ELCA Youth Gathering – Recap Video

Here is our Gathering Recap Video. Last night we had a dinner with our investors where the youth on the trip were able to share their experience with the people who provided the financial gifts to make that possible. We’d like to say thanks one more time to our generous supporters!

If you’re having trouble watching the video here, try it on youtube: https://youtu.be/vjGCSdo29Pg

ELCA Youth Gathering – Day 4

Here is our Day 4 video. This was our “Proclaim Community” Day. We were sent out to explore the interaction center, play games, and immerse ourselves in activism projects. The Walk for Water Project is the project that our kids decided to really get involved in. Just from our own pockets the kids grabbed enough money to raise $300.

We also decided to try to get floor seats for the final night of the Gathering, you’ll have to watch the video to see how it went!

If you’re having trouble watching the video here, try it on youtube: https://youtu.be/1vDRaqsdVx4

ELCA Youth Gathering – Day 3

Although we’ve already made it back safely, we have a few more videos to post. Internet was surprisingly hard to come by and when we did have it, it was fairly slow. So, uploading the videos took a back seat to being with the kids.

With all that out of the way, here is the Day 3 Video. Today was “proclaim story” day. This was our opportunity to meet and worship with the other youth in the Southeastern Iowa Synod. We had been running on very little sleep so enjoy all the awesomely fun things all the kids and adults do when they are sleep deprived!

Please comment below to share your support and prayers with the kids. I can’t wait to show you what else we’ve been up to!

If you’re having trouble viewing the video here, please click on the following link: https://youtu.be/wgsXjIlwh1c

ELCA Youth Gathering – Day 2

Here is the much anticipated debut of the Day 2 Video! Today was “proclaim justice” day. This was our opportunity to serve the city we’ve travels to. Although we had to fight through some long delays, all of the kids were extremely patient and flexible. I’m so proud of them. We only got to serve for two hours, but the kids made up for it by working extremely hard.

Please comment below to share your support and prayers with the kids. I’ll be reading your comments to them at 10:30pm central time…so get your comments in early! Can’t wait to show you what else we’ve been up to!

If you’re having trouble viewing the video here, watch it on youtube: https://youtu.be/SDhAv-F0Gao

ELCA Youth Gathering – Day 1

Well after a 24 hr delay due to some faulty internet at the hotel, this is the video from our first day at the ELCA Youth Gathering!

We met with St. John’s Lutheran Church and Capitol Hill Lutheran Church at 10pm on the 14th and then spent the night traveling to Detroit. When we arrived in Detroit we were able to get our first taste of the Gathering’s over 30,000 people and what opportunities worshiping together.

Be on the look out to see Julian compete in the first day of the Gathering’s Version of the Voice

Please comment below, and I will read those comments to the youth later on tonight!

If you’re having trouble viewing the video above you can watch it directly on youtube by clicking the link: https://youtu.be/PMMczrpydFs

I hope to have yesterday’s video available later today (I’ll be using a different internet option).

Youth Gathering Preparations: Racism in Our Lives

We’re getting so close to leaving for our trip! This week we focused on understanding a few different levels of racism and the roles they can play in our lives, communities, and the world around us. We watched this video that helped to explain the privilege that can be associated with racial and socioeconomic discrimination. Continue reading for a brief recap of what we learned! Continue reading

Youth Gathering Preparations: Confronting Evil

Racism in America is a deep-seated evil that holds both the victims and the perpetrators in bondage. Liberation comes when we proclaim the redeeming work of Christ as it convicts us of our sin and simultaneously absolves us. We explored the reality of racism in Detroit in order to arrive at a place that will allow us to enter Detroit with the type of awareness and humility that are necessary to be with and for the people of Detroit.

This week we read through some articles and explored their relation to the theology of the cross. Our work can be found in the courtyard area of the worship center on the bulletin board. Please take an opportunity to explore the interactive display we have there. Continue reading

Youth Gathering Preparations: Detroit’s Past, Present, and Future

Before we take off, we had to introduce the history and culture of Detroit (including history, cars, music, food, business and landmarks) in preparation for the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering. The knowledge we gained will enable us to visit Detroit with a deeper appreciation for and understanding of the city and what it has to offer.

Detroit has a rich past and a promising future. Before we enter into Detroit as guests, it is important for us to spend some time learning about Detroit’s past, present and future. Detroit received a lot of bad press in the last few years. The media has failed to tell the stories of innovation and hopefulness at work among those who live and work in and around Detroit. They also have failed to lift up and honor the rich and vibrant past of Detroit, a past that brings the city’s people great pride. Continue reading

Youth Gathering Preparations: Theologians of the Cross

As we continue to prepare ourselves for the Gathering, the youth and adult leaders took some time to discover the Theology of the Cross and why that is important to us as Lutheran Christians.

We learned first that God in the person of Jesus Christ is calling us to live by:

  • faith, not by sight
  • hope, not consummation
  • love, not power

Once we explored these ideas, we discovered that they came as a product of four acts of God through Christ’s death on the cross:

  • Solidarity: God actively pursues solidarity with humanity in Christ.
  • Suffering: Christ intentionally suffers with, for and because of us.
  • Reality: Christ’s solidarity and suffering exposes the reality of evil.
  • Resurrection: In Christ, God redeems, bringing new life from suffering and death.

We saw that as we travel to Detroit this summer, and throughout the rest of our lives, we are called to be theologians of the cross. Continue reading

Youth Gathering Preparations: The Gospel of Mark

Youth Gatherings typically have a theme verse. However, in 2015, the ELCA has decided to use a theme book, Mark! In our first preparation meeting students took time looking through the book of Mark and developing their Kingdom Specs (a way of looking at the world through the lenses of Jesus and Discipleship using the experiences of the people throughout the Gospel.

Continue reading