Youth Ministry

Celebrating Youth at First Lutheran

The National Youth Gathering is Postponed!

On July 22, it was announced that the NYG was postponed a year. Mark your calendars for our new date: July 24-28, 2022. If you would like more information on the Gathering’s announcement, click the link below.

Setting our sights on the 2021 National Youth Gathering

What is the Gathering? The NYG happens once every three years, and gathers nearly 30,000 high school youth and their adult leaders from across the ELCA for a week of faith formation.  Our time together will include interactive learning, worship, Bible study, service and fellowship.  Through this event, young people grow in faith and are challenged and inspired to live their faith in their daily lives.

When & where will the NYG be? The next Gathering will be held in Minneapolis, June 29 – July 3 in 2021.  Our main events will take place at US Bank Stadium, home of the Vikings.  We will also be meeting at the convention center.

With Covid-19 will it still happen? That’s a great question!  At this time publication of Gathering  material has been delayed as well as volunteer registration.   There has been no official notice of cancellation or postponement.

How will we get there? At this time we are planning on renting vans to make the trip to Minneapolis.  Flying is too expensive.  The idea of sharing a bus with other congregations is a possibility, but cannot be determined until a later date.

When are we leaving? The Gathering begins with opening worship on June 29 in the late afternoon.  With an estimated drive of 10 1/2 hours, we will need to leave on Monday June 28th.  We will make an overnight stop on the way there. 

Where will we stay? We hope to be staying in downtown Minneapolis.  Hotel arrangements are made by the Gathering and are traditionally announced in January or February.  We will not know where we are staying until that time.  One guarantee is that we will be doing a lot of walking during the week to/from the hotel and Gathering locations.  

Life during the Gathering? The Gathering has two partial days and three full days and.  One day will be with our Synod for Bible Study, worship, and fellowship.  One day will be for interactive hands on learning.  One day allows us time to serve the community.  Every day will include a mass gathering, with speakers, concerts, and worship.

Dining at the Gathering? How do you feed 30,000 people at once?  You don’t, at least not easily.  Even for managing our group of 20, meals won’t be easy.  To make this as simple as possible, youth will be given a daily allowance to help cover the cost of meals.  This allowance will likely be in the range of $30-40 per day.  Does this seem high?  It’s not! Remember, we will be paying big city prices and there isn’t a McDonalds on every corner. Recommendations are for us to budget $7-10 for breakfast and lunch and $12-15 for dinner.  Throw in a midday snack and it all adds up.  In the end, all your meals will be provided for the Gathering.

After the Gathering? One of the blessings that comes with any Gathering is the opportunity to explore a city unlike the place we all call home.  Minneapolis is full of rich traditions and has plenty of things to do.  As always, our mission trips have tried to include something as a fun “reward” for a successful trip.  We hope to do the same with the NYG.  Another added blessing or challenge is that the Gathering is over around noon on July 3.  Let’s be honest, who wants to be on the road for the 4th?

At this point, we will plan on staying July 3 and July 4 to take in some of the sights and sounds of Minneapolis.  Tentative plans include spending the afternoon of July 3 at the Mall of America.  You can choose to do some shopping, explore 4 floors of America’s largest mall, sit and people watch, or enjoy their indoor amusement park.  Whatever you decide, the cost of your afternoon will be on you. 

Our tentative plans for July 4th may take us to ValleyFair, one of Cedar Point’s sister amusement parks.  There are a few connections that we are trying to make to get free or highly discounted tickets.  If we don’t end up at ValleyFair, we could take in the home of Prince, the beach, and celebrate America’s Birthday with Fireworks.  Whatever we plan, these expenses are built into our budget. 

When are we coming home? At this time, we will plan on long hauling it home and arriving late in the day on July 5th.

How much will this cost? The Gathering doesn’t come cheap.  By the time you add in registration, travel, hotels, meals, and a few extras the Gathering costs just over $1250 per person.  Fortunately, we’ve done a great job preparing for 2021 with several years of advance fundraising.  We are well on our way to having the Gathering paid for without impacting the church budget.  This is good news!  While this is good news, it doesn’t fully answer the question you are asking, “how much is it going to cost for me to go?”

$550 per person

That might sound like a lot, but remember this includes everything except your souvenirs and offering. (Yes there is an offering at the Gathering!)  Now, lets make this a little more interesting.  You can attend the Gathering for as little as:

$450 per person

That’s right, you can save $100 per person by living out congregation’s mission statement, “We are called to go out, and care for all!”  As we care for all, our youth are challenged to 20 hours of mission and service.  10 hours within the congregation.  10 hours within the community.  For each hour you work, you can save $5 off of the total cost of the trip, up to $100.  Volunteer forms will need to be submitted and can be picked up at a later date.  If you volunteer, and someone wants to pay you, please consider that as an additional gift to the Youth Group and not a gift to cover your own expenses.

How do we register? Traditionally, early registration opens up in mid September.  At this point, that is likely to be delayed.  However, we remain hopeful that everything will still happen as planned.  For now, stay tuned.  More information, dates, and times for registering will be announced for the Gathering as soon as we know them.

While we wait, this provides you a chance to plan in advance.  When registration opens you will be asked to make a $150 non refundable deposit.  Payment plans will be established for the remaining balance.  Did you say non refundable?  Yes, that is the Gathering’s policy.  Once we reserve a spot, the deposit is non refundable.  The only exception that we will make would be if we happen to have someone who would register late and be willing to fill your vacated place.  Other monies paid, beyond the deposit would be refundable regardless of whether or not we can fill the vacated place.

Are you excited? This is a life changing event.  It will be one you will not regret attending.  Prayerfully consider making this a part of the summer of 2021! Stay tuned for more information as it comes, and lets pray that we have the chance to celebrate and share in this wonderful blessing together!

Be sure to check out: www.elca.org/youthgathering For more information.

Our 2019 Trip to Lutheran Memorial Camp
for Servant Week

Nine of our youth braved life outdoors during the week of June 16 – 21, 2019 at Lutheran Memorial Camp. It was a wet and rainy week, but we made the best of it. Our adventures took us kayaking, rock climbing, and enjoying God’s natural world, while our service projects allowed us the opportunity learn how to quilt, pull weeds, clean up a nature preserve, and dodge a few rain drops.

Our 2018 Trip to Niagara Falls for Mission and Ministry

IMG_1673
Packed Up & Ready to Go!

18 youth and 4 adults shared in a week of mission and ministry to the community of Niagara Falls, New York during the week of June 3 – 8 with YouthWorks.  It was a humbling chance to be the hands and feet of Christ, serving those in need.  Many thanks to all those who helped to make it possible!

IMG_1832.JPG
Enjoying a day at the Falls!