Checked out of our hotel
Took our last trip on the Metro
Worshiped at NRG: heard Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton preach and communed with over 30,000 friends
Boarded the bus and started the journey home
Stopped for dinner and a group photo
Brunch at Harry’s
A trip to Hermann Park and the zoo gift shop
The Interaction Center
Another amazing night in the stadium
This morning we all had to be up earlier for our service project, but we did have a late start because it was so early all of us slept through our alarms and a lot of us were leaving with an empty stomach. Our service project was helping in a small local garden called Harry Holmes Healthy Harvest Community Garden. The work we had to do was thankfully not very laborious and it wasn’t stressful, it was only pulling the weeds in the beds. Even though it wasn’t much we all had a lot of fun and it was a good time to get to know the city a little bit more. There were three very sweet old ladies that we got to know and we had some great discussions with them, they talked about the hurricane last year which was very interesting. When lunch came we all were very exited for some food and enjoyed the tasty local sandwiches. Later we went to the service party and got to wonder off in groups and enjoy the activities set up, there were some familiar games like Gaga ball, nine-square in the air, and four-square. They also had a whole room with blow-up obstacle courses and some really interesting active games. Waiting in the line before the Mass Gathering was hard because of the extremely hot weather and all the body heat surrounding all of us wasn’t helping much. Tonights Mass Gathering was personally my favorite so far, we had good seats, we were more energetic and all the speakers and performances were awesome tonight. I can not pick a favorite thing from tonight.
“You are magnificently imperfect.”-Nadia Boltz-Weber
“There’s Grace for that.”-the Rev. Will Starkweather
“It makes no sense, but this is God’s grace”-Michaela Shelley
“You matter, you are loved, and there is no limit to God’s grace.”-Elizabeth Peter
-Madelyn Wambolt, Redeemer Lutheran
photos from the leaders
June 28th 2018
We all woke up in the Whitewall Hotel, where our denomination booked out for our trip. We were required to meet in the lobby before we started our day. Once we met, we all chatted with our neon green matching shirts(there were about 16 of us), and walked around downtown Houston for Synod Day. We fit right in with the other people in the East Washington and the Idaho region. We worshipped together and shared our beliefs in small groups for the morning. In the afternoon, we took our presence to a restaurant, even though it was far past lunch. Even in the restaurant, the waiters seemed to have the same emotion and influence we had in the worship center an hour before. After our late lunch, we took the metro to the Astrodome. In the train, people asked us “What’s up with all the kids in matching shirts?”. We simply told them it was a nation wide youth gathering with about 30 thousand participants. They were astonished that the ELCA was right in their hometown; Alike the same attitude of waiters in the restaurants. For a few moments, we had some self-fame. After we left the metro and went to the NRG Stadium where we worshipped that evening, several guest speakers preached about how God touched their lives. With one man, it was being blessed with something he already paid for, and bearing a daughter. With another, it was health. Whatever the scenario, God is always with us!
-Colter Sprague, Hope Lutheran Church
Some photos from Pastor Meggan to accompany the journal entry above (not necessarily in the order they happened).
A long drive across Texas.
Made it to our hotel in Houston
Opening Night (including keynote speaker Bryan Stevenson)
Travel Day 1 – June 26
Pastor Meggan’s first meme ever
Dinner near Fort Collins
Sunset near Denver