ELCA Youth Gathering
ELCA Youth Gatherings occur every three years. The first Gathering took place in San Antonio, Texas, in 1988. However, the preceding church bodies that joined in 1987 to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America had Youth Gatherings that began in 1895. Youth Gatherings have been growing in numbers throughout the years, especially the last 30 years. Gatherings prior to 1988 occurred in Denver, Colorado; Banff/Alberta, Canada; Lafayette, Indiana; Houston, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; New York City, New York; Seattle, Washington; Missoula, Montana and Miami, Florida.
ELCA Youth Gatherings bring youth and adult leaders together around a theme that is integrated into all program components. These components including Bible study, service, worship, focused study areas, experiential learning, special events, dances and tours.
Planning has begun for the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering. The gathering will be held in Detroit, Michigan, July 15 - 19, 2015. There are 15 planning teams, comprised of people from across the country, who are responsible for the daily programming at the event. These people have a passion for the church’s ministry to rear youth in the faith; they willingly give their time and talents and we rejoice!
1988 ELCA Youth Gathering — Rejoice in the Lord Always
San Antonio, Texas, July 31–August 4, 1988, 21,500 Registrants
1991 ELCA Youth Gathering — Called to Freedom
Dallas, Texas, July 3–7, 1991, 27,000 Registrants
1994 ELCA Youth Gathering — 2 Be Alive
Atlanta, Georgia, July 20–24, 1994, 34,000 Registrants
1997 ELCA Youth Gathering — River of Hope
New Orleans, Louisiana, July 23–27, 1997, 36,000 Registrants
2000 ELCA Youth Gathering — Dancing at the Crossroads
St. Louis, Missouri, June 28–July 2 & July 5–9, 2000, 40,000 Registrants
2003 ELCA Youth Gathering — Ubuntu (Do Life)
Atlanta, Georgia, July 16–20 & July 23–27, 2003, 41,000 Registrants
2006 ELCA Youth Gathering — Cruzando (Crossing)
San Antonio, Texas, July 5–9 & 12–16, 2006, 38,000 Registrants
2009 ELCA Youth Gathering — Jesus * Justice * Jazz
New Orleans, Louisiana, July 22–26, 2009, 36,000 Registrants
2012 ELCA Youth Gathering — citizens with the saints
New Orleans, Louisiana, July 18–22, 2012, YOU!
Meaningful Evolution: The Story of the ELCA Youth Gathering