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Pictures

To see pictures of our trip follow this link: SPLC Pictures

To hear some of the speakers we heard at the Gathering, check out this Youtube playlist: Gathering Playlist

Dana

SPLC,

I would like to thank everyone who supported our group in any way and helped us go on this trip of a lifetime. Whether through money donations and/or simple prayers, your support truly means the world to me. I would also like to thank Mollie and Tory for organizing this trip and being such great leaders for our group in Houston!

At the gathering, through the daily speakers, music, devotions and activities, my faith in God was transformed and strengthened. I had fun singing, dancing, meeting awesome new people, and listening to the various speakers share their stories of how God's call, love, grace and hope helped them through their personal struggles. On the service day, we went to an elementary school and helped with various painting and cleaning projects. At the start of the service project, we met the principal of the school and I immediately saw God working through her. Her expressions of gratitude showed how much she cared about the school and each  individual child at …

Katie

Coming soon!

Sibley

Okay, honestly. Before I left for Houston, I wasn’t all that pumped for the trip. I thought it would be an awkward week, being one of the youngest girls going, a week full of church, church, sweating, and church. Yes, I was excited for the experience but, would I really have the time of my life like everyone said I would? But even when I arrived at the airport, I knew all they had been telling me was right. The ELCA Youth Gathering was about five days long, and every single day had something more to offer. Every night there would be a mass gathering, with all 31,000 kids crowded into the huge stadium. The gathering provided the night with tons of bands, speakers, and bucketloads of faith each and every night. I could probably go on for pages about all the things we did. But I’ll just stick to my favorite day, which was our Service Day. Early in the morning we hopped on a bus, and were shipped out to Betsy Ross Elementary School. The school was built in the early to mid 1900s, and hadn…

Lauren

Thank you so much! I can't even tell you how grateful I am for your support to get me to Houston for this Gathering. It has definitely been one of the very best weeks of my life. I learned so much about God's love and grace. The whole Gathering had a theme of "This Changes Everything" and each  day was  a different version of that. For example: "God's call changes everything" and "God's grace changes everything". At night after our full days of worship, service, relationship building and other  activities we had a Mass Gathering where all 31,000 of us came together to sing, dance, listen to inspiring speakers, learn and praise God. I loved going to the Mass Gathering every night because I got to hear stories from people I could relate to, some were even my age or younger! i also really enjoyed singing and  dancing because it's so much fun to do, especially with 31,000 other people while we are showing our love to God.

One of my favorit…

Allison

Thank you all so much for contributing and making our fundraisers successful. I can’t thank you enough or express how grateful I am for your donations. I am so happy to know that our St. Philips congregation is so caring and supportive of the youth and of everyone else.
      One day I really enjoyed was our synod day, we gathered with everyone in the Minneapolis area synod to talk and learn more about the ELCA. We played games and did activities to meet and get to know some of the people in our synod. We walked around the room shouting “people to people” until we were instructed to stop and talk to someone. It was out of my comfort zone a little bit to talk to random people but I can tell that it is getting easier as I do it more.
      I liked each day a lot for different reasons but one day I saw God in our work a lot was on the service day. On our service day we went to Betsy Ross Elementary and helped them paint, clean, and move multiple things to give the school a little…

Darah

This trip was ground breaking for me. Not only was I able to form a closer relationship with God, but I was also able to form stronger relationships with those around me. I met so many amazing new people who shared their stories. I learned that God does not expect us to be anything but ourselves. I learned that faith is not always consistent. That it has its ups and downs. I learned that God's grace is not something we deserve but something we have because God loves us. I learned not to care what other people think about me or my personality because I was created in God's image and His opinion is the only one that matters.  I learned to have faith and hope when everything goes wrong. I learned not to blame God for tough times, but to thank Him for putting people in my life to help get me through those situations. I learned that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
Absolutely none of this would have been possible without the help of the congregation, parents, and o…

Addi

This trip was an amazing experience and opportunity to grow in my faith, and I would like to thank everyone that helped us go on this trip. Many people contributed by donating, supporting us with church projects, and praying for us while we were away. On this trip, we contributed to many projects. We helped pack kits for an organization that was working to prevent human trafficking, we helped make blankets for homeless children, and we helped remodel, repaint, and reorganize an elementary school where 98% of the kids were living in poverty. Throughout this trip, the Holy Spirit moved through me in so many ways, that I stepped out of my comfort zone to help those around me that were going through a hard time. The most inspirational part of the trip was hearing all of the speakers at the mass gathering and the stories that they had to tell. When you hear people talk about what has happened to them, it really gives you a new and different perspective on life. I have learned how I can hel…

Amber

Dear SPLC,

Thank you so much for your support and your excitement for our trip to the ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston, Texas. On this wonderful trip we got to experience grace filled moments and saw God in tough and touching ways not only through our peers, but the speakers who shared their stories every night at Mass Gatherings. Through the active learning we got to make small items to send to children, make school related things for schools in third-world countries, and learn all about communities around us. On our 4th day on the trip we participated in a Service Learning Day. It was on this day where we had gone to a poor economic elementary school where we cleaned, painted, organized, and so much more than what we were asked to do. This day was one of my favorite parts of the trip as you could really see the impact we had on the faces of those at the school. God was definitely with us that day in the form of Treasure West, the school's principal. She was nothing but smiles.

Bu…

Grace

Dear SPLC and Others,

Thank you for helping us be able to go to this amazing Youth Gathering. It was such an awesome and life-changing experience. One of my personal favorite parts of this trip as the Mass Gatherings, which is a huge, 2-hour long worship with many inspirational speakers  telling us about their life stories.

A moment that I really saw God was on our Service Learning Day, which was at an elementary school. When we got there the principal, Treasure West, told us that almost all of their students were on free/reduced lunch because of the low-income neighborhood the school was in. She told us that the school was built in the 1920's and has only had one addition in 1967, and you could tell the school wasn't in the best condition. When we were there we painted and fixed up the parent center. Other groups also helped around the school by cleaning and painting. The best part is that we got done with everything that Treasure had on her list and much more. What really ma…