This Changes Everything!
The theme for the ELCA National Youth Gathering is “This Changes Everything.” As Christians we realize that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection changes everything, including us.
The last week of June, 10 of our teenagers and 2 adults will journey by bus to Houston, TX for this once in a lifetime experience. The ELCA National Youth Gathering only happens once every three years, so most high school students only have one opportunity to attend. The ELCA Youth Gathering seeks to make a difference in our young people’s faith lives. Our youth join a group
that totals about 30,000. Every evening this large group of 30,000 gathers together for a dynamic worship experience that includes modern Christian music from different bands and Christian music artists. Messages (sermons) are delivered by teenagers, well known Christians, and other Christians who are making a difference in the world by living out their faith. Worship with 30,000 sometimes feels like attending a concert by a popular musician. One of the incredible take aways from this experience is that all of those gathered together in the stadium are Lutherans and all of them value their faith. Attending this event helps our young people realize that they are not alone in their faith. In addition, they also discover that worship doesn’t always have to look like it does when you come to church at Good Shepherd or any other church that they may have attended.
Along with this incredible worship experience, youth also spend a day in service in the Houston community. These are opportunities to learn from people and organizations that provide ministry and assistance to the people of the area. Each day 10,000 youth are sent out into the city to learn from others and discover some of the different ways God is at work.
Another benefit that comes from attending the ELCA National Youth Gathering is the relationships that develop with others. Our youth (and adults) will be bussing their way to Houston along with other youth groups from across the Synod. Good Earth Village (one of our Lutheran camps) is putting this together. There’s nothing like a long bus ride to get to know someone. In addition,
one of the days is a Synod day where we will be with the bishop and youth from our Synod, talking, discussing and learning from one another. Also, the youth from our Synod are placed together in the same two hotels to further help develop and foster those relationships.
This incredible experience is made possibly by you. Your help and support with soup suppers, coffee houses, noisy offering and more has been helping to raise the funds necessary for our youth to attend. Thank you! Thank you for all the ways you support our youth and help them grow in their faith!
Thank you to everyone for your support, love and care with the death of my mother. It means so much to know that you are being held in the prayers of others. Your kind words and actions have provided comfort and hope in the midst of sorrow and grief. Thank you!
Pastor Krista and family