2016 ELCA Youth Gathering - Detroit
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Rise Up Detroit was the theme of the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit Michigan. The gathering was held throughout the downtown Detroit area from July 15-19 2015. 18 youth and chaperones attended the event. As expected, the love, fellowship, service, friendship and excitement overwhelmed us. Detroit was not a run down, abandoned city. It was an energized, ethnically diverse community on a slow upward climb to success and rebuild. We got to be part of that rebuild. We got to Rise Up to the challenge of Detroit. We spent 5 days working in large and small groups. One day was spent in worship and training with our Northern Illinois Synod. Another day was spent in learning in a large group and the third day was spent in the community working on community beautification. Our work day was spent in one of the roughest areas of Detroit, the Osborne neighborhood. We worked on two homes at the corner of Pelkey and McNichol, a known illegal drug corner. We pulled weeds, cut grass with sickles, boarded up houses, cut trees, and removed a large hedge. The police department asked us to remove the hedge so illegal activity could not occur behind it. It was a large effort on an extremely hot day. We made many friends and built bridges with the area residents. Our final day was spent in worship with 30,000 people taking communion. An unbelievable, and God filled, service to participate in. We left Detroit better and stronger than when we arrived. We Helped Rise Up Detroit! The following is a partial list of accomplishments in the City of Detroit 1 million diapers delivered, 1425 backpacks given, 3200 vacant lots cleared, 319 vacant homes boarded up, 847 murals painted, 36 urban gardens installed, 99 picnic tables built, 600 neighborhoods affected, 650 heads of hair donated, 4000 winter hats made and 186 boarded buildings painted. We cannot thank our congregation enough for all the financial and prayer support we receive continuously throughout the year. We could not and would not have a strong youth program without you!! Bless you All! In the next month we will be selecting a site for our 2016 Mission Trip. I will keep you updated on where and when that will be. #RiseUpELCA Take 5 Everyday!! Pray for a friend, a parent, a teacher, a bully. Pray for the one who needs it the most, but especially for the one who thinks they need it the least.