The “Gathering App” — an electronic mobile application with information and updates for the 2013 National LCMS Youth Gathering — is now available for download. The app is a “first” for the 12 national Gatherings — held every three years since 1980.
Made possible with financial support from the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF), the app is now live with preliminary information about the Gathering, according to information in an emailed “Gathering Update.”
That includes a map of San Antonio, the site of this year’s July 1-5 Gathering; hotel information; Community Life resources; “and more,” according to the update.
Information will be added to the app as it becomes available. All information on the app also is at the 2013 Gathering website.
For the new app, users may go to any online app store and download an app known as “Guidebook,” under which the Gathering App is housed as a “guide.” Or, download “Guidebook” at guidebook.com/getit. In “Guidebook,” search for “2013 National LCMS Youth Gathering” and then begin downloading.
An instructional video at lcmsgathering.com/app features Gathering Program Director Rev. Mark Kiessling, who explains how to download the app and how it might best be used. He is on the staff of the LCMS Office of National Mission — Youth Ministry, which sponsors National LCMS Youth Gatherings.
Kiessling told Reporter that after the 2010 Gathering, planners decided “to consider a smartphone app for future Gatherings as a tool to connect with both adult and youth participants.” He added that they felt it would especially be “advantageous for communicating logistical information such as maps and Gathering schedule changes, and would be very helpful in connecting participants with event resources such as Bible studies and exhibitors.
“Since so much information is consumed on mobile devices, an app just made sense for connecting with our audience,” said Kiessling, who added that the new app feature is part of “a complete communication plan” for the Gathering that also includes “historic tools such as a printed ‘Guidebook’ [known as ‘the Gathering Guidebook’ for recent Youth Gatherings]” and the Gathering website.
He also expressed thanks for LCEF’s funding for the app. LCEF “provides a number of financial services for before, during and after the Youth Gathering,” according to the “Gathering Update.”
For complete information about the 2013 Gathering, including registration, go to its website at lcmsgathering.com.