What are your memories of national Lutheran youth gatherings? Perhaps you participated. Perhaps a family member or youth from your congregation did. As I prepare to participate in this summer’s ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans, I have reflected on my first event.
It was 1956. I was 10 and my dad, a pastor in the former Evangelical Lutheran Church, had been invited to preach at the Lutheran Free Church Luther League Convention. The service was outdoors at the foot of Mount Rainier.
I do not remember my dad’s sermon. But given his passion as an evangelist, I am sure he invited and challenged the young people to have a living, personal relationship with Jesus Christ nurtured through prayer, Scripture reading and worship. His references to the world probably addressed the temptations that threaten faith rather than the ways faith is lived out in service to the neighbor.
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