I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made

Psalm 139:14

Front design

On Saturday, April 27, 2024, 19 congregations gathered at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Bath to celebrate and get to know other youth and adults who will be attending the 2024 ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans.

The event kicked off with the NEPA Synod's Land Acknowledgment presented by the Anti-Racism representative, Rev. Samantha Drennan, followed by a message from Bishop deForest. Storytime Karaoke was presented by Stacey Burke, which then lead to Deacon Kat Tigerman introducing the Bead-off where youth and adults competed for each other's Mardi Gras beads by playing rock, paper, scissors.

Congregations then rotated around to five workshops associated with the core words relating to the ELCA's Created to Be theme.  The workshops included Brave: A trust exercise where partners were blindfolded and guided through an obstacle course. Free: A congregational art project that included a Fleur-de-lis and thumbprints representing the impact Lutherans will have in the New Orleans community. Authentic: A mindfulness workshop including a body prayer and self expression art. Disruptive: Lead by Lutheran Congregational Services where youth and adults were provided survival kits and had to brainstorm ways on using the various materials for different disaster relief scenarios. And Disciples: A discipleship escape room learning to defuse stink bombs and be the salt of the earth.

A huge THANK YOU to everyone involved including Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Pastor Rachel Hacker, all the dedicated volunteers, our workshop leaders, the synod's ministry teams and the committed planning team who helped and organized this successful event together!