Youth from St. John will be attending the ELCA National Youth Gathering in Houston, Texas, leaving June 24, 2018 and returning July 2, 2018.  Every three years, 30,000 high school youth and their adult leaders from across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gather for a week of faith formation known as the ELCA Youth Gathering.  Through days spent in interactive learning, worship, Bible study, service and fellowship, young people grow in faith and are challenged and inspired to live their faith in their daily lives.  As young people desire and struggle to find someone to become, somewhere to belong and something to do, the Gathering seeks to be a ministry that helps define some of that or at least open up pathways of discovery.  Emphasis will be placed on the promise that WE BELONG TOGETHER.  Through the understanding that we are Gathered, claimed and Sent as God’s children, it is the hope that participants will gain a deeper sense that God has, indeed, claimed them, that they matter, and they have a place to belong.  Each night of the Gathering we will come together in the NRG Stadium for a time of inspiring speakers, uplifting music and more.  Our speakers will share how God’s call, God’s love, God’s grace and God’s hope changed everything in their lives.  Our house band leads us in singing each night.  You will sing some of your favorite praise songs and hymns and you will learn some new favorites!  On Sunday, July 1 we will gather one last time in the stadium for closing worship and the eucharist.  Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will preach and we will celebrate and remember that Jesus Changes Everything!