The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Singing a new song

Lutheran artists at the 2012 Youth Gathering

Under the theme "Citizens With the Saints," sounds of worship will echo from the New Orleans Superdome July 18-22 during the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering. In large and small group settings, participants will hear the new songs of Lutheran musical artists that point toward a future where our youth are leading.

Starboarders, a Lutheran-grown band,
Starboarders, a Lutheran-grown band, is playing at the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans. New songs by Lutheran musicians are frequently first heard at youth gatherings before catching on in congregations.

This all began in 1988 in San Antonio, the location of the newly born ELCA's first national youth gathering. Following the traditions of its predecessor churches, the ELCA committed to bringing thousands of youth from across the nation and around the world to learn, serve and, perhaps most memorably, worship in song, dance and sounds most would never hear back home.

In those early years, many youth tried to return home to give their congregations a taste of their experience, using visuals and cassettes or CDs. Back then many adults weren't used to hearing rock tunes in worship. Even the names of the Lutheran artists of the 1990s were unfamiliar: Jay Beech, Dakota Road, Peter Eide and Jonathan Rundman, to name a few.

Now fast-forward about 20 years. Band-led worship is no longer "odd" but the norm in many ELCA congregations with multiple worship services. Evangelical Lutheran Worship includes Beech's songs and Dakota Road's Holy Communion Setting 8.

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