Grace Lutheran Church, Syracuse, will host a spaghetti dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday to raise money to send several of the church’s youth to the synod’s triennial youth gathering in Detroit later this summer.
The menu will include spaghetti, salad, bread, iced tea and lemonade. Fair-trade coffee (ground and whole bean in regular and decaf) will be available for sale.
A $5 per person donation is requested, but larger donations will be accepted.
Grace is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which is sponsoring the Youth Gathering, a five-day event for high school aged youth and their adult leaders.
The Gathering, as it is known, will include worship, service, fellowship, study and
“The Gathering is often a life changing event for the young people,” said Pastor Wendy Piano, who will again accompany the youth to Detroit. “After one young man heard (the Rev.) Nadia Bolz-Weber share her faith story and observed her unconventional appearance, he shared with me that he could now see a place for even
him in the church,” she said.
“We often try to shove our young people into the mold in which we want them rather than meet them where they are and embrace them as a beloved child of God, just as they are,” said Piano. “This love and acceptance is pervasive in the message of the
The Gathering includes a distinctive “multi-month, pre-event curriculum designed to plunge teens deep into the scripture texts around which the ministry is built, and prepare them socially and emotionally for what, for many, is a pivotal moment in their life of faith, and understanding of vocation.”
After-care is also included in the ministry. “We know that young people will return to their congregations and synods with a renewed witness to God’s action in the world, and we try to help congregational leaders receive the witness of young people and incorporate them into the ongoing ministry of the congregation and synod as vital members of the body of Christ,” according to the organization’s website.
The daily programming for 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering includes five major components. To begin each day, youth, volunteers and their adult leaders will gather in Ford Field to hear the day’s Scripture text articulated by engaging speakers and Christian musicians, as well as stimulating video and interpretive dance.
During the middle of the day, congregational groups will participate in a three-day activity rotation that includes a day of service in the Detroit metropolitan area (Proclaim Justice Day), a day of exploratory learning with other groups from their synod (Proclaim
Story Day) and a day of interactive learning in the convention center (Proclaim Community Day).
The fifth program component is Community Life, a series of activities including dances, game rooms, prayer stations and an activity called Final 15, a 15-minute time period where everyone at the Gathering, regardless of where they are located, stops to
pray and reflect on the Scripture of the day.
The Gathering concludes with Eucharist Sunday morning.
About 30,000 youth and adult leaders are expected to attend this year’s event.
The church is located at 203 E. Main St., Syracuse. For more information, call the church at (574) 457-3845 or visit www.elca.org/youthgathering.