Sunday, July 19, 2015

Today you will hear from 5 of our high schoolers. Henry Newsum and Jett Guymer have shared their reflection on our Proclaim Story Day while Becca Jainga, Elsa Bean, and Maddy Smith have shared their reflection on our last day and worship. We have had a wonderful trip and look forward to sharing it all with you when we return.


Yesterday was an amazing day. We assisted setting up a synod. Both Laurens spoke in front of several churches. In addition, Bishop Unti spoke in front of all of us telling his wonderful story. He was very down to earth.  The rest of our group lead communion. At the end of our day we heard several great speakers focusing on the topic of we all have the power to change society for the better. Towards the end of the service the Rock/Punk Christian band Skillet came and preformed several live songs for us. It was an awesome experience as we were all into the music and rocking out.  Even though our ears were ringing like crazy and couldn't hear the person next to us, we never seemed to lose our sense of fun as we play Queen the whole car ride to the hotel into the darkness. Fade to Black.


Written by:

Henry Newsum
Jett Guymer

Today we had to wake up the earliest to load up the cars and head to  Sunday worship service.  At the service, Bishop Eaton preached about not being shameful of your faith.  It taught us to go out in our community and do what we did here in Detroit and help those in need.  Communion was somewhat different from what we are used to at St. Andrews.  Every five rows or so in each section there were three people holding the bread, wine, and grape juice. We got up at two rows at a time and walked through the rows to the communion assistants.  It was a very efficient way of doing communion with thirty thousand people.  Sadly we had to leave the service early to catch our flight at the Detroit Metro Airport to head home.  Overall, Detroit was a great experience filled with fun, faith and service.

Written by:
Becca Jainga
Elsa Bean
Maddy Smith

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Today you will hear Lauren Sanner's reflection on our Proclaim Justice Day.


Walking down to Hartz Plaza, I did not know I would wait there for 3 hours to do the only 2 service hours on the trip I would be participating in. Luckily, it was worth every bead of sweat and all of my impatience. As we drove towards our service site, it was remarkable to see huge, beautiful, historical homes completely run down next to the same types of home clean and wonderfully kept. We were part of a project to restore 100 blocks, block by block, house by house, in hopes to make the neighborhood a beautiful, safe place to live. We mowed lawns, pulled weeds, picked up trash, etc. It was remarkable to see all of the kind faces of the locals whom were excited for us to be there. The man who offered us his porch to rest upon, who gave us ice water. One excited man, obviously a little more fortunate than others in his area, holding his selfie stick towards us as we shouted, proud to be helping, and having fun doing it. The group of friends who hung out on their porch and gave shouts of encouragement and thanks. The amount of work we got done in 2 hours is remarkable. Detroit is remarkable.


Friday, July 17, 2015

Today you will hear Megan Smith's reflection on our Proclaim Community Day.

On our second full day of the youth gathering, we started our day by heading to the Heidelberg Project. This project is art made up of items from abandoned homes in Detroit, it ranged from toys to shoes and trophies. We then drove to the Cobo center where games, projects, and activities were held. This giant warehouse included bumper cars, bouncy houses, and mini golf. Also, Becca Jainga decided to donate 8 inches of her hair for kids with hair loss. Our long day at the Cobo Center ended with a satisfying Greek meal which included Gyros, flaming cheese, and much more! Finally, we walked over to Ford Field and enjoyed inspirational speakers, beautiful music, and glow sticks. Another long day came to an end with our Final 15 devotion. We are so excited to start the third day of the youth gathering!


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Today you will hear Joslyn Nielsen's reflection on our first full day in Detroit.

Yesterday, we started out our morning with a swim in the hotel's pool. Next, we headed into Detroit and went to the Motown museum. We had a very enthusiastic 19 year old tour guide who loved showing us everything there. We saw the original recording studios of everyone on the label, including the Temptation, Jackson 5 and Stevie Wonder. We also got to see Michael Jackson's iconic hat and glove he wore at the 50th anniversary of Motown Records as well as premiered the moon walk and his single career. Next, we headed to the Henry Ford museum. Not only did we see amazing cars from all generations, but we also got to compare air planes and trains and we got to learn more about American history, including being able to get on the Rosa Parks bus. Then we went to dinner with two other youth groups from Washington, pretty close to us. We intermixed with the groups and got to talk with and learn about other kids so close to home, as well as have and amazing dinner! Finally, we went to Ford field where the main event was held. There was beautiful music by the House band and many inspirational speakers, including an amazing sermon. We ended our night back at the hotel with a good snack and our Final 15, where we did our devotion and planned our day today. We have already met so many amazing people and are super excited to continue to do so through out the week.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Each day you will hear from one of our youth. Today you will hear from Lauren Maland.
-Emily Harrow

Hey to everyone back home! Hope the weather there is faring you well. We look to be having a bright, sunny first day in Detroit. We made it safely to Chicago to enjoy lunch then on to Detroit we went. When we landed we spotted many other groups and plenty of signs welcoming all the Lutherans. After getting our rental cars ( Van-a White and the soon to be named mini van) we headed out to Kroger's grocery! Us kids all purchased a plethora of snacks, including two half gallons of milk that where jugged upon realization that we lacked mini fridges in our rooms. Many prayer partner gifts where sneakily exchanged as we waited for Emily and Claudia to purchase breakfast and lunch supplies, which took according to us a LONG time. There were many carts left in the parking lot so our group raced each other to put them away. Once to the hotel we met several other groups of kids. We got settled in our rooms, connected to WiFi, ate some snacks, and then met up with Emily, Claudia, and Dave to discuss today's schedule. We met our cute little buddy Martin who we cannot wait to share our adventures with. Already today the group has gone swimming and met new faces from Pennsylvania, Connecticut, South Carolina, and Arkansas. We have an exciting packed day of museum touring ahead of us! Cannot wait to see what else lies ahead for today.
Best Wishes,
Lauren Maland

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Welcome, Friends and Family of Saint Andrew's 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering Team! From July 14-19, you may check in here each day to find out what we are up to in Detroit. As we prepare for our trip, please pray for our team, that we may safely arrive in Detroit with an open mind and a servant heart. Please pray for other youth groups from across the country and US territories traveling to the Gathering.  Pray for the Gathering Volunteers, Leaders, and Coordinators. Finally, we ask that you pray for the people of Detroit.

We look forward to sharing our adventure with you all!

-Emily Harrow, Director of Youth and Family Ministries