Today was our first full day at the ELCA Youth Gathering. As with any event of this magnitude, there were a few speed bumps in our day, but our group was patient and understanding...they are truly an amazing group of young people and adults!
We spent some time in the Krewes Learning Center exploring workshops and integrators that caused us to reflect on the way we live out our baptism.
I even ran into my folks (again) while we were exploring. We discovered (via a JJJ09 nametag) that my dad's first name is no longer Steve, but instead it has been changed to "Bishop". Oddly, it can be both a male and female name...and there are 65 other Lutherans with the same name. Who knew!
A special treat for the group was lunch at Mother's. The food and the service were both top-notch. Lots of Ferdi's and po'boys with "debris" were ordered. As for me, the jambalaya and bread pudding sufficed.
We spent some time wrapping up a few learning events and hanging out in the Interaction Center. From there, we visited the offices of the Louisiana Bar Association. One of our adult leaders has a friend who works for there. We went to hear the stories of a few employees who were impacted by Hurricane Katrina. They showed us unprecedented hospitality (sandwiches, chips, candy, soda, water, etc.) and let us sit in their amazing conference room with leather chairs. It was a profound event for all of us. Certainly a highlight for many!!!
We sang, listened, prayed, and danced at the Dome event later that night. Many enjoyed hearing from Jay Bakker (Jim & Tammy Faye's son) -- an excellent articulation of God's love. If only he could have spoken longer! The hip-hop group Group 1 Crew rocked the house and sent us into the evening of Community Life events in several of the hotels. It was truly an inspiring and joyful day!