From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ELCA Council Receives Report on 2000 Youth Gathering

From News News <NEWS@ELCA.ORG>
Date 11 Apr 2000 11:26:17


April 11, 2000


     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America (ELCA) learned that about 40,000 high-school-aged and
adult Lutherans will gather in St. Louis this summer for the ELCA Youth
Gathering "Dancing at the Crossroads."  The council received an update
on the activities of the gathering.
     The Church Council is the ELCA's board of directors and serves as
the legislative authority of the church between its churchwide
assemblies.  The council met here April 7-9.  Assemblies are held every
other year; the next is Aug. 8-14, 2001, in Indianapolis.
     "Dancing at the Crossroads" will take place at the America's
Center in two back-to-back events:  June 28-July 2, and July 5-9, said
the Rev. William "Bill"  Kees, director for the ELCA Youth Gathering.
     "There are 21,750 young people and adults who will participate in
the first event and 16,000 who will participate in the second event,
along with 800 volunteers for each event," Kees said.
     Registration for the gathering opened Oct. 18, 1999, and closed
April 3. Information about the gathering is on the Internet at
     In the past, some members of the church have "expressed concern
that the ELCA Youth Gathering needs to be more than an event," Kees told
the council.  He said this year's gathering is "driven to look at
outcomes from daily themes."
     Kees told the council that on day one of the gathering
participants will learn "there is a safe place for them to come," and on
day two they will discover there is "purpose for living.  The focus for
day three is "reconciliation and forgiveness for all."  Participants
will discover on day four there is "truth to be told based on Jesus'
death and resurrection," and on day five participants will learn that
"because Jesus lives, there is life for all."
     Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Prize-winning retired Anglican
minister from South Africa, will be among several speakers at the
gathering.  Tutu will speak on day three -- June 30 and July 7 -- which
focuses on reconciliation and forgiveness, Kees said.
     Each day of the gathering will begin and end with a mass gathering
at the TWA Dome, part of the America's Center.  Morning mass gatherings
will feature Bible study, evening gatherings will feature guest
speakers, and both will include music, dance, drama, video,
storytelling, audience participation and worship.
     The ELCA Youth Gathering takes place every three years.  The 2003
gathering will be held in Atlanta.
     A leadership event for "definitely-able" young people will take
place June 25-28 at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, Ill.
The event, "Here I am Lord, With My Dancing Shoes On," is open to all
Lutheran young people with physical, visual, auditory, mental and
learning disabilities or a combination of these disabilities.
Participants will contemplate the theme through Bible studies, small
group activities, workshops and worship.
     The Multicultural Youth Leadership Event (MYLE) will take place
June 25-28 at Southern Illinois University.  African American, American
Indian, Arab American, Asian American and Latino young people will come
together with some international guests and White youth from
multicultural congregations to celebrate the ELCA's commitment to
embracing cultural diversity.
     The theme for MYLE is "Let the Spirit Move You."  Participants
will gather for Bible studies, leadership development, small group
activities, workshops and worship.
     The Fifth Triennial Convention of the ELCA Lutheran Youth
Organization (LYO) will be held July 2-5 at Southern Illinois
University.  Hundreds of Lutheran youth delegates from across the
country will conduct the business of the organization.

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or NEWS@ELCA.ORG

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