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ELCA National Gathering in Houston, TX

We had an amazing trip this year at the ELCA National Youth Gathering.  This truly was a life changing experience.  My goal in Youth Ministry is always to connect the intellectual faith of our students with a heart transformation and an application of that faith in their lives.  I call this a “Head, Heart, and Hands” faith experience.  This trip really accomplished those goals.  We had a great group this year, including Katherine Mooney, Luke and Rachel Kozlowski, Kristen Lenz, Kristian Laveque, Madison Maziasz, and Rachael Dzbanski.  This year had an incredible emotional impact on us and really was a great spiritual experience.  We heard amazing speakers speak about difficulties in their lives, including a teen who was going through a terminal illness, a teen who was in recovery for drugs and alcohol and has achieved sobriety for over two years, a survivor of sexual assault, a survivor of anorexia, and a teen who has dealt with transgender issues.  It was amazing to hear these great stories and to get inspired for greater missional goals.  We also got a chance to live out our faith in hands-on service experience.  We worked at an historic African-American graveyard.  We did lawn work and landscaping and got to hear the stories from the African-American community of overcoming racism and poverty and creating a greater future for everyone in Houston.  This experience was a great opportunity for our teens to have a life-changing spiritual event and to see their faith in action.  I am excited to continue this faith experience and to keep our spiritual high in motion as we begin this school year in our youth group and in our service projects this year as we continue to grow our faith as a community.
Yours in Christ,
Dylan