Jon Day on the Detroit ELCA Youth Gathering
This summer was truly an amazing experience. I wasn’t home much. My most memorable trip was to Detroit for the youth gathering. It started off at Wheeling where we met the youth from our synod. Most of them I knew from my trip to camp Luther. Nonetheless there were a few I didn’t know, but I sure got to know them over that trip. The bus ride up was fun. Early in the morning (about four am) we stopped at St. Augustine’s house in Michigan. Although exhausted because I managed to get only one hour of sleep on the bus and being up so early, I found St. Augustine’s house very interesting. It was my first time seeing monks - Lutheran Monks. Then about one pm we left for Detroit. I must say my favorite thing about Detroit was Ford Field. Every night it was spectacular seeing the giant cross lit up and hearing most of the speakers, and all the bands. The speakers were very good and emotional. The final speakers were my definite favorite. Every night at Ford Field was spectacular. Just seeing 30,000 youth filling the seats was a sight I’ll soon never forget. The Proclaim Justice day was also my favorite. The orange shirts going out and doing something helpful felt good, and felt nice. Seeing so many people telling us “God bless” and “thank you” and telling us “Jesus is good news indeed” ( I was carrying a giant sign that said that) was just something I soon won’t forget. Yet the final night there in Detroit was my most favorite and most memorable night. After the last speaker, the final song came on with a child singing it as the staff came out carrying white beach balls lit with a glow stick. Everyone’s phone light was lit; thousands of little white lights looking like stars lighting up the night filled the stadium. At the end everyone with a beach ball formed 3 giant crosses. It was touching and truly beautiful, and I will never forget it. I loved Detroit and I loved being there. I wish it could have lasted longer.