ELCA Youth Gathering Theme

boundless: God beyond measure

14I kneel in prayer to the Father. 15All beings in heaven and on earth receive their life from [God]. 16God is wonderful and glorious. I pray that [God’s] Spirit will make you become strong followers 17and that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. Stand firm and be deeply rooted in [God’s] love. 18I pray that you and all of God’s people will understand what is called wide or long or high or deep. 19I want you to know all about Christ’s love, although it is too wonderful to be measured. Then your lives will be filled with all that God is. 20-21I pray that Christ Jesus and the church will forever bring praise to God. [God’s] power at work in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine. Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21 CEV

We are bound. Bound by our sin, by the expectations of others, by poverty, by -isms that try to divide us, and by so much more. In a life that often feels as if it has young people in a suffocating grip, we want them to imagine the boundlessness of God: boundless love, boundless creation, boundless forgiveness, boundless invitation, boundless promise. All offered from a gracious and loving God who knows and adores them. All so abundant and endless it cannot be measured.

What are the stories of God’s people, both in Scripture and modern-day, that share the awe and wonder of just how vast our God is? What does it mean, what does it look and feel like to live a life “filled with all that God is”? How can young people find themselves within the boundlessness of Christ’s love?

MYLE, the tAble and the Gathering are unique opportunities to invite young people into a deeper relationship with a God whose possibilities are boundless. Through one-of-a-kind experiences, this ministry stretches and affirms young people’s gifts and calls. They experience the power of the Spirit within them, that frees them to live in the grace of God’s boundless love in Jesus Christ.

Finally, we are excited by the connections this theme offers to our host city of Minneapolis and the surrounding area. Known as the "City by Nature," Minneapolis is an earth-minded city in many ways. The Minneapolis Area Synod also names advocacy around care for creation as a top priority, which would allow us to learn from and support the local expression of the church.

A pdf version of this theme information can be found here.


Daily Themes

Congregational groups will have a handful of opportunities to explore the daily themes throughout their entire Gathering experience. This cycle, our Getting Ready Materials are based around these daily themes and our program teams are hard at work in incorporating these themes into every aspect of the Gathering. We’ve invited six prominent theologians to continue reflections of these daily themes in our resource “Theological Exploration of Daily Themes.”



Ephesians 3:14-21 CEV
Using our main theme verse, we start with perhaps the most obvious of theme – love. God’s love is crazy big, unconditional, never ending and for everyone.



Psalm 104:1-34 CEV
We haven’t spent much time in the Old Testament with previous Gatherings and so we are excited to dwell in this Psalm that lifts up our boundless Creator. So many people experience God to the fullest while standing at the edge of the endless ocean or peering up through the trees.



Luke 15:11-32 CEV
Through the story of the prodigal son – or is it the loving father – we’ll go deep and talk about forgiveness. We’ll think together about our God whose forgiveness never runs out and about the complex nature of forgiveness as humans.



Luke 1:26-56 CEV
God demonstrates God’s nature of boundless invitation by inviting an unwed teen to bring our Savior into the world. God’s invitation isn’t reserved just for the strong or well-spoken or even those who are ready. God invites each of us into holy work.



John 11:21-27 CEV
In the face of death, uncertainty and sadness, Jesus boldly proclaims his promise – that all who believe will have everlasting life. As we go out into a world that seems to bring its share of pain and uncertainty, we lift our heads and voices up to share this joyful promise of our boundless God.