is calling us to serve in our lives.

The Organic Youth Chicago Mission Trip takes place from 11:30 pm Friday through about 9 am Wednesday, April 8-13.  We’ll walk the streets, feed the homeless, work with programs making a difference in urban poverty, and reflect on how we are connected to urban poverty and ways we can begin to make a difference in our everyday lives.

Learn more about this trip right here…

About the TripTrip Commitments | How to GoOrganic Youth T-shirts
Support the Mission Trip: Become a Shareholder  |  Promote the Mission Trip

About the Trip

For this urban immersion mission trip for 9-12 grade youth, we will literally be taking the midnight train to Chicago!  We will be using public transportation for the entirety of our trip, boarding Amtrak at midnight on April 8-9 to head to Chicago overnight.  Once there, we’ll be using the CTA busses and subways (or “L” trains), and we’ll be staying at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Chicago.  Our mission is to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a city of many needs.  Sometimes that means working at shelters or soup kitchens, or buying someone a cup of coffee on the street, or who knows where God will lead us to serve.  We’ll also have times for reflection and learning about our experiences and the issues of poverty, homelessness and social justice.  We also hope to have time to experience seminary life itself (seminary=grad school where people learn how to become pastors in the church), and maybe even visit our national church headquarters, which is just outside the city.

We will be living together in intentional community, and actively pitching in to help make our daily life as fulfilling as possible.  Helping with meals, devotional and journaling time, rest and helping with chores will all be a part of it.  And yes, we’ll have time to explore the city and try out some local things as well!

We really can’t describe exactly our experience, because with service activities you never know exactly what you are getting into until you get there…but more importantly, you never know where God will show up either!

Trip Commitments

Going on the Chicago Mission Trip is a big commitment.  By registering to go (see How to Go below), you are committing to:

  • Participate in the entire trip.  The dates we’ll be away are from midnight Saturday, April 9 (late Friday night) through Wednesday morning, April 13.  This will likely take you out of school, work and other activities for at least a couple of days.  We can write excuses for missed time.
  • Attend two Mission Trip team meetings with a parent to get details and prepare our team and yourself for the trip: the first is via phone conversation (conversations to be had no later than February 10); the second is Sunday, April 3 from 4-7 pm (location TBD).  Note: those that attended the Organic Youth Leadership Team on December 6 have the first meeting done.
  • Fundraise using our Stock Sale shareholder program (see below).
  • Know that you must raise the entire cost for the trip as there is no financial aid to cover you.
  • You must turn in amounts due (deposit, 50% and all remaining payments) on time.
  • Participate in after-trip programs: leading worship for a conference assembly of church leaders on Saturday morning, April 16, and help prepare and participate in the Mission Trip Appreciation Dinner and Presentation for shareholders (date and location TBD).

See the Mission Trip Covenant below for exact details for what you’ll be held accountable to.

Another way to look at things is through this timeline:

  • Now: register, pay $100 non-refundable deposit
  • Until February 10: Mission Trip Info phone conversations (as needed)
  • January 31: registration deadline
  • March 6: 50% of trip registration due ($275)
  • April 3: final Mission Trip Meeting, all remaining money and covenants due
  • April 8-13: Mission Trip
  • April 16: lead Niagara Frontier Conference Assembly worship
  • Date TBD: Mission Trip Appreciation Dinner & Presentation

How to go

To be a missionary on the Chicago Mission Trip, you need to register, complete an information and release form, and sign a covenant…


This Mission Trip is limited to the first 15 that register!
12 slots remain!

  • Registration is how you sign up and pay for an event beforehand.
  • There are only individual and family registrations for this trip, and we’ve got it all online to make it easy-peasy.
  • Cost: $550 per participant.  Thanks to a generous donor, there are limited second sibling discounts of 25% off (4 slots are available first-come, first-served, a savings of $137.50).  A $100 non-refundable deposit is required at registration, with 50% (~$275) due by March 6, and all remaining amounts due by April 3.
  • We can take credit cards online (there is a small online payment processing fee) or you can mail in a check (checks made payable to Niagara Frontier Conference).
  • We will contact you by phone to confirm your registration and to share any details you may not have and answer questions.

