A ELCA Youth Gathering Observation

There were a variety of projects planned during the Gathering - minor home repairs, community gardens, graffiti abatement, painting the homes, murals, landscaping, window washing, power washing, mulching, trimming, lawn cutting and a myriad of other services, . All of the projects were things that the community partners invited the participants of the Gathering to come and do during the week.

If it was thought that these projects didn't make a difference? This note was received from a community partner:

"And a word to the 150+ young men and women who showed up at Christ's doorstep here. Some may have felt their service project was less than what they wanted to do. So I offer this note: yesterday you may not have solved world hunger, visited those in prison, built a school for impoverished children or marched for social justice (although I hope you will make that a part of your life sometime in the future). Yesterday your participation in God's territory was showing up here and being a ray of hope, a gift of God for a congregation


whose life line may not extend for many generations to come. Your presence mattered to our small, faithful congregation; you matter to us, your faith and its growth matter to us."

This changes everything.


The desire of the Gathering planners was when the teams leave Houston, that they will not only have made a contribution to this city, but also have acquired some knowledge about the rich history of this great city, its diverse neighborhoods and its great people."