Peace Lutheran Church Natoma, Kansas
This month’s letter is a special edition written by members of Peace Youth Group, reporting on the recent National Youth Gathering.
On Saturday, June 29, Peace Youth Group members Kayley Chrisler, Erika George, Austin Murphy, Taitem Zeigler, Callie Dunlap, Ashley Eickhoff, Heather Glenn, Riley Chrisler, Breanna Eulert, KiaLee Homburg, and Phillip Murphy, guests Shayla Griffin and Christian Eickhoff, and sponsors Melissa Chrisler, Cody Dunlap and Kevin Eickhoff boarded a bus in Philipsburg at 11PM, which took them to the National Youth Gathering in San Antonia, Texas.
The group arrived on Sunday afternoon, June 30th, and toured San Antonio’s Riverwalk and the Alamo before the Gathering began on Monday, July 1st.
Each evening of the Gathering featured a ‘mass event’ in the Alamo Dome, in which all 25,000 youth and sponsors gathered to learn about Jesus in new and exciting ways. Some of these ways included the Jesus Painter, the Skit Guys, a Sand Artist and other entertaining and inspiring acts and events.
During the day, there were a variety of breakout sessions, in which groups could go and learn about a specific topic from a presenter, many of whom were professors from the Concordia University System and from the St. Louis and Fort Wayne Seminaries. One such session was called: ‘What the hell? For heaven’s sake’. This session made clear the difference between heaven and hell; what is real and what is myth. Heaven is not floating on clouds, playing a harp; rather heaven is being in the presence of God for eternity.
The group was particularly impressed with LCMS President Matt Harrison who preached at the Divine Service on Thursday morning and played his famous banjo during one of the evening sessions.
During some free time, there were a number of booths with displays detailing ministries within The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod that have an effect on people both here in the United States and around the world. A popular booth for many youth was the Concordia Publishing House booth, which sold Christian books, shirts and jewelry.
Some of those who attended were a bit dismayed at being away on the 4th of July, but San Antonio did not disappoint, with a fireworks display on the 4th that was visible as the group left the Alamo Dome to walk back to the hotels.
The National Youth Gathering gave everyone a chance to hear God’s Word and praise Him with huge numbers of people from all over the country, and even from all over the world. The Gathering was truly an amazing experience for everyone who attended, and was great encouragement for all to remain faithful to God for their entire lives. The group left San Antonio Friday afternoon and returned to Philipsburg about 9AM on Saturday morning.
It was announced that the next National Youth Gathering will be in 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana; and many youth are eagerly anticipating attending.
Peace Youth Group would like to thank everyone for all of their help in raising the funds to attend the Gathering, and for all of the prayers and support while we were in San Antonio. A very special thanks to our parents who were extremely helpful in raising the funds, and a special thanks to our sponsors who gave of their time to attend with us.
A full presentation of what we learned and experienced is being planned for Sunday, August 11th after church.
God Bless! Peace Youth Group