Frequently Asked Questions

This section contains a wealth of information related to the ELCA Youth Gathering. For COVID-19 related questions, visit the COVID-19 page for up-to-date information from Gathering leadership. If you cannot find an answer to your question, make sure to contact

Please know that this has been a topic that Gathering staff and leadership have talked about extensively. Ultimately, we decided to not change the age range for the 2022 Gathering for several reasons:

  • 2021 graduates would be adults, meaning that they would be developmentally in a different place than 8th-12th graders at the time of the Gathering.

  • These individuals would have likely entered the work force and/or college, making it difficult for them to fully participate in the Getting Ready Materials, bonding with their congregational group and fundraising efforts prior to the event.

  • As participants who are legally adults and out of high school, it would also present many challenges around housing to follow best practices and safe haven guidelines.

We understand that this is not the ideal situation and hope that those not able to attend as a youth participant will consider participating as a young adult volunteer, an experience they would likely relate to more. We have been told time and time again that volunteering for the Gathering is just as life changing.

Our next Gathering (after 2022) will be in 2024.
A lot of research, discussion and prayer! The process begins about six years before the actual Gathering. The event requires ample programming and convention space on the desired summer dates, proximity of programming to a convention center, a stadium for the mass gatherings, cooperative city officials, public transportation and a major airport nearby.
Minneapolis is a great host city and has excellent venues for all our Gathering program needs. It’s a diverse, Lutheran-dense city, nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River in the heart of the Midwest. This will also be the city’s first time hosting an ELCA Youth Gathering! There is a lot to learn from Minneapolis, and we can’t wait to welcome you there in 2022.
Youth who are in 8th to 12th grade at the time of registration (Fall 2021) are eligible to attend. Adult leaders must be at least 21 at the time of the Gathering. The recommended ratio is one adult for every seven youth.

We encourage our youth that are not eligible to attend the 2022 Gathering as a participant to look into our unique volunteer opportunities for young adults.
No. Adult leaders are asked to not bring their infants, toddlers or young children to the Gathering. Gathering venues and programs are for registered participants only, and others will not be admitted. The Gathering, MYLE, and the tAble are created as faith formation events for youth in grades eight through 12 and their adult leaders.
Most hospitals ask for the insurance holder’s Social Security number when a patient is admitted to the emergency room. The Gathering does not collect medical release forms, but primary leaders must be able to provide a copy for any participant registered with their congregation if requested by Gathering volunteers or staff, or medical professionals. The Social Security number section is not required for you to participate in Gathering programming, but all other areas of the medical release form must be completed.
No. The Gathering has a no-firearms policy that applies to all volunteers and participants, without exception. We work with our host venues and local authorities to make sure that thorough security measures are in place, including the presence of on- and off-duty police officers and additional security personnel.
Early Bird Registration: Sept. 22, 2021 through Nov. 21, 2021, $350
Regular Registration: Nov. 22, 2021 through Jan. 21, 2022, $390
Late Registration: Jan. 22, 2022 through May 22, 2022, $440

A $150 nonrefundable, per-person deposit is due at registration and must be cleared within the date range for the rate you expect to pay.
There are three volunteer opportunities: Gathering Volunteer Corps (GVC), Servant Companions and Local Volunteers. See the “Volunteer” page under the “Attend” tab for more information. Please note that volunteers apply to serve at the Gathering and that not all applicants will be approved.
Registration will be live and online starting September 22, 2021. Participants register as congregational groups, with one adult serving as the primary adult leader. The primary adult leader is the organizer for the group, receiving communications from the Gathering about housing, payments and any other relevant information.
Each congregation in the ELCA has a unique, five-digit ID number that must be used to register for the Gathering. To obtain your congregation’s ID number, ask your pastor or other church staff, or contact the Gathering office.
Yes! Limited funds are available to offset the registration fees. Please see the financial assistance section of our website under the “Attend” tab.
We strongly encourage congregations to register under their own individual ID number. This is important for a number of reasons, primarily regarding financial payments and tracking. Groups can still travel together, and if both groups are from the same synod, the program rotation schedule will be the same.
No. Each congregation is responsible for providing its own meals, with the exception of lunch on its Synod Day and Service Learning day. There are a number of great options and varied price points available around the hotels, U.S. Bank Stadium and the Minneapolis Convention Center. We are working on providing additional meal options such as food trucks and catered meals. More information will be available as we get closer to 2022.
The Gathering is contracting with a variety of hotels, and they are excited to welcome everyone! Hotel rates will vary, but congregations are encouraged to budget $160 (plus approximately 14% tax) per room, per night. ELCA congregations are NOT exempt from hotel taxes in the state of Minnesota. Room types (king, double/double, suite) will also vary, but for budgeting purposes, you can expect that your congregation’s room block assignment will have rooms that can accommodate an average of three people.
The Gathering assigns each congregation to a hotel during the late winter/early spring of the Gathering year, which is shared via online congregational registration accounts. This hotel assignment will include: 1) the hotel’s name, address and contact information, 2) a room block assignment with the number of rooms your group has been assigned and a bed configuration for those rooms and 3) instructions for how to reserve rooms and submit your rooming list.
Yes. The plan is to assign housing by synod. More information to come.
No. To participate in the ELCA Youth Gathering, all registered participants are required to stay in the hotel to which their congregation is assigned. Congregations are generally assigned to a hotel with other churches from their synod. The Gathering requires congregations to stay at their assigned hotel for many reasons, including but not limited to: risk management, logistics, program rotation, transportation, and agreements with the host city and local law enforcement.
Adult registration costs the same as youth registration.
For information on tax exemptions in Minnesota, we recommend visiting the Minnesota Comptroller website. For any other questions or concerns, congregations must seek their own legal counsel. Please note that religious organizations are NOT exempt from paying taxes on hotel stays or prepared food in Minnesota.
The Gathering works to honor the safety policies and practices established by individual congregations and synods. Generally, the Gathering recommends that adults and youth sleep in separate rooms and never share a bed. Check with your synod for best practices related to safe boundaries between adults and youth.
Since most congregations from each synod are housed in the same hotel (or hotels near one another), this is an opportunity for your Gathering Synod Coordinator to connect you to other congregations in your area that are staying at the same hotel. Congregations will know the number of rooms and room types they have on January 22, 2022, so there is time for leaders to connect before reservation forms are due.
If participants are added and the addition changes the number of rooms needed to accommodate your group, the Gathering may need to move your group to another hotel. We do our best to keep synods together, but those who register after the initial housing process has been completed may be affected. The Gathering will never separate a congregation group into multiple hotel properties.
Most likely, yes! Gathering hotel contracts include a limited number of rooms before and after the Gathering, at the Gathering rate, based on availability. Instructions for adding additional days to your stay will be included with the hotel reservation process.
The Mass Gathering team spends nearly two years scouting potential speakers and musicians. Through careful planning and discernment, the team works to create a well-rounded lineup that will inspire and challenge our young people to live out their faith. This process takes time, however, and typically the final lineup is not solidified and announced until a few months before the Gathering. Check back often for updates and stay tuned to social media for these announcements!
Great! We love learning about awesome speakers and musicians from our attendees. If you submit your ideas to our idea portal, we will pass them on to our planning teams for consideration. They will be in touch if they require additional information.
Interactive Learning invites Gathering participants to encounter God through a variety of learning styles and sensory experiences. All participants have a dedicated day in the three-day program rotation to experience the extensive offerings inside the almost 400,000 square feet of Interactive Learning space. From sports to creative expressions, service projects to quiet meditation, Interactive Learning offers something for everyone.

