From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Will Speak at ELCA Youth Gathering

From News News <NEWS@ELCA.ORG>
Date 13 Apr 2000 13:50:38


April 13, 2000


     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu will address 45,000
high-school-age and adult Lutherans at the Youth Gathering of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) this summer.  Tutu will be
among several speakers at the gathering's two back-to-back events: June
28-July 2, and July 5-9 at the America's Center in St. Louis.
     "We know from our denominational partners that young people make
an immediate connection with the Archbishop," said Heidi Hagstrom, ELCA
associate director for the gathering.
     Tutu will address the gathering on June 30 and July 7.
Participants will focus on forgiveness and reconciliation those days.
     "The impressive and courageous work that Archbishop Tutu
accomplished on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission
and his leadership as chairperson of the Human Rights Violations
Committee makes him the most significant and admired speaker on topics
of forgiveness and reconciliation.  Our young people need to hear his
words of wisdom and encouragement as they seek to live out the gospel of
Jesus Christ as Tutu has," Hagstrom said.
     Tutu was ordained in the Anglican church in 1961.  From 1978 to
1985 he served as general secretary of the South African Council of
Churches (SACC), a subsidiary of the World Council of Churches (WCC).
The ELCA is a member of WCC.  While general secretary, SACC became a
vital institution in South African spiritual and political life, voicing
the ideals and aspiration of millions of South African Christians.
     Tutu's contribution to the cause of racial justice in South Africa
was recognized when he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.  He is the
Robert W. Woodruff Visiting Professor at Emory University in Atlanta.
     Other presenters at the Youth Gathering include the Rev. Pamela R.
Fickenscher, pastor of The Spirit Garage, Minneapolis, an ELCA
congregation of people between the ages of 20 and 35; and Mike
Yaconelli, Yreka, Calif., co-founder and owner of Youth Specialities, an
international organization that trains and provides resources for more
than 100,000 youth workers worldwide.  Yaconelli is also a lay minister
for Grace Community Church, a small church "for those who don't like
church much," he said.
     Bible study leaders include the Rev. Craig J. Lewis, senior pastor
at Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis; Paula Sturgeon, Scottsdale,
Ariz., and Sunitha Mortha, a student at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn.
Luther is one of eight seminaries of the ELCA.
     Along with presentations and Bible studies, the Gathering will
feature more than 20 musicians and bands.

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

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