To Register, head here to complete the process:

Registrations need to be made no later than Sunday, January 31.

What does the $550 Mission Trip cost cover?

The $550 cost of the mission trip covers transportation (both Amtrak and local), all food, housing, supporting adult staff (they are giving up time and work income to go), buying food and whatever else we’ll need to do our service work, and it also covers the appreciation dinner for shareholders (see below) when we get back.

Information and Release Forms:

  • By completing an Information and Release Form, you help us make Organic Youth programs as safe as possible.
  • You complete a form with contact info, emergency contacts, health concerns, and a covenant and release to sign.
  • Organic Youth keeps this form on file for the program year and uses it to make contact with people in case of an emergency, to contact you with other program opportunities, and to let you and your parents know what our expectations are of you to have as safe and positive of a time as possible.
  • Completing this form is a one-and-done process for the rest of the year!  We keep Information and Release Forms on file and have them at all programs for you.
  • NOTE: only current-year (2015-16) forms are valid.  Older forms will not be accepted.
  • Be sure to sign the bottom of the forms.

Download the form you need, make copies for others, fill them out and bring them with you to the next program or event!

pdf Youth Information and Release Form

 pdf Adult Leader Information and Release Form


  •  We want you to know what you are getting into.  With multi-day trips and experiences, we will encounter people very different from us and be in places very unfamiliar at the same time.  There are certain expectations we need to have beyond those on the information and release form to best serve where we will be.  Likewise, we will be living together in community, and there are things we need to understand about that.
  • A covenant is an agreement that we (you and us Mission Trip staff) will do our best to live out our calling to serve and live within the expectations we have for this trip.

Please print, read and sign this required covenant in order to be a part of this Mission Trip.

pdf Chicago Mission Trip covenant

Please sign and turn in your covenant no later than our April 3 Mission Trip meeting.

Organic Youth T-shirts


Each mission trip participant will get a free Organic Youth t-shirt to wear during the Mission Trip and beyond!  Indicate the size you need in your registration.  Additional t-shirts are available for $10 each (adult sizes S-2XL).

Support the Mission Trip: Become a Shareholder

We’re selling “stocks” as a fundraiser for our Mission Trip to Chicago!  This is a simple fundraiser up front, the work comes at the other end.  The basic premise of this fundraiser is for people to “invest” in our ministry and your future faith journey and vocation.  We sell stocks ($25 each) to people who become “shareholders.”  Shareholders will be mailed a stock certificate entitling them to pray for and encourage you, your ministry and those we will impact. They are also invited to an appreciation dinner after our trip (date TBD), where we will provide the dinner and a presentation to show how their “investment” (read: you) is “doing” (read: tell them about the mission trip).

Selling 18-22 stocks at $25 each will fund your entire trip!

To sell stocks, download and print these materials as needed (each are made two to a sheet):

pdfStock Sale directions
A handy guide to help you best sell your stocks.

pdfStock Sale bulletin inserts
A nice flyer that’s copy-ready to include in your church bulletins or to hand out at church.  If you go the church bulletin route, give your church secretary plenty of lead time to get them in the bulletin for the day you want!

pdfStock Certificate order forms
Use these forms to take down stock orders.  Fill in as completely as possible and turn them in as you sell them.

There is also an online Stock Sale page, head here!

Promote the Mission Trip

We’ve got the goods you need to help spread the word about the Chicago Mission Trip to the masses!  These are downloads that you are free to use to get others up to date on what’s happening with this event.  All files open in a new window.

jpg 2016 Chicago Mission Trip logo
Feel free to use this logo in your own online and print creations to spread the word on this event!  Image is 1250 x 547 px and 203 KB.

jpg2016 Chicago Mission Trip flyer
Here’s a color flyer to download and either print or post online!  We’ve made .jpg picture files of the flyer so you can scale and insert them wherever you want!  Make copies for the youth in your church, post it on the bulletin board, post it to social media…go nuts!
Two formats:  1275×1650 px (for posting online)  |  2550×3300 px (for printing up to full letter-size paper)

pdfChicago Mission Trip detailed info sheet
This sheet spells out many of the details regarding our trip.  It covers some of our trip activity possibilities, dates to be aware of, commitments needed, cost breakdown, and more.