Did You Ever Wonder? ... about the Lutheran Youth Gathering?
This past month the Lutheran Youth Gathering was held in Houston, Texas. Over 31,000 Lutherans assembled there and engaged in service projects, worship, and hearing from a variety of guest speakers.
The next Lutheran Youth Gathering will be held in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2021. The Gathering is held every three years and in past years has been in Detroit, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and almost every major American city.
Before the ELCA was in existence, the American Lutheran Church held youth gatherings in 1979, 1982, and 1985. In 1988, the ALC and the Lutheran Church in America merged to form the ELCA, and the first ELCA Youth Gathering was held that year in San Antonio, Texas.
Speakers have included past Presiding Bishops, but also people from our contemporary culture. For example, in 2015, where the gathering was in Detroit, the Motown group The Temptations made an appearance.
Back in 1973, an All-Lutheran Youth Gathering, a predecessor to our current youth gathering, was held, also in Houston, Texas. That event featured an appearance by Johnny Cash, country musician but also someone who had recorded many Gospel albums.
These gatherings are held to demonstrate to youth around our denomination that there is indeed a wider church, that our congregations are but a part of a wide expression of faith that is the ELCA.