Sunday, July 26 we brought our story of the Gathering in Detroit home to the family of Trinity Lutheran Church. We hope this was the first of many times we share our experience with friends, family, and congregation members.
Nathan and the Congregation read responsively Agape’s theme song “Rise Up Together”
Rise Up Together
Building bridges breaking chains.
Bearing burdens hope remains.
We will rise up like the sun,
led by the risen One.
Rise up, O God with blessings on your people.
Rise up together
Your love’s gonna break the chains.
Rise up, O God with blessings on your people.
This is the way that we rise Jesus will make us alive
Loving our neighbors
And we love them in the name of our God
Compassion not just words but action
Rising from the ashes just like Lazarus from the casket
God is in the neighborhood
Get it? Got it? Good!
We got this assignment
No stopping keep shining
No you no me just us
Let’s rise up together let’s rise up
Freedom from unjust oppression.
Shelter for those with no home.
Peace for those who live with violence.
Love for those who feel alone.
Welcome for those “on the outside.”
Hope for all those “down and out.”
Healing for those who are struggling.
Time to rise is now!
Nick read our group’s reflections and Katie read excerpts from Detroit’s media:
Article from the Detroit Paper
July 16th, 2015, 5:42 PM
Downtown hotels, Hart Plaza, Cobo Center and Ford Field are jammed with ebullient teens and harried chaperones who add a theme park vibe.
They arrived Wednesday for an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Youth Gathering — five days of faith, festivities and public service. The event has nearly 30,000 participants and “is expected to bring a $30 million economic impact to the region,”
Downtown worker Diana Thomas McNary, a Detroit News graphic artist and designer, comments on her Facebook page: “They’ve really changed the downtown vibe from ‘too-cool-for-you hipster’ to ‘yayyyy wheeeee OMG where are you from???’ ”
Jason Marker, a member of the Detroit Party Marching Band, posts on our Facebook page: “They are insufferably cheerful.”
Another reader, Colleen Hasten of Grosse Pointe, comments: “It looks like a Skittles factory exploded.”
The national event isn’t all prayers, speeches and selfies, Welch notes Thursday:
Today through Saturday, 10,000 high school-aged kids and adults will board 220 buses each day at Hart Plaza and head to nonprofits around the city, in Highland Park and Inkster to take part in community service projects.
Comment from Detroit resident on social media:
They are everywhere, They have invaded my twitter feeds all be it some great photos, Social media was full of, “Whats going on down there” “They made me late to work” “I can’t eat lunch because the place is full of the color shirts” “Sidewalks are packed. I’m going to stay indoors”. “They are singing, Don’t stop believing, Please make it stop”. I laughed all day!!!! I have been to other cities for big conventions, and participants typically would blend in but I have never seen a group so colorful that actually makes their presence known. I hope they enjoy themselves and when they are done that they go home and preach the Gospel of Detroit, Preach the good news: Detroit is Alive
We shared a slide-show created by Janet Metzger.
Pastor Meggan presided over Holy Communion, reading the same Prayer of Thanksgiving which was read during the Gathering’s closing worship service.
Holy God, you have brought us this far along the way. In times of bitterness you did not abandon us, but guided us into the path of love and light. In every age you sent prophets
to make known your love for all humanity. In the fullness of time, you sent your chosen servant to break bread with the outcast and to ransom those in
bondage to prejudice and sin.
On the night before Jesus died, he gathered with his friends to have supper. Over the meal they shared stories of lament and longing. They told stories of regret for a world of injustice and powerlessness that before they met Jesus they hadn’t even noticed. Sorrow for the empires of the age that were bent on their own continued existence, but no longer had any reason to exist. Pain over the people who were silenced. Sadness over the people who were blind to the possibility that the world could be anything other than what it was. They told stories of longing that the new world they’d glimpsed might become the dominant reality; longing that the voiceless would be given a voice; longing that the powerful would be
freed from their addiction; longing for the imagination to escape the numbing quality of the empires that tell you that this world is all there is. The meal moved towards its conclusion,
and Jesus called for bread and wine.
In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.
Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: this cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.
Lord God, we pray that you will send your Spirit on us, that this bread and wine may be for us the body and blood of Christ. May the bread be food for the journey as we seek to see the new reality of God’s kingdom in the world. May the wine be a reminder that we are no longer shackled to the old order. We are no longer in debt to the empire whose power over us Christ has broken.
Let this table be a place where our hopes are forged. Let this community gathered here be a reminder that we are not alone. That throughout the world there are people who are working to throw off the old and seek the new life of Christ as they bring peace and justice to the places where they walk.
Send your Holy Spirit, our helper, to fill the hearts of all who share this bread and cup with courage and wisdom. Join our prayers and praise with your prophets and martyrs of every age, that, rejoicing in the hope of the resurrection we might live in the freedom and hope of your Son