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What is the Grace Gathering?

The Grace Gathering is a conference that is intersecting with the 2016 Churchwide Assembly Wednesday, Aug. 10 – Saturday, Aug. 13. It will provide an opportunity for non-voting members to experience the ELCA as it gathers in assembly and to prepare for the upcoming 500th anniversary of the Reformation with other members from across the ELCA.       

For more information on the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, please visit ELCA.org/churchwideassembly.


Where will the Grace Gathering be held?

The Grace Gathering will take place in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center at 900 Convention Center Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70130.

Where can I register?

You can register on ELCA.org/GraceGathering/registration-information. The registration page includes questions about any dietary or other special needs, T-shirt size and your top three track preferences for God’s Grace in Action Afternoon.

If I am a Churchwide Assembly voting member, can I register for the Grace Gathering?

No. Voting members will register on a separate online form for the Churchwide Assembly when notified in April. However, voting members and Grace Gathering participants will attend the same programming for the duration of the Grace Gathering except for the workshops, which will happen while the assembly meets in plenary, and the opening and closing sessions of the Grace Gathering. For more information about registering for the many activities associated with the assembly, please visit: ELCA.org/CWA-2016/Registration. Please note the Grace Gathering registration cost already includes many of the additional registration options.

I am attending the Grace Gathering as the guest of a voting member. What do I need to know?

  • A hotel room costs $120, plus applicable taxes, per room, per night at both hotels. You can call the hotel directly to make those arrangements. Voting members will have their hotel rooms paid for as long as they share a room with another voting member. If you will be sharing a room with a voting member, the voting member will need to note that on his or her registration form by registering for a single room and will be charged one-half of the room rate per night (approximately $70).
  • When the Churchwide Assembly meets in plenary, voting members will sit in assigned seating exclusive to voting members. Grace Gathering participants will be invited to sit in a reserved section at during plenary sessions. However, you are welcome to sit together during other events, including Bible study, the keynote address by Leymah Gbowee, and the Friday evening banquet.

Can I bring my children to Grace Gathering?

Grace Gathering is not designed for children and families; however, you may bring children. Children under the age of 16 must be supervised by an adult at all times. To register someone under the age of 18, please email GraceGathering@elca.org.


Are there specific hotels for the Grace Gathering?

You may make your hotel reservation at this time for the Grace Gathering. A limited number of discounted hotel rooms are available at the New Orleans Marriott and Sheraton New Orleans, located across the street from one another. Please ask for the Grace Gathering room block. There will be complimentary shuttles running from these two hotels to and from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center continually throughout the days of the Churchwide Assembly and Grace Gathering. Some evening activities may take place at the hotels, but Grace Gathering participants are invited to all evening programming regardless of hotel accommodations.  

See hotel details on registration information.

Traveling to and around New Orleans

How do I get from my hotel to the convention center?

If you are staying at the New Orleans Marriott or Sheraton New Orleans, complimentary shuttle service will be provided for Grace Gathering registrants daily between the two hotels and the convention center. If you choose to stay elsewhere, you are responsible for your own transportation. There are many hotels within walking distance of the convention center. 

I’m driving to the Grace Gathering. Will there be parking at the hotels?

Valet parking is available at both hotels. The cost is about $45 per day, inclusive of tax. Please note that only one vehicle is allowed per room and vehicles must be standard-sized.

Will there be parking at the convention center?

Parking is available at the convention center. Please note that there is complimentary shuttle service available to take participants from the New Orleans Marriott and Sheraton New Orleans each day.

There are three available lots at the convention center:

  • The closest is the Riverside Hilton, which is next to the Great Hall (the worship space). Parking rates range from $18-$38 depending on the length of your stay.
  • The second option is the Fulton Garage, which is next to Hall D (near the plenary space). Pricing has not yet been set for the facility.
  • The third option is the convention center lot. It is the farthest from the Grace Gathering activities but is a flat rate of $10 per entry.

How do I find more information on all that New Orleans has to offer to visitors?

Information is available at the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau website: neworleanscvb.com/.


Will there be Wi-Fi in the convention center?

There will be complimentary Wi-Fi available in designated areas at the convention center. Due to the number of people in the convention center, downloading large files and streaming video may not be readily available.

Will the Grace Gathering have online resources?

Grace Gathering will have an app available with information during the event. It will be accessible to participants shortly before the Grace Gathering begins and will have up-to-date information that can be accessed before and during the Grace Gathering using any iOS (Apple) or Android device with access to the internet.