In July of 2015, St. Mark will be taking 15 high school youth and 4 adult chaperones to the ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit, MI. Our youth will have an opportunity to engage with peers from across the United States and the world who share a common commitment to and faith in Christ.
The Gathering is a five-day event that begins on a Wednesday evening and ends with a service of communion the following Sunday morning. The opening night sets the stage for the days ahead in which young people may have an encounter with Jesus that energizes their faith and helps them discover their call to serve in the world — locally and globally.
On the days between Wednesday and Sunday, young people rotate through a variety of service learning experiences in the surrounding community. They explore and strengthen their faith by studying God’s word, serving their neighbor, sharing bread and wine in worship, participating in lively faith discussions and broadening their experience of God’s world and diverse communities through travel.
How can you help? However, such an amazing opportunity comes at a price ($19,000 to be specific). That’s where you come in. This year we will NOT be doing the Youth Auction, instead we are simply going to ask that you invest in our youth. When you invest in our youth you are investing in the future of our church. But we’re not going to ask that of you without bringing you something in return. Here are some of the things we’ll be doing for the church in order to say thank you.
- Lent Soup Suppers – Our mission trippers will be sponsoring soup suppers as a thank you for supporting us in general. Since everyone has contributed to the faith experience of our youth, you do not need to be a shareholder to enjoy a meal before our Lenten services. This will be a chance for you to see our youth in action.
- Parents’ Afternoon Out – As investors of any level you will receive exclusive access to Parents’ Afternoon Out. Our mission trippers will be ready to relieve you of your parental duties for up to four hours on a Saturday afternoon and provide your children with a fun time filled with games, crafts, snacks, and even a movie (G rated of course). We’ll hold these events quarterly beginning in March.
- Investor’s Banquet – In August, after the youth have returned from their life changing trip, we’ll be inviting all of our investors to a banquet where we’ll be thanking you with a nice dinner and sharing with you what your investment has returned. We’ll use this opportunity to show off our videos from the trip, have some of the high school youth share how the trip changed their lives, and announce next year’s trip!
We’re not just asking you for arbitrary amounts of money. Instead, we’ve created various levels of investment so you can decide how much you and your family feel you can contribute. Each Investment Level provides a specific thing for the youth and adults on the trip. If one of the levels doesn’t specifically fit your family’s giving ability you can simply donate what you feel capable of.
- $20 – Shareholder’s Investment A Shareholders Investment gets your foot in the door. Although your gift won’t purchase anything specific, it will be combined with others to help provide support for the things we will need throughout the trip.
- $40 – Pizza Investment Eating can be surprisingly expensive, especially when you’re feeding high school youth. A Pizza Investment provides the funds necessary to feed even the hungriest of our youth for a single day on the trip.
- $175 – One-way Ticket Investment Getting to our destination is the first order of business for any Mission Trip. A One-Way Ticket Investment will provide just that! So, whether you’d like to send a high school youth to Detroit or bring them back, when you invest in a One-way Ticket you are providing one of our youth with a safe way to travel one leg of the journey.
- $325 – Registration Investment Registration for the trip can be a barrier for many families. Although you can’t help families navigate the websites, registration forms, and waivers they’ll have to fill out before we take off, a Registration Investment will pay for the cost of registering one youth or adult for the Youth Gathering.
- $600 – Pillow Investment Even though we may have reached our destination, while we’re there we’ll need a warm place to stay. A Pillow Investment will help to provide a warm bed and a soft pillow for 3 of our students to recharge after a hard day’s work.
- $1,000 – Trip Investment If you’re looking for a way to completely change the life of a single youth a Trip Investment is the way to do it. With this generous donation you sponsor the entirety of the youth gathering for a single high school youth.
- $19,000 – Mission Trip Investment Perhaps you’re feeling very generous, or maybe you’re just curious. Whatever the reason, since you’re looking, I suppose we’ll tell you. If you were to make a Mission Trip Investment you will sponsor not one, not two, but all 19 participants in the 2015 Youth Gathering.