Gathering tagged nation`s largest church-youth event

With 35,000 young people and adults from more than 20 countries set to participate, the ninth triennial National LCMS Youth Gathering July 24-28 in Orlando, Fla., will be “the largest single denominational youth event in the United States,” says Gretchen Jameson, the Gathering communications manager.
 
Jameson, also communications manager for the Gathering’s sponsor, LCMS Youth Ministry, cited other numbers indicating the sheer size of the event.
 
“This Gathering is Orlando’s first convention to make use of the entire Orange County Convention Center — an area exceeding 2 million square feet,” she told Reporter.
 
“But the Gathering will go well beyond the convention center,” she said, explaining that thousands of Gathering participants are expected to take part in servant events at more than 34 sites in the Orlando community.
 
Servant events such as construction of a Habitat for Humanity home also are planned for the convention center. 
 
“From the planning level into the streets of Orlando, serving defines the Gathering,” Jameson said. 
 
She said that more than 300 people are serving on committees and teams to plan the Gathering, and that 3,000 volunteers “will work to put those plans into action on-site.”
 
Jameson said the Gathering program will include:

  • a 550,000-square-foot exhibit hall with hands-on activities, sports fields, rides and 80 Synod-related exhibitors;

  • daily Bible study and mass events;

  • hundreds of speakers;

  • two 5K runs and other recreation;

  • dozens of concert venues, including a main-stage performance by Audio Adrenaline, a Christian group that won a Grammy this year;

  • a 200,000-square-foot teen center, complete with movie screens, a coffee house, Internet cafe and giant sand-castle building; and

  • worship, including a July 25 service with Synod President Gerald Kieschnick preaching and music from a mass youth choir and orchestra.

Jameson indicated that pre-gathering materials have been sent to all LCMS congregations with Gathering participants and that a CD with Gathering music is available online. 
 
To order the CD or for more information about the 2004 National LCMS Youth Gathering, go to www.nyg.lcms.org on the Web.

Posted May 28, 2004

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