Update regarding the 2022 ELCA Youth Gathering (September 2021)

After much prayer and conversation, Gathering leadership have decided to require full COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative test result (likely 72 hours before arrival) to attend the 2022 Gathering, MYLE and the tAble. As of now, leadership have not decided on any additional safety measures. We commit to continued transparency in the decision-making process and will release information as it becomes available regarding additional safety measures or adjustments to key dates. Any updates will be communicated via Gathering social media, gNews and our website.

Frequently Asked Questions around COVID-19 & the Gathering

Please note that some of these responses may change. Gathering leadership continues to listen to research and advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, public health officials, professional meeting and event planner organizations, as well as our host city and major venues. Please stay tuned to Gathering communications for future updates.

 

The science has shown that these precautions will help limit the spread of COVID-19 as communities gather. We feel this is the best way to move forward with a safe event next summer.
We are still working to determine the best approach for safely collecting and verifying this data. We anticipate that participants will need to provide this information starting in late spring 2022.
We will follow recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention related to booster shots. We expect to know more in late winter or early spring 2022.
All youth and adult participants, volunteers, Interactive Learning partners, team members and staff.
We don’t anticipate this policy changing. Given the current information being provided by medical professionals, we feel that requiring a full COVID-19 vaccine or negative test result to attend will help us create the safest event that we possibly can next summer.
Unfortunately, no. Full refunds will only be granted if the Gathering is canceled.
Full vaccination means that, at least 14 days before the event, you have received:
  • Your second dose of an FDA- or WHO-approved two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, or
  • Your single dose of an FDA- or WHO-approved single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.
This information might be adjusted as we learn more about booster shots and CDC guidance on what is considered full vaccination.
Thank you for taking an important step to protect your health by getting vaccinated. Unfortunately, we are observing CDC guidelines that full vaccination is achieved only two weeks after your final dose. In your situation, you would also need to produce a negative COVID-19 test result to attend.
Proof of a full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result will be required to attend the 2022 Gathering, MYLE or the tAble. We strongly encourage everyone to talk with their health care provider and get vaccinated if they are able. The science shows that the vaccine is an effective and helpful way to limit the spread of COVID-19. To learn more about the vaccine or how to get vaccinated, please visit: https://www.vaccines.gov/.
Masks are an important tool in controlling the spread of COVID-19. It is still too early to determine if masks will be required onsite at the Gathering. Final decisions will adhere to CDC and local health department guidelines.
Because participants attend the ELCA Youth Gathering as congregational groups averaging 13 people, with total attendance around 30,000, physical distancing as we know it today (6ft between persons) would be impossible to accommodate. If the current guidelines on distancing are still in effect in July 2022, the Gathering would likely be cancelled, or the event would be altered to something very different from Gatherings in recent cycles.
The COVID-19 pandemic has evolved rapidly since its global emergence in 2019. We anticipate it will continue to evolve in the coming months. Gathering leadership is continuously monitoring the pandemic and guidance for events of our size, but confident that we will have a safe Gathering next summer in Minneapolis. Any updates will be communicated via Gathering social media, the gNews and our website. We pledge to be as transparent as possible with the decision-making process.
As we’ve learned more about COVID-19, we’ve also learned more about best practices for COVID-19 safety measures at events. We will use local, state, and federal public health guidelines to inform our decisions as they relate to necessary precautions needed to control the spread of COVID-19 onsite. We aren’t entirely sure what those guidelines will be for summer 2022, but we imagine they may include those precautions you are already familiar with today: lots of handwashing, mask wearing, etc. To learn more how the City of Minneapolis is working to ensure all guests are safe during this time, visit: https://www.minneapolis.org/covid-19-health-safety/.
If the Gathering is cancelled, deposits will be refunded, with the option for congregations to donate some or all of those funds towards the ministry of the Gathering or to forward their deposit to the 2024 Gathering.
There are no plans to alter the housing process at this time. Congregations are required to stay at their assigned hotel to participate in the 2022 Gathering. For more information about housing, visit the Registration and Housing FAQs on the Gathering website: https://elca.org/YouthGathering/FAQs#registration-and-housing.