Three years from now, get ready because a swarm of 30,000 Lutheran teens will visit and bless the Twin Cities and we will get to be a part of it.
The ELCA Youth Gathering this year was in Houston, Texas. The Gathering is held every three years for teens and those who love them in our denomination, the ELCA, usually for about 3-4 days. When the Gathering comes in 2021, GDLC youth will be able to fully participate in all the activities, including staying in hotels. Adults of all abilities will be invited to help host the event in many different ways. Stay tuned!
Until then, here are some reflections from Rachel James, Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries at First Lutheran, Columbia Heights who went to her first Gathering this year:
“From a first time Gathering attendee: Wow this has been an AWESOME week! Our team, youth and adults, have been so moved and so touched by God.
Here’s what I loved:
– First of all, the Getting Ready pre-materials were a great curriculum for our youth group. We used it all year and they loved it.
– The communication and details planning that went into this event blows my mind. I watched all the webinars and read the blog/website carefully. I felt like I had a handle on the Gathering even though our whole team was newbies.
– All the logistics here went smoothly for us. We had a great Community Life person at our hotel who not only checked us in, but gave me advice and tips. Our Gathering provided transportation got us where we needed to go each day. Our kids were always safe and happy most of the time.
– We *loved* every Mass Gathering. The speakers went deep and were amazing. The music rocked. Getting in and out was a sweaty, beautiful mess.
– Our service day was incredible, mainly because of the engagement of our local partner. Yes we were mostly outside doing yard work and picking up trash, but the learning they provided and the connections to people’s lives and stories was powerful.
– Houston was fun! We explored some neighborhoods, downtown and of course visited Waffle House late at night for the whole H-town experience. I wish we would have given ourselves an extra day to go to the ocean or NASA, but we had some fun adventures.
– The vocational discernment and processing times we has each day were very meaningful.
Not looking forward to our 24-hour straight bus ride home, but I am looking ahead to next cycle of the Youth Gathering!”