Cobber Spirit In NOLA For Youth Gathering

Cobber spirit is alive and well in New Orleans this week. Concordia staff and alumni are among the 35,000 participants in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America National Youth Gathering this week in New Orleans. The 2012 gathering theme is “Citizens with the Saints.”

Concordia’s director of vocation and church leadership the Rev. Tom Schlotterback and admissions representatives Laura Nye and Carisa Hendrickson are staffing the Concordia corner of the ELCA Colleges and Universities Hot Spot in the convention center. The Hot Spots are informal gathering spaces where participants can enjoy refreshments, play games and learn more about ELCA schools.

Heidi Hagstrom ’79 has been the youth gathering director since 1997 – a role that shows her faithful commitment to Concordia’s mission.

“This generation in particular is a product of the ELCA’s deepening understanding of and commitment to the connection between service learning and faith formation,” she said in an ELCA news release.

Musician Peder Eide ’90 is a regular youth gathering performer. His music had participants on their feet during the opening night concert July 18.

Jake Hanson ’11, adventure program director at Luther Crest Bible Camp in Alexandria, Minn., is leading about 30 youth and their youth directors from area churches. He’s also slated to help with service projects and assist in leading worship.

Grant Vanderford ’09, youth director at First Lutheran Church of Detroit Lakes, Minn., is leading a youth gathering trip for the second time.

“It gets kids to think about and understand what their faith means,” he says. “It challenges you to take yourself out of the equation… and think about other people.”

The gathering runs through July 22.

Follow the event on Twitter: @elcagathering #cwts12
and Facebook: ELCA Youth Gathering