Every three years, 30,000 high school youth and their adult leaders gather for a week of faith formation known as the ELCA Youth Gathering. Through days spent in interactive learning, worship, Bible study, service and fellowship, young people grow in faith and are challenged and inspired to live their faith in their daily lives. We will be gathering in Houston for the ELCA Youth Gathering, June 27-July 1, 2018

Synod Coordinator for the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering:

Ellen Rothweiler serves as the Gathering Coordinator for the Southeastern Iowa Synod. Ellen will assist congregational leaders to navigate all the details related to the gathering.

Contact Information:
Ellen Rothweiler
Email – [email protected]
Phone – 515.729.4130

Getting Ready Materials:
Preparation is an important part of your congregation Gathering experience. We know through conversations and surveys that congregations that are diligent in their preparation together have a much better experience at the event.

For the 2018 Gathering, two major resources will be provided to help you prepare. The Official Gathering Handbook: Tips and Tricks for Adult Leaders is available now. This resource was created by congregational youth ministry leaders and is filled with ideas and best practices to help you get your mind wrapped around the huge task of preparing a group to come to the Gathering.

The Gathering’s Getting Ready resources are based on group building, Bible study and faith-based conversation for use with congregational groups before and after the Gathering. Twelve lessons will be developed – nine for use in the months leading up to the Gathering and three for taking your experience home. Eight of the nine pre-Gathering lessons are available now. The ninth lesson will be for use in the final weeks leading up to the Gathering. Because it will contain last-minute details, it will not be posted until the spring of 2018. The three post-Gathering lessons will be available shortly after the Gathering. It is our goal to create most of the Getting Ready curriculum with themes that could be used for your entire youth ministry group, not just those attending the Gathering. Stay tuned for more details!

The Multicultural Youth Leadership Event is a pre-event to the Gather. It empowers young people of color and those whose primary language is other than English to claim their story as a part of God’s story. Click here for more information.

The tAble:
The tAble (formerly the Definitely-abled Youth Leadership Event or DAYLE) is a pre-event to the Gathering that blesses and empowers young people who live with a wide range of physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities so that they might grow as faithful young people who live with a wide range of physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities so that they might grow as faithful, wise and courageous witnesses. The event also gives participants the opportunity to acclimate and orient themselves to Houston and the venues in which the Gathering are being held. Click here for more information.

Synod Communication:
Ellen will be using email as the primary means for communicating important updates and information with primary leaders once congregations register. Also, check out the Facebook group “SEIA Synod 2018 Gathering Leaders” for reminders and sharing posts with other primary leaders from the synod.
Daily Programs at the Gathering:
There are four major components of the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering daily programming.

Each day, youth, volunteers and their adult leaders will gather in the NRG Stadium to hear the day’s scripture text articulated by engaging speakers and Christian musicians.

During the middle of the day, congregational groups will participate in a three-day rotation that includes:
  • Service Learning: a day of service in the Houston metropolitan area
  • Interactive Learning: a day of activities in the NRG Center
  • Synod Day: a day of learning and worship with your synod in a hotel or convention center property. Danny Stone ([email protected]) is the Synod Day Director for the Southeastern Iowa Synod. He will be developing a team of people to plan and implement the Synod Day in Houston for our congregations.

The Gathering concludes with Eucharist on Sunday morning, at which Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will preach.

For a complete schedule of Gathering events, click here.