FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2010
Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) Youth Gathering Combines Faith, Education and Service at the 11th National Youth Gathering
23,000 youth travel to the city to worship, learn and participate in more than 90 volunteer projects
WHAT: The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) 2010 National Youth Gathering
WHERE: New Orleans Morial Convention Center and Louisiana Superdome
WHEN: July 17-21, 2010
DETAILS: The LCMS National Youth Gathering (NYG) takes place every three years and is the largest event of the St. Louis based Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, the nation’s second largest U.S. Lutheran church body. The gathering brings together young people between the ages of 14-20 to spend time in worship, learning and service. This year’s gathering themed “We Believe” takes place July 17-21 and marks the NYG’s third visit to New Orleans. Previous New Orleans gatherings included “A Time for Joy” (1992) and “Higher Ground” (2001).
The NYG provides young people an opportunity to learn more about God, Christianity, and their Lutheran identity. Over the course of the event, participants will follow three program paths tagged “Look,” “Listen” and “Live,” which will include hands-on activities, high-impact speakers and performers and meaningful learning opportunities. Speakers and topics include sessions on the environment, relationships, forgiveness, faith and more. Each evening, attendees will convene at the Louisiana Superdome for “Mass Events” that will bring together all 23,000 youth attendees and their adult chaperones in worship and celebration.
In addition to the worship and educational components of the event, service is fundamental to the experience. For three days beginning Sunday July 18, 4,000 attendees will venture out into the community each day to participate in more than 90 volunteer projects called “Servant Events” organized into three categories. Environmental events will focus on cleanup activities in conjunction with Common Ground Relief, an organization started following Hurricane Katrina; neighborhood associations, churches and schools; and New Orleans’ City Park. Construction events will focus on matching volunteers with homeowners needing help with home repairs and refurbishing. And human care/outreach events will enable LCMS youth to assist at day camps, agencies working with people who have developmental disabilities and church groups.
The young people and their adult chaperones are also collecting a special offering to bring to the gathering. This year’s offering will support community renewal and reconstruction projects in New Orleans as well as a new LCMS grant program to help youth groups reach unchurched youth. Offering funds, expected this year to reach more than $150,000, are collected from a variety of sources, including donations from participants’ congregations, families and friends. The youth are also gathering items to provide to local shelters and additional organizations in need.
“There is a deep connection between the Synod and New Orleans,” says Rev. Terry K. Dittmer, director for LCMS District and Congregational Services—Youth Ministry. “Our founders arrived in New Orleans from Germany and eventually made their way up the Mississippi River where they settled in Perry Country, MO. Each time we return to New Orleans for the Gathering, there is a sense of going home.”
INTERACTIVE AREA- HALLS: A-F
HOURS: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM Sunday- Tuesday
MEDIA TEAM OFFICE: Room 215-216
LCMS (onsite): Vicki Biggs, 314-556-3829, Vicki.Biggs@lcms.org
New Orleans CVB: Jennifer Day, 773-909-2514, email@example.com; Kelly Schulz, 504-421-0962, firstname.lastname@example.org; Tara Letort, 504-566-5048, email@example.com
NOMCC: Rosalie Mortillaro 504-582-3027, firstname.lastname@example.org
Superdome: Alan Freeman 504-587-3892, email@example.com