A Weekend in Chicago

It is Fall Break, so of course that means a trip to Chicago! Unlike last Fall Break, though, I was there on business. As part of the Gathering Volunteer Team for the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering, we have to start planning - it’s less than two years away, you know!

    The ELCA Youth Gathering occurs every three years, pulling more than 30,000 youth and adults to serve a city and join in fellowship. The last two gatherings have been in New Orleans, building up the community after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and in 2015 we will be hosted in Detroit. Our team has the not-so-small task of organizing 550+ volunteers who run the event. That's why we need to start two years in advance!

    After most of campus had vamoosed for break, I spent a quiet night in Trondheim 3 before leaving early for Minneapolis. After a short jaunt to Chicago, it was time for some Chicago-style pizza before another early night (remember, this is still my vacation! I needed sleep). Sunday morning our 10-person team made the short walk from the hotel to The Mothership... Err, the Lutheran Center, and began our meeting. Our team is a unique conglomeration of people. From 3 different time zones, and with an age range of 40 years, we each bring a piece of the Lutheran puzzle to the table.

    After a productive meeting with plenty of laughs, we took the train downtown. We fulfilled our quota of ‘tourist’ at Millennium Park, taking more than our fair share of funny pictures at The Bean. I found it interesting that everywhere we went, we got a few subtle looks of, “What are all you random people doing together?” They couldn’t tell from the outside that what connected us was Lutheranism. We had another yummy dinner (so well fed on this trip), and I fell into my plush hotel bed plenty satisfied and plenty tired.

    Monday we had a morning meeting, consisting mostly of a tour of The Mothership... Err, the Lutheran Center. Everybody has now returned to their different homes, each with an excitement for what is to come.

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  • November 3 2013 at 4:30 pm
    Hannah Harms

    Hi Rachel!

    I started reading this post and was like, 'hey!  I was at the last ELCA Youth Gathering in N'awlins!' lol

    My name is Hannah, and I am a prospective student.  (Basically, people do actually read these blogs.  And thank you so much for posting.  It seems like I know you guys...even though I really don't haha.)

    That being said, I have 3 questions for you:

    How easy was it to get involved with the planning of the next Youth Gathering?

    How do you manage to balance your social life with the stresses of college @ Luther?

    And what has been your favorite memory/thing @ Luther so far?

    Thank you for taking the time to post!  Have a good week or month (or however long it takes for you to get this of a time span lol.)


  • November 8 2013 at 1:01 pm
    Hi Hannah! So glad you read our blogs! I got involved with the Youth Gathering because my youth director from my church is the head of the team. At the last gathering, she wanted a young person's perspective in planning, and now I am a more experienced member of the team. Time management is a huge thing in college, no matter what activities you get involved in. You have to remember that saying no to something is ok, and don't take on too much at first, you can always get involved later. I have many favorite moments from my time at Luther, but one that always sticks out is the Symphony's residency in Vienna, Austria my freshman year. Spending a month playing music in a foreign country was a dream, and I could have done that every J-Term, I would have! Thanks for commenting, let me know if you have any more questions!
  • November 10 2013 at 9:36 am

    Hi Rachel,

     What is life like at Luther for a student who chooses not to drink?


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