2018 ELCA Youth Gathering

June 27 – July 1, 2018
Houston, Texas







Youth from the Northeastern Iowa Synod are invited to join 30,000 other high school youth and adult leaders to gather for a week of faith formation at the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston.

Through days spent in interactive learning, worship, Bible study, service and fellowship, young people grow in faith and are challenged and inspired to live their faith in their daily lives.


It’s Time to start planning for the Gathering

ANDERSON-MARK-smIt’s not too early for congregations and leaders to start preparing for the ELCA Youth Gathering in 2018. The ELCA provides great resources to help prepare.

The triennial ELCA Youth Gathering is all about faith formation in teens. This is achieved by worship, interactive learning and Bible study. The Gathering also provides youth with a a week of Christian fellowship and service learning.

Congregations will be successful in faith formation and have a safe and fun Gathering based on how completely they participate in the getting-ready activities. The Bible studies provided for use before the Gathering and the team building that will happen during planning meetings and fund raising will be key.  Simply put, the congregation will get as much out of the Gathering as they put into the preparation.

Check this website often for updates and tips to prepare for the Gathering.

Visit the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering website to learn more, download resources and find out how to get ready for this exciting event!

— Pastor Mark Anderson, Assistant to the Bishop


Share Transportation

If your youth group can share transportation seats with another congregation or if your group is in need of seats, send an email to the synod office know so that we can post it on the chart below.

To buy or sell seats, contact the congregation directly.


2018 TRANSPORTATION CHART (Revised 10-23-17)

Congregation M City M   Transportation M Sell/Buy M Contact
St. John   Nashua     Bus   Buy 10 seats   Paige
Zion   Waterloo      Bus   Buy 5 seats    
Trinity   Belmond     Bus   Buy 9 seats    Dawn 
Washington Prairie & 3 others    Decorah area     Bus   Sell 12 seats   Jenny Edinger 
 Bethlehem   Cedar Falls     Bus   Sell?   Robin
Immanuel   Cresco     Bus   Sell?   Lisa K.
Immanuel   Independence     Van       Gina 
St. Paul’s   Waverly     Plane        
First & Decorah   Decorah     Bus       Adrian/Todd


Houston, We Have a Gathering


Why Go to the Gathering



2015 Youth Gathering Recap


Some 600 youth and adults from the Northeastern Iowa Synod the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit under the theme “Rise Up Together.”

Read More about the 2015 Gathering.


For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. — Ephesians 2:8

This scripture about grace is the foundation for the Gathering’s theme, “This Changes Everything.” Grace, undeserved and freely given, changes lives and perspectives as people realize they are enough because of what Christ has done and they are called into the world to serve their neighbor and share the good news.


Got Questions?

Find Answers in the Official Gathering Handbook!

Q:   How do I recruit and choose an adult leader? What does the Adult Leader do?

A:   Look in the Gathering Handbook on page 11,44, 56


Q:   How does the Gathering registration process work?

A:   Look in the Gathering Handbook on page 20


Q:   How much will the Gathering cost? What should our budget be? Sample Budget?

A:   Look in the Gathering Handbook on page 21, 92-94


Q:   How does our group raise money?

A:    Look in the Gathering Handbook on page 22


Q:   Where will be housed?

A:   Look in the Gathering Handbook on page 32


Q:   How do we find restaurants?

A:   Look in the Gathering Handbook on page 35


Q:   What should we pack?

A:   Look in the Gathering Handbook on page 39


Q:   What will happen at the Gathering

A:   Look in the Gathering Handbook on pages 41, 57-61


Q:   Do you have a sample of a group Covenant?

A:   Look in the Gathering Handbook on page 27, 86-91


Q.   Where can I find Pastor Anderson’s name in the Gathering Handbook?

A:   Look in the Gathering Handbook on page 6, 30



Download the Official Gathering Handbook

2018 ELCA Youth Gathering Poster






Download Poster



File for a Hotel Tax Exemption

In the state of Texas, congregations are tax exempt, including the 16 percent hotel tax. To receive the hotel tax exemption, congregations need to present a tax exempt certificate.

To apply ffor the tax exemption, download and complete the Texas Application for Exemptions.