The Gospel according to Mark begins with this powerful proclamation: “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” It is the good news of Jesus that youth and adults will be immersed in at the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering, July 15-19, in Detroit.

Through three distinct but complementary program components – Proclaim Story, Proclaim Community and Proclaim Justice – youth will learn about and proclaim that Jesus is the source of good news for the sake of the world. Each program component focuses on an aspect of discipleship in response to the good news of Jesus Christ.

Proclaim Story

On this day, congregational groups will gather as synods to learn about the importance of story – your story, my story, God’s story, our story. The goal is to help youth locate their own story in God’s story and hear the invitation to articulate God’s story as good news for the world.

Proclaim Community

Detroit’s Cobo Convention Center is the site of Proclaim Community. In a space equal to the size of seven football fields, young people will interact with churchwide ministries and partner organizations giving them a sense of belonging that ties them into the fellowship of Christ’s church. Through interactive learning activities, youth will explore their faith, connect their faith to personal interests and begin asking questions about vocation.

One of the Proclaim Community partners is ELCA World Hunger. They will create a track designed to simulate the experience of collecting water miles away from home, while raising questions about access to water here in the United States, too. ELCA congregations can join Gathering participants in working to raise $500,000 for ELCA World Hunger-supported water projects around the world. Go to here to donate online or send checks to:

P.O. Box 1809
Merrifield, VA 22116-8009

Please make your check payable to “ELCA World Hunger” and include “Walk for Water” in the memo line so it can be included in the national total.

Proclaim Justice

Engagement in community service is central to adolescent faith formation. During the day of service at the Gathering, youth will accompany Detroiters by listening to their stories while providing hours of hands-on assistance at more than 300 sites throughout the metropolitan area.

If a congregation is not sending youths to Detroit this summer, its members can participate in the witness of ELCA youth and adults by purchasing supplies for the service projects. For more information go to here.

Not everyone can physically come to the ELCA Youth Gathering, but everyone can participate virtually. ELCA members and friends are encouraged to participate in the Youth Gathering online. A schedule of events is available on the website.

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