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Mission Trip 2012

Introduction
On July 17, 7 senior high students and 3 adult mentors, departed for New Orleans to meet up with 39,000 other Lutherans from around the country to be the hands and feet of Jesus; to change lives and to be have their lives changed.

Mission
The 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering, a unique community by size and scope, serves as a distinctive sign of the ELCA's evangelical mission as it works with synods and congregations to accompany young people in their faith journey to understand their vocation and articulate their faith in Jesus Christ.

Vision
The 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering invited participants to return to New Orleans to dwell together as “one new humanity,” remembering who we are in Christ and acting in response by forming faithful, wise and courageous leaders who will: Live among God’s faithful people,Hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper,Proclaim the good news of God in Christ through words and deed,Serve all people, following the example of Jesus,Strive for justice and peace in all the earth (ELW, page 236).

Values
Be present with the people of New OrleansRespect differences and diversityLearn from the people and culture of New OrleansRecognize and challenge unjust systemsPractice peace and reconciliationCelebrate, affirm and use the gifts of the participants/leadersEmpower participants and leaders to be a Christian/Lutheran public voiceReflect the priorities of the ELCA Churchwide Organization...
— accompanying congregations as growing centers for evangelical mission; and
— building capacity for evangelical witness and service in the world to alleviate poverty and to work for justice and peace.

Learning Outcomes
Participants:

Practiced Discipleship*
  • Demonstrate the capacity to articulate their unique witness.
  • That witness will include:
  • Claiming and valuing their baptismal identity
  • The ability to talk about the grace that Jesus offers
  • Allowing themselves to wrestle with questions of faith
  • Demonstrating openness to the movement of the Spirit in their life
Practiced Peacemaking*
  • Act in a way that reflects God’s value for everybody, particularly those who are marginalized by society.
  • Behavioral evidence will include: 
  • Recognizing when they hold the power in relationships with people who are marginalized, and freely giving that power away.Being able to take a back seat comfortably (i.e., deny self, to reach a point where their self is no longer the most important thing in the world)
  • Listening before speaking
  • Working toward reconciliation in Christ in all relationships
Practiced Justice*
  • Live boldly in the face of injustice, crisis and suffering.
  • Evidence of “living boldly” includes:
  • Realizing that daily choices make a difference that benefit the thriving of all God’s creation
  • Being able to differentiate between accompaniment and charity, and commit to reflecting a posture of accompaniment in their daily lives with others
  • Knowing that it is Jesus who makes us able, not our efforts
* Practice Discipleship, Practice Peacemaking and Practice Justice are titles for specific program areas.

2015 ELCA Youth Gathering will be held in Detroit, Michigan.