Join #CallChangesEverything

Stories to share

For the next two months, we’ll be asking for your youth’s reflections and stories to share on the big screen at the Gathering. Every two weeks we’ll have a new prompt to reflect on. Submit your videos on Instagram by using the assigned # or DMing the Gathering (@ELCAGathering). Please save the videos! If yours is chosen, we will DM you with instructions on how and where to send your video.


  • Youth featured must be in 8th-12th grade.
  • Videos should be 3-10 seconds long.
  • Post in the identified timeline
  • Use listed #s.

March 10-24, we’re focusing on our sub theme for June 27 based on Exodus 3:1-16, Moses and the burning bush – God’s Call Changes Everything: “In our identity, God’s call changes everything.” Share with us about your identity and use #ELCAYG2018 #CallChangesEverything.


March 15 reminder

Just a reminder that March 15 is approaching, and there are quite a few things you should be aware of:

  • Housing letters will be uploaded to your account. If you have any questions about housing before March 15, please email the Gathering.
  • This is the last day for you to sign up for Gathering transportation.
  • This is the last day to enter shirt sizes and the shipping address for your Service Learning shirts. All shirts added after March 15 can be picked up at the Old Lutheran store at the Gathering.

Mass Gathering webinar

On March 8, Mass Gathering team leader Chris Marien led us through his webinar about what his team has been working on for the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering. If you weren’t able to join us, please watch the recording available on our website or Facebook page. If you have any unanswered questions, please email us. Make sure you sign up for our next webinar, April 12 at 7 p.m. Central, on our Service Learning programming!

Gathering congregational meals

Take the stress out of worrying about dinner during the ELCA Youth Gathering! Skip the lines and reserve your spot at our nightly dinners today! Meals are available Wednesday through Saturday and begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. The cost is $26 per person. To see the available meals and sign up, please fill out this form. Please note that space is limited. Filling out this form does not guarantee a meal. You will receive a confirmation email from the Operations Team with payment and other details IF there is room for the day or days you have chosen. Please, only select the days you are committed to purchasing. Charges for this meal will be added to your Gathering registration balance and will be due May 15.

Airport shuttle

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!

Gathering rotation tracks

Congregational groups will be assigned to a rotation schedule to experience Interactive Learning, Synod Day and Service Learning. Each day will have a slightly different schedule but will end at NRG Park so your group can participate in Community Life activities and our nightly Mass Gathering. All rotation groups have been assigned by the synod and can be found on our resources page. Once you know your rotation group, please refer to our schedule to get a sense of what your week at the Gathering will be like. Please email the Gathering if you have any other questions or concerns.

What is the “This”?

The Gathering theme offers a great opportunity for everyone involved to reflect on Ephesians 2:8 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”

One day I was in a store and was wearing my grey pullover that has the Gathering logo, “This Changes Everything,” on it. As I checked out, the clerk asked me, “What does that mean? What changes everything?” For a moment, I was shocked to be asked. There was a line of people behind me. I felt some pressure. Did she have an answer in mind? Was she testing me? Was she really curious? Was this an opportunity? Would she understand if I told her or call me crazy or ask questions? How do you answer that question?

In response, I said, “God – God’s love, grace and the gift of faith because of Christ.” She said, “I was hoping that was the answer.” It felt a little like I had passed a test, but it also felt like she was hoping for that good news.

I don’t know her story but we know God’s story and the gift of faith and grace God has given us through Christ. This gift of grace does have the power to change perspectives and help each of us realize we are enough, through the grace of God. May we keep that in mind as we support adult leaders and congregations for the Gathering and as we continue our journey of life and faith.

Let us pray: Gracious God, we thank you for this incredible opportunity to serve with the Gathering. As we share in this time together and continue to prepare for the Gathering, may we keep this theme and verse at the center of what we do – acting with faith, love and grace. Give us wisdom and patience, listening ears and compassionate hearts to all we encounter. In Christ’s name we pray, amen.

– Kathy Hunstad, Minnesota

2018 Gathering timeline at a glance

March 15 – Housing letters released in account
Deadline for T-shirt orders
Deadline to opt in for Gathering

May 15 – Registration closes and all payments are due

June 24-27 – MYLE and the tAble

June 27-July 1 – ELCA Youth Gathering