The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) Youth Ministry will be sponsoring what may be “the largest single denominational youth event in the United States,” said the ministry’s communications manager. The ninth triennial National LCMS Youth Gathering in Orlando Florida expects over 35,000 youth and adults from more then 20 countries around the world to participate July 24-28.
Jameson, also communications manager for the Gathering cited other number indicating the sheer size of the event.
“The Gathering is Orlando’s first convention to make use of the entire Orange County Convention Center – an area exceeding two million square feet,” Jameson told the media.
“But the Gathering will go well beyond the Convention Center,” she said, explaining that thousands of Gathering participants are expected to take part in servant events at more than 34 sites in the Orlando community. Servant events such as construction of a Habitat for Humanity home also are planned for the convention center.
More than 300 people are serving on committees and teams to plan for the Gathering, and than 3,000 volunteers “will work to put those plans into action on-site,” according to Jameson.
“From the planning level into the streets of Orlando, serving defines the Gathering,” Jameson said.
The Gathering program will include:
- A 550,000-square foot exhibit hall with hands-on activities, sports fields, rides and 80 Synod-related exhibitors.
- Daily Bible studies and mass events
- Hundreds of speakers
- Two 5K runs and other recreation.
- Dozens of concert venues, including a main-stage performance by Audio Adrenaline, a Christian group that won a Grammy this year.
- A 200,000-square-foot teen center, complete with movie screens, a coffee house, Internet café and giant sandcastle building.
- And worship, including a July 25 service with Synod President Gerald Kieschnick preaching and music from a mass youth choir and orchestra.
Jameson indicated that pre-gathering materials have been sent to all LCMS congregations with Gathering participants and that a CD with Gathering music is available online. Further information about the 2004 National LCMS Youth Gathering is available at www.nyg.lcms.org, including information on how to order the CD.