Friday, June 28, 2013


This morning, I head out for San Antonio, TX. Vacation? Nope. This is the National Lutheran Youth Gathering that takes place every 3 years. From July 1-5, 25,000 Lutherans will converge on San Antonio, TX to grow in their faith in Jesus Christ and to learn how to live our that faith as one who is loved by God. We will Live/Love{d]. We live in faith as one who is loved by God. We love others as ones who live in Christ.

St. Paul's is sending a total of 15 people to the Gathering: 7 youth participants, 2 adult leaders, 4 Young Adult Volunteers (known as the Orange Nation) and to Community Life Builders (Yellow Shirts). Penny and I are the CLBs. What is a CLB, you ask? Thanks for asking. The CLB is a group of about 250 volunteers who travel to the Gathering to work as hotel contacts for the Adult Leaders, lead morning Sunshine Stops (adult leader meetings to give updates, information and help the adult leader feel comfortable and knowledgeable about the day), work as traffic (how do you get 25,000 people form one place to another, quickly, safely and efficiently - the CLBs are the ones on the roads, in the Convention Center, Alamodome and hotels making this happen), nightlife (after hour events in Alamodome and hotels). They wear yellow shirts to identify them to all who are there as people who are "walking information booths." CLBs either know the answer, can look the answer up or can call EVENT BASE for answers to questions that come up. Are CLBs vital to the Gathering? In New Orleans, following the NLYG 3 years ago, the people that run the Superdome, watched how our CLBs moved people in and out quickly and efficiently and told Mark Kiesling, the organizer of the CLBs, that they are going to rethink and rework what they do based on what they saw from the Gathering. What does that tell you?

I am pumped! I am ready to go! I have served as a CLB since the inception of this type of worker in 1995 at (ready for this?) San Antonio, TX. The first time we were used we didn't have yellow shirts. We had orange polo shirts. So it is interesting to head back to San Antonio for this Gathering. Much has changed. The size of the Gathering has grown. The role of the CLB. But the message has remained the same. Jesus Christ is still the Lord of all, the Savior of the world, the only hope for eternal life for any and all of us. Youth still need to learn how to Live/Love[d] (though that theme was "River of Light"). The proclamation of the Gospel is still front and center and the ONLY message that we have to share.

So it is time to go! It is time to grow! It is time to head out to become an active part of the Yellow Shirts. I look forward to giving you regular updates (if I have the time - we work from morning to night!). Pray for all who travel, all who attend, all who participate and all who work at Live/Love[d]. And I will see you when I get home!

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