The ELCA Youth Gathering for high school-age youth takes place every three years and is about faith formation, worship, study, fellowship, service and play.
It is an opportunity for youth to engage in worship and fellowship with peers from across the United States and the world who share a common commitment and faith in Christ. The next Youth Gathering will be held July 15-
19, 2015, in Detroit, Mich.
Many ELCA congregations see their participation in the ministry of the ELCA Youth Gathering as one aspect of their work to fulfill the promise they made around the baptismal font to raise faithful young people who:
What happens during the ELCA Youth Gathering?
- Live among God’s faithful people,
- Hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper,
- Proclaim the good news of God in Christ through their words and actions,
- Serve and love our neighbors, following the example of Jesus, and
- Pursue justice and peace in the world.
The Youth 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 further discover their call to live and 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. For many young people, traveling to the ELCA Youth Gathering is the first time they have been out of their county or state.
When the question “Why work so hard to gather so many young people in one place?” pops up, the response is really quite simple. We were meant to be together, and we are a church that believes God is calling us into the world — together.
So every now and then, we gather young people and adults together to share their unique stories and to experience the larger story that makes up the ELCA; we gather to be inspired, encouraged, strengthened, connected and sent out to do God’s work in the world — together!