Blog


30,000 Lutherans - the ELCA Youth Gathering was art!

Heidi Hagstrom
08/01/2015

How do you define art? A painting? A sculpture? A fine piece of music? A moving play?

Seth Godin, one of my favorite bloggers, defines art as "a human act, a generous contribution, something that might not work, and it is intended to change the recipient for the better, often causing a connection to happen." According to Seth's definition, the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering was art.

30,000 Lutheran humans acted on behalf of a city that needs champions.
30,000 Lutherans contributed generously – 1 million diapers and counting!
30,000 Lutherans risked meeting in a city emerging from economic collapse.
30,000 Lutherans were changed for the better because they gave of themselves in service to others.

Read More...

A celebration of all of us together

Heidi Hagstrom
07/01/2015

A person's favorite teaching of Jesus is, "So the first will be last, and the last will be first" (Matthew 20:16). S/he wants to know when it will happen. When will she get to "revel in the luxuries that [the 1 percent] take for granted." Apparently s/he thinks the 1 percent are "the first."

Responding to his/her inquiry, the wise teacher wonders if the inquirer is missing Jesus' point. In Jesus' kingdom there are no firsts and lasts, no winners or losers, no chosen and not chosen, no true believer and infidel. "[God's] kingdom," the wise teacher says, "is not a zero-sum, winner-take-all game of 'us against them,' but a non-zero celebration of all of us together." The wise teacher goes on to suggest that the inquirer choose to stop playing his/her game and start playing Jesus' game.

Read More...

We are brought together for a purpose and a message

Heidi Hagstrom
06/22/2015

​"A few [weeks] ago we were dispersed; we did not know each other. Now we are together; we belong to each other." This is part of a longer quote from a book by Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche community, that describes for me one of the beauties of the ELCA Youth Gathering.
​ 
The dispersed will come together in Detroit this summer. They’ll leave knowing that God brought them together for a purpose, and God sends them back out with a message for the world: Jesus is good news! Youth will be sent home with a mission to rise up together as followers of Jesus Christ who build bridges, bear burdens, break chains and bring hope.​

Read More...

Build relationships with others this summer

Heidi Hagstrom
06/03/2015

You can track almost anything these days—patterns of food intake, fatigue, mood, number of steps you’ve taken, heart rate, and even how much REM sleep you got last night. This phenomenon is part of a rapidly growing movement of fitness buffs, techno-geeks, and people with chronic conditions who obsessively monitor various personal metrics. It has been called the quantified-self movement. I was surprised to learn that there are quantified-self communities worldwide that produce international meetings, conferences and expositions, community forums, web content and services to help people get meaning out of their personal data.

Read More...

Rise Up Together - create power with posture

Heidi Hagstrom
05/08/2015

Rising up does not mean having power over but, rather, having power with. Mary Parker Follett, a social worker who in the early 20th century became a management theorist and consultant, helps us understand the difference: "Power over is a traditional relationship in which one person has power over another person, or one group over another group, or one nation over another nation." Having power over involves dominance and coercion, and it usually means the most powerful get their way whether it is best for the other or not. This kind of traditional scenario is marked by polarities — winner/loser, good/bad, right/wrong. In contrast, power with is relational and mutual, says Follett. "It creates new possibilities from the very differences that might exist in a group." Within this posture is the potential for co-creative power where something new can be generated to benefit both, and hopefully all of creation.

Read More...

Surrender to the experience

Heidi Hagstrom
04/01/2015

We are either baptized into Jesus' death and resurrection or, as the Rev. Richard Rohr says in his book "Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi," "Christianity is largely a mere belonging system, not a transformational system that will change the world." The ELCA Youth Gathering has been and will always be a ministry that transforms the lives of teenagers, and transformed people of God transform the world.

Read More...



Find Your Synod
Coordinator

Choose your location:

Your Synod Coordinator:
Email

Find Your Synod
Day Director

Choose your location:

Your Synod Day Director:
Email


Sign Up for gNews
Full Name
Email Address