What is the largest gathering of Lutheran adults in the US? The Youth Gathering. In addition to the 25,000 young people who typically attend a youth gathering, there are at least 8,000 adults. Every 3 years the ELCA puts on a Youth Gathering, and you and your congregation are invited. Pr. Jason Asselstine is coordinating participation from our Synod. If you haven’t talked with him yet, you will. He is contacting every congregation to invite them to send youth and adults. What a wonderful opportunity for congregations, large and small, to introduce young people to a vision of church that is bigger than what most of us experience on a daily basis!
Here’s how the Youth Gathering connects with our Montana Synod Benchmarks:
Meet the future boldly: Can you think of a better way to meet the future boldly than to spend the greater part of a week with 25,000 of the church’s future leaders? Youth Gatherings change lives.
Serve the world, especially the poor and those in need: There’s a reason that the Gathering is in Detroit. We will serve neighbors in Detroit. The day of service is an important component of the Youth Gathering. 30,000 people doing God’s work with their hands is a lot of service.
Deepen faith and witness: Worship, Bible Study, inspirational presentations help connect what we are doing with why we are doing it.
Promote unity: The Gathering brings people from across the country, with different backgrounds and different priorities. But they are one in Christ.
Strengthen congregations: Youth who attend a gathering come back energized. What a perfect moment to invite them into leadership.
Both Pastor Asselstine and I plan to be at the Youth Gathering. I hope you will, too.
Jessica Crist, Bishop
Bishop Jessica Crist
Bishop of the Montana Synod of the ELCA