If your organization’s mission fits with the Gathering’s mission of faith formation in teens and you are interested in creating an Interactive Learning opportunity for our young people, stay tuned to our website and social media for updates on how you can apply to be an Interactive Learning partner.
Yes. Reflecting on your service, learning what others did in the city and thinking about next steps in service to God and your neighbors back home is a very important part of the Service Learning experience.
“Service Learning Impact” is the final part of your Service Learning day and happens at several locations across the Minneapolis metro area.
The activities at each Impact site focus on three questions:

WHAT? What are our partner organizations already doing to serve people in their neighborhoods? What was your experience? What did other groups experience?

SO WHAT? What impact did the experience have on you? What impact did the service make in the community?

NOW WHAT? What will it take for you to make an impact in the community where you live? How will you be an advocate around topics you are passionate about?
Lunch will not be provided by the Gathering if you are participating in the pilot project, so you are responsible for your group's lunch. Some ideas include:
- Bring substantive snacks with you for onsite and grab fast food to eat after your project on the way to the Impact portion of Service Learning
- Order something for delivery through Uber Eats, Grub Hub or a local restaurant that offers delivery
- Make or buy your lunches in the morning and bring them with you
You will drive yourself in your vehicle or take an Uber or Lyft. We anticipate most projects to be within a 30 minute drive from most hotels. You are responsible for transportation and any costs associated with getting to your project site.
Project information will be shared with the congregation's Primary Adult Leader after the June 2022 training.
Yes. The deadline to opt in or out for the pilot project is April 22, 2022.
This will vary a little from project to project, but most projects will start around 8:00am and end by 1:00pm.
The Gathering will provide transportation to congregations that opt in during their registration process. This includes transportation from your hotel to Gathering programming. Several affordable options for getting from the airport to downtown Minneapolis can be found here:

More information about transportation in Minneapolis will be coming.
The MSP airport offers Super-Shuttle-type services as well as taxi and app-based ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft. The Metro Light Rail (Blue Line) is also a convenient (and economical) way to get from the airport to downtown Minneapolis and some parts of Bloomington and St. Paul. More information about transportation downtown from the airport can be found by visiting: and
MYLE and the tAble are part of the overall Gathering program. If your group didn’t stay for the whole Gathering, it would be like walking out halfway through a movie! If you are considering attending only MYLE or the tAble, please contact the Gathering office.
For MYLE, yes and no. A congregational group may attend MYLE if at least 50% of the group is people of color or those whose primary language is not English. If that is not the case, youth participants of color or whose primary language is not English are encouraged to attend with an adult leader and then join their congregational group at the beginning of the Gathering.

The tAble is intended for individual youth participants and their caregivers. Generally, entire congregational groups do not attend the tAble.
Yes. Caretakers will need to register for the tAble for $190. They will not be charged registration fees to attend the Gathering following the tAble.
No. The registration fees for MYLE and the tAble are heavily subsidized. Congregations that attend either event are, however, welcome to apply for financial assistance to help offset the cost of Gathering registration.
We are so excited to share the theme for the 2022 Multicultural Youth Leadership Event is "Made Free" based on 2 Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

The 2022 theme for the tAble is "Limitless," based on Ephesians 3:21 CEV: "[God's] power in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine."