Theme Song Contest


The ELCA Youth Gathering is offering people from across our church the opportunity to submit their original music composition to be selected for the theme song of the 2018 Gathering in Houston, Texas.

Grand Prize

Entries will be screened by a listening committee. One song may be selected for the grand prize. The winning entrant will receive:


Opportunity to Perform Live at the Gathering
Complimentary Registration
Free Lodging
Roundtrip Airfare



When composing your song, consider the following:

  1. Theme: “This Changes Everything” based on 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.”
  2. Subthemes:
    • “In our identity, God’s call changes everything.” Exodus 3:1-16; Moses and the Burning Bush
    • “Through the cross, God’s love changes everything.” John 4:1-42; Woman at the Well
    • “In our surrender, God’s grace changes everything.” Acts 8:26-40; Phillip and the Eunuch
    • “In our struggles, God’s hope changes everything.” Luke 24:13-25; Road to Emmaus
    • “Jesus changes everything. This is everything.” Mark 5:21-42; Hemorrhaging Woman/Raising of the Little Girl.
  3. Congregations from across the ELCA will encounter and sing this song. It should be accessible culturally, musically, and theologically.


The contest will run from February 15 to April 15, 2017. A winner will be announced June 1, 2017.

Songs can be submitted digitally by emailing or by mail: ELCA Youth Gathering, c/o Theme Song Contest, 8765 West Higgins Road, Chicago, IL 60631. 

All submissions should include:

✓  Submission form (also available from under resources)

✓  MP3 recording of the song

✓  Copy of the lyrics

✓  Copy of the sheet music

Songs will not be evaluated on the production value of the MP3 recording submitted for consideration.