Mark your calendars for March 15.
March 15 is a big day for all things Gathering. Here’s what you need to know:
- Housing letters will be uploaded to your account. Your housing letter will have information on contacting your hotel so you can make a deposit on your reservation and will provide your rooming lists. Do not contact your hotel before March 15. If you have any questions about housing before that day, please email the Gathering.
- This is the last day for you sign up for Gathering transportation. Please check your Gathering account to make sure you have indicated if you plan on using Gathering transportation or your own.
- It’s also the last day to enter shirt sizes and the shipping address. All shirts added after March 15 can be picked up at the Old Lutheran store at the Gathering.
The Gathering is excited to introduce you to our emcees for the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering! Meet Ben, Joy and Abby. To learn more about them, go to our website. They’re all so excited to see you in Houston this summer and be on the Gathering journey with you!
1 to 7
The Gathering recommends that congregations coming to the Gathering have a ratio of one adult to every seven youth. We feel that having a 1 to 7 ratio, or something similar, helps keep the Gathering focused on being a faith-formation event for our youth. Remember, as an adult leader, you are there for the youth you are accompanying. When registering your group, please make sure you are following your congregation’s policy and keep our recommendations in mind. If your account has too many adults, it may be flagged, and you may be asked to remove some of the adult leaders from your registration.
Mass Gathering webinar
Save the date! March 8 is our Mass Gathering webinar. We’ll be joined by the Mass Gathering team leader, Chris Marien, as we talk about all the fun things his team has planned. We may even have an announcement for you! Please join us Thursday, March 8, at 7 p.m. Central. RSVP here!
Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Thank you to everyone who gave to the Gathering between Jan. 15 and Feb. 15. Those funds are being distributed to our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands who are registered to join us at the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering. If you or your congregation are still interested in supporting these groups, please send a check with “Caribbean Synod” in the memo or specify in your online donation. Please email us if you have any questions or concerns.
The Gathering is working with Transportation Management Services to provide shuttles for congregations to get from the airport to the hotel when you arrive in Houston and then back to the airport when the Gathering ends. The shuttles will cost $20 per person each way ($40 round trip). Sign up by April 27 take advantage of this great offer!
Top 10 tips
- Bring your cell phone. Use the Gathering hashtag #ELCAYG2018 on all your social media. Cell phones are also great in case of emergencies.
- Wear your wristband. The wristband gets you into everything Gathering. If you don’t have it, you don’t get in.
- Know where you’re going and how to get there. Most of the Gathering will be hosted at NRG Park.
- Find food. Besides exploring restaurants around the city, concessions options and food trucks will be available at NRG Park.
- Bring a backpack. Don’t forget that your primary adult leader should have medical release forms and a first-aid kit. Everyone should always have a water bottle and sunscreen. You might even want to bring an external battery pack to keep your cell phones charged.
- Know your transportation. If you registered for Gathering transportation, you’ll receive an extra wristband for bus travel. The bus will provide transportation to your Gathering programming.
- Be safe. Stay aware of your surroundings and travel in groups of three or more. Make sure that students are never without at least one adult leader.
- Plan your offering. Make sure you are ready for our Sunday morning offering and other opportunities. Also make sure you have money to tip your bus drivers, wait staff, housekeepers, and others who help you along the way.
- Pack smart! Pack good walking shoes and clothes for the warm climate. Remember you are representing our church and the community, and dress appropriately.
- Have fun, be fluid, be flexible. This is going to be a life-changing experience, so keep an open mind about what you encounter at the Gathering.
2018 Gathering timeline at a glance
Mar. 15 – Housing Letters released in account
Deadline for t-shirt orders
Deadline to opt in for Gathering transportation
May 15 – Registration closes and all payments are due
June 27-July 1 – ELCA Youth Gathering