By Rick Mollenkopf-Grill, Synod Coordinator for the 2012 Youth Gathering
The 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans next summer is a mere 216 days away! Our Synod thus far has over 300 youth and adults, and 22 congregations registered and eager to get there! Here's the latest if your church is planning on going (or not) or if you're still on the fence:
Registration for the Gathering remains open through May 26! Registration is now on a first-come, first-served basis, so the sooner you register the better. As for travelling to the Gathering, that's up to you how you want to get there, but there are several churches interested in sharing transportation. Let us know if your group would be interested in "cooperative travel" or if you already have travel plans and would like to share your bus/plane/train/helicopters...whatever! The "Getting Ready" materials, to prepare your group, debut in January. And starting on March 18, you can begin communicating with your assigned hotel to arrange rooming and payments.
Get Gear...or better yet...design it!
You can go to www.oldlutheran.org now to shop online for advance Gathering "bling!" We are also having a contest to design a Synod t-shirt to wear at the Gathering! Here's how it works: Submit a design that incorporates some Upstate New York element(s), plays on the 2012 Gathering theme, and would be able to be printed in a single color. Submit design entries by December 31, 2011 to: 2012 Gathering T-shirt Designs, c/o NFCLYO, 55 Pleasant Ave., Lancaster, NY 14086 or to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winning entry will be selected by January 15, and by February 1 we hope to have the final t-shirt ready to go for ordering for your group.
The ELCA continues to roll with the "Practice Discipleship: the ELCA Youth Ministry Training Project!" It's a series of in-person seminars, online webinars and national youth worker gatherings to not only prepare you for the Gathering, but to train you in your ministry right here at home, right now! The final third phase of the in-person seminars begin next Spring, so stay tuned for details. The online webinars are a series of 7 workshops happening on Sunday afternoons this fall and winter, and will repeat beginning on January 22.
Your church can still support this ministry! There are several ways your church can help make this ministry happen through offerings and donations to various pieces of the Gathering and the causes the Gathering is supporting! See the Gathering website for details.
Get in Touch
There's a ton of resources to get info and be in touch with others about the 2012 Gathering!
On the Web: www.elca.org/gathering
Facebook: ELCA Youth Gathering page
Twitter: @elcagathering, or #cwts12
And...there's Synod-wide ways to stay connected with local people going...GREAT way to find out about travel opportunities!
Facebook: Upstate NY Synod National Youth Gathering 2012 Attendees group
Upstate NY Synod National Youth Gathering (Adult Youth Leaders) group
Feel free to get in touch with either of us as well for all things Gathering:
Rick Mollenkopf-Grill, Synod Coordinator (for Gathering info and questions): (716) 465-1321 or email@example.com
Pastor Justin Johnson, Synod Coach (for Training info and questions): (585) 243-4490 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a fantastic Christmas, and blessings and prayers as you prepare for next summer in New Orleans!