Ben Day on the Detroit ELCA Youth Gathering

This July I was blessed to be able to go to Detroit on the ELCA’s National Youth Gathering in Detroit. It was a fun trip and I enjoyed it very much. We spent 8 days on the trip and all were buckets of fun. We left on a Monday and met up with the rest of the people going from our synod that night. We spent the next day getting to know each other and going over trip details and such. Wednesday was cool as we left Wheeling in the wee morning hours to head to Detroit, but with a pit stop along the way. We visited the Lutheran Monastery in Oxford, a short jump from Detroit. That was a fun experience and one I won’t forget soon. Then around noon we left and arrived in Detroit shortly later. In Detroit they had structured it so each day had a name, Proclaim Community, Proclaim Justice, and Proclaim Story. On Proclaim Community day, which was Thursday, we went to the Cobo Center and did fun activities and learned about social issues throughout the world and how we could help out. On Proclaim Justice day (Friday) we put on our neon orange Gathering shirts and went out into the community and did service work. Our group went to a grassy median and trimmed the shrubbery and cleaned up the area. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the sight of ten thousand teens in orange shirts working to make the communities better. Saturday was Proclaim Story day, and our synod got together and held a special service where we examined our faith stories and such. Then Sunday we got on the bus and headed home. The gathering was such a fun experience that I wish I could stay sixteen just so I could go as a youth again.