July 16, 2012
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Youth Gathering Convenes in
New Orleans July 18-22, 2012
ELCA brings more than 35,000 youth into the city to complete hundreds of hours of community service with 50 local organizations at 400 worksites
New Orleanians are encouraged to thank, honk horns and wave at the attendees for their tremendous contributions to city
WHAT: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
WHERE: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans Morial Convention Center (MCCNO)
WHEN: Wed, July 18-Sun, July 22, 2012
DETAILS: The 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering will be held in New Orleans July 18-22. More than 35,000 youth, adults and volunteers are coming together to practice discipleship through peacemaking for justice. The ELCA is a church that believes God is calling us into the world-together.
The Gathering, appropriately themed "Citizens with the Saints," blends the rich faith history, diverse cultures and arts of New Orleans with the convention's mission to service the city's public education system, shrinking wetlands and housing. The ELCA will collaborate with nearly 50 different organizations during its outreach efforts, including the New Orleans Recreation Department, New Orleans Community and Schools Organization, United Saints, St. Bernard Project, UNITY New Orleans, Beacon of Hope, Second Harvest Food Bank and Common Ground Relief.
The ELCA plans to collect one million books for New Orleans children and families. ELCA teenage-members will also pack a book bag for every third and fourth grader in Jefferson and Orleans Parishes, and will distribute them through 51 local book festivals with 16 open to the public. At the 2009 ELCA Gathering in New Orleans, the youth packed and distributed 13,000 bags of school supplies for every child in third and fourth grade. For a list of public book festivals, click here.
The 4.28-million-member ELCA is the largest Lutheran domination and the fifth largest Protestant domination in the U.S. Known as the church of "God's Work. Our Hands," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering portrays ELCA's evangelical mission as it accompanies young people in their faith journey to understand their vocation and articulate their faith. The learning outcomes of the gathering are to practice discipleship, peacemaking and justice.
Downtown commuters should be aware that there will be 150 buses in front of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Thurs, July 19-Sat, July 21 from 6:30-11:30 a.m. and from 1-4 p.m. to load and transport the five waves of 11,000 people into the community each day. One third of the teens will walk to the Superdome from their hotels in the Central Business District (CBD) and the Warehouse District each morning, mainly along Poydras Street, departing from the Superdome from 8-10:30 a.m. and return from 2-4 p.m.
During the day, one third of the attendees will be in the metro area participating in community service projects and the remaining attendees will be in the MCCNO or exploring the city's attractions. There will be heavy pedestrian traffic concentrated in the French Quarter, CBD and Warehouse District each day of the gathering.
July 18-21, all 35,000 attendees will tailgate at Champion Square from 4-6 p.m. and then relocate to the Superdome from 7-8:30 p.m., returning to their hotel rooms at 9:30 p.m.
For more information and answers to ELCA Youth Gathering frequently asked questions, click here.
TWITTER: #CWTS12, @ELCAgathering
- Wed, July 18-Sat, July 21; 4-6 p.m.: Tailgating, Champions Square
- Thurs, July 19-Sat, July 21: Community Service projects, Locations
- Wed, July 18; 7-8:30 p.m.: Opening with performance by singer, songwriter Rachel Kurtz, Mercedes-Benz Superdome
- Thurs, July 19; 7-8:30 p.m.: Mass gathering with speech by author and activist Shane Claiborne, Mercedes-Benz Superdome
- Sat, July 21;11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.: Public book festivals, Locations
- Sat, July 21; 7-8:30 p.m.: Mass gathering with key-note speaker ELCA pastor Rev. Andrena Ingram, Mercedes-Benz Superdome
To obtain press credentials: Please call Melissa Ramirez Cooper at 847-302-6250.
ELCA: Melissa Ramirez-Cooper, cell: 847-302-6250, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Orleans CVB: Tara Letort, 504-566-5019, email@example.com; Kelly Schulz, 504-421-0962, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Orleans Morial Convention Center: Rosalie Mortillaro, 504-582-3027, email@example.com
Mercedes-Benz Superdome: Eric Eagan, 504-587-3663, firstname.lastname@example.org
City of New Orleans: Mary Beth Romig, 504-658-4957, email@example.com