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     We are excited to share with you the theme for the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering, “This Changes Everything.” Our primary scripture will be Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”

Grace is a foundational and distinctive piece of the Lutheran faith. This gift, undeserved and freely given, changes lives and perspectives as people realize they are enough because of what Christ has done and are called into the world to serve their neighbor and share the good news.

Our logo is a visual representation of our theme and the 2018 Gathering experience. It incorporates the coming together of a mosaic to reflect the diverse host city of Houston, as well as the idea that we are a church where all are imperfect and incomplete, yet we each belong in – and have an important place in – God’s masterpiece. The cross at the center of the logo is the focus – it is God’s grace, through Christ’s life, death and resurrection, that changes everything for all people.

In her book “Woo: Awakening Teenagers’ Desire to Follow in the Way of Jesus,” Morgan Schmidt identifies the three central desires of teens.

     All youth desire:

  • Someone to become

  • Somewhere to belong

  • Something to do [that changes the world]

     Throughout the 2015 Gathering and the evaluations and conversations that followed, we heard our young people echo these desires again and again. As young people desire and struggle to find someone to become, somewhere to belong and something to do, the Gathering seeks to be a ministry that helps define some of that or at least open up pathways of discovery. Ultimately, we want youth to understand the fierce love that God has for them, just as they are, and that by grace, through faith, they have been saved. When young people (or really any age person!) truly claim this reality, it indeed changes everything.

We look forward to diving deeply into this theme with you in the months to come!

     Registration worksheets will be available soon this summer 2017 or you may speak with Robin Aldieri for more information regarding our congregation's enrollment at (860)559-8480. She will be distributing these worksheets toour youth and adults who will attend,. Registration costs are dependent on when you register. Early bird registration, September 15 - November 15, 2017, is $350. Regular registration, November 16, 2017 - February 15, 2018, is $390. Late registration, February 16 - May 15, 2018, will be $440. A $150 non-refundable, per person deposit is due at the time of registration and must be postmarked within the rate range you expect to pay.

Gathering Volunteer Corps (GVC)

     The Gathering Volunteer Corps serves in multiple capacities throughout the Gathering. This can include, but is not limited to, ushering and assisting during mass gatherings, checking wristbands at Interactive Learning and Community Life activities, directing foot traffic in the convention center, staffing the info booth or moving equipment in a Gathering facility.

Eligibility: Applicants must be 19 years old and have graduated and been out of high school for one year by the time of the Gathering.

There is an application fee of $75. If accepted to serve, individuals are responsible for their travel to and from Houston and for their onsite parking if they drive. The 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering will provide:


  • Per diem or catered meals on days of service at the Gathering

  • Complimentary shared hotel accommodations, with check-in June 24 and check-out July 1

  • Travel stipends of up to $200 per person

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