By Megan K. Mertz
After months stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lutheran youth have something to look forward to in 2022. Planners of the next LCMS Youth Gathering — set for July 9–13, 2022, in Houston — have announced the theme: “In All Things,” based on Colossians 1:15–20.
“Last January, we gathered 55 creative voices, including a group of Concordia University Texas students and Houston church workers,” said the Rev. Derek Broten, associate director of LCMS Youth Ministry and Gathering program director. “After looking at Generation Z demographic studies, we facilitated a process of looking through Scripture to find a scriptural focus that would speak toward what this generation is encountering. We landed on the words of Paul in Colossians 1:15–20, which highlight that Jesus is before all things, in all things and holds all things together.”
The Gathering’s 2022 Thematic Development document, written by Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Assistant Professor Rev. Dr. Peter Nafzger, said these six verses were chosen because, in them, “Paul accomplishes two significant things. First, he unambiguously announces the supremacy of Christ as Lord and God. Second, he does this by outlining the major movements of the Christian story in a way that encompasses all things.”
LCMS Youth Ministry also debuted the 2022 Gathering logo, which was created by James Saleska, a graphic designer based in Frankenmuth, Mich.
The logo “is based on organic shapes that help convey the key messages of ‘In All Things.’ The colors are taken from the bright and beautiful Houston landscape and help remind the youth of the exciting and fun nature of the event,” Saleska said, noting that “these shapes are covered with a cross to demonstrate Christ’s preeminent nature.”
Despite the ongoing pandemic, LCMS Youth Ministry Director Rev. Dr. Mark Kiessling said the impact on the Gathering has been minimal so far: “We delayed the release of the theme, and planners may have [otherwise] spent more time in Houston, but we will make up the time. We are in regular communication with our contacts in the city of Houston and those who work in the hospitality industry.”
The first resources for the Gathering — including the Thematic Development document, talking points and a media kit — are available at lcmsgathering.com, and more information is coming soon.
Posted Aug. 5, 2020