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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Musical servants

Lutheran students serve God's community through their music

Blessings can become challenges and challenges can become blessings, as 50 Lutherans aged 15-20 discovered this summer during Sojourn 2000, a musical tour.

From June 21 to July 20, Sojourn participants shared music, drama and dance, and participated in service projects in 12 cities. Developed by VisionGroup Media, a film company, Sojourn 2000 was a cooperative effort of three ELCA congregations: Christ the Lord, Carefree, Ariz.; Trinity, Ottawa, Ill.; and Messiah, Auburn, Wash.

The group's activities included a carnival for a church day-care program in Billings, Mont.; singing at the National Youth Gathering in St. Louis (see also, page 40); and visiting nursing homes in Scottsdale, Ariz. On their return to Auburn, the youth gave a homecoming program that drew 800 people.

Sally Sagen, 19, a Sojourn staff member, says of the group's program: "We don't call it a performance because we're sharing the gifts God has given us — the glory goes to God."

The ‘real world’

VisionGroup Media filmed the experience for a documentary that Sagen, a student at California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, compares to "a Christian version of The Real World," an MTV program.

Sojourn challenged the youth to learn to live together and brought them into contact with "some of the things that exist in our world that we don't like to acknowledge," Sagen says.

Youth spent one night in an urban housing project, where they stayed in two apartments and were told to keep silent for safety's sake. A visit to Oklahoma City included a "powerful" trip to the bombing site. "It was definitely a growing experience ... [that] challenged our faith," Sagen says. "We learned to be thankful for [the challenges]."



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