When young people step off the bus, plane or van inNew Orleansnext summer, I want them to step into a community of the beloved that operates according to God’s economy of grace. I want them, and me, to experience a community wherein the rules of merit are broken, a moment in time when God is completely in charge for a while.
In our culture we base almost everything on “achievement,
performance, accomplishment, payment, exchange value, or worthiness of
some sort.” * In God’s economy of grace we are released from the
“internalized merit-badge system” that holds...
“So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.”
(1 Thessalonians 2:8) This verse from the second lesson on Sunday,
October 23, 2011, jumped out at me. Youth and adults who attended the
2009 ELCA Youth Gathering could have written that to the people ofNew
Part of the Living Into the Future Together [taskforce's report] http://tinyurl.com/3ad5eyw included the call for every ELCA congregation to have a mission strategy by the end of 2012. This resolution was adopted by the 2011
Churchwide Assembly. It is the responsibility of the Congregational and
Synodical Mission unit of the ELCA, the churchwide unit in which the
Youth Gathering is housed, to fulfill that legislation. I am assuming
that the bulk...
I just returned from a large group bible study at the youth gathering of one of our ecumenical partners. The opening band had the audience of teens jumping in unison with raised-arm praise, singing lyrics about their God being greater, stronger and higher than any other. In fact, most of the songs the group has sung for two days have been about how awesome God is, and how awesome they are in God’s eyes.
When I got back to my hotel room I spent some time in prayer, trying to discern my discomfort with what I was hearing and witnessing. Not that I don’t think God...
One of the Gathering synod coordinators recently passed along questions that she has been receiving from congregations trying to decide if they are going to invest in the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering. Questions like, “Will the stage in the Superdome be different?” and “Will there be a well-known speaker this time?” made me wonder how we can help young people think about how their perspective on the world leads to these kinds of questions.
Is it just me, or does anyone else think those kinds of questions come out of a consumerist approach to the Gathering? Don’t get me wrong; I understand that attending...
Why are we going back to New Orleans? I can’t tell you how many timespeople have asked me that question.