Sunday finished with a worship service for the workers and their families, and others. The entire floor of the Lila Cockrell theater was filled and some were on the 2nd level. IT was a powerful service, capped off with the singing of "Brothers and Sisters in Christ" with Terry Dittmer on the organ. Wow! It was so great to sing that with nearly 2000 other brothers and sisters in Christ. Who would have known that when it was written back in the 80's that it would fit the 2013 NLYG in San Antonio, TX with a theme of "Live/Love[d]"? How does it fit? Listen to the word of the 3rd verse: "Lord, teach us how to proclaim, All Your goodness, Your love and Your name! Lord, teach us how to forgive, (ready for it?) And in love, teach us, Lord, how to live. Raising our voices..." Did you catch it? Live/Love[d] is in the song. In love teach us Lord how to live! Who would have known? God knew! He knew that we would be learning to Live/Love[d] here in San Antonio - even back in the 80's. What an awesome God! Kinda makes you want to sing it again, doesn't it?
Registration went great. Our Youth Group is registered, in their hotel, have eaten on the Riverwalk, swam in their pool and enjoyed being in San Antonio. Penny and I had the chance to see them last night. It was great to see people from home here. They looked good. And they looked like they were having a good time. Go Troy!
We have over 2000 staying at this hotel representing 118 churches. That is a lot of rooms! Registration went great at the Grand Hyatt. Way to go! Just a note - we have 49 states represented. Can you guess which state is not? I will tell you at the end. We have nearly 1/2 of the congregations of the LCMS represented. There are folks from 11 countries. This is the largest gathering of LCMS folks for a long time. Besides being the huge Youth Gathering that it is, this is also the largest gathering of Lutheran adults at one event. With workers, special guests, adult leaders, etc. there are over 7,000 adult Lutherans at this gathering. WooHoo!
And why are we all here? To Live/Love[d]. We are going to grow in faith. We are going to share that faith. We are going to love one another. We are going to love the folks of San Antonio. We are going to be fed from Word and Sacrament (I get to assist in communion distribution Thursday morning at the worship service! Darrell, Alex and Casey are going to be on my team! I am pumped!). The Holy Spirit is going to do amazing things here - reignite faith, renew love, build trust, overcome the devil, free from addictions, and a whole host of other things that only the Spirit can do! Holy Spirit, do Your thing! You can't ask for more than that!
Live/Love[d] is a gift to our church body from the Lord. He is giving us the opportunity to grow in faith and to share that faith. Let's do this! Let's grow! Let's share! Let's live the love of God each day. Thank You, St. Paul's, for sending our youth and adults here, for supporting our 4 YAVs and for supporting Penny and I in coming down here. While we are here, be sure to pray for us and for the Gathering. And let's all Live/Love[d]!
What state isn't represented? If you guessed Hawaii, you would be wrong. The big Kahuna of the Traffic Team, Mitch Gowan and his wife Nancy, are from Hawaii. If you guessed Alaska, you would be wrong. So what state is it? Wait for it, wait for IT...............West Virginia! Bet you didn't guess that state.
Talk with you soon! God be with you.