Over the years I have had the privilege of attending, staffing and playing at several national youth gatherings, of all the various Lutheran bodies. Here are the ones I attended, starting in high school.

1976 – For All The Saints in New Orleans

In the summer of 1976, between my freshman and sophomore years, the American Lutheran Church, the Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod held For All the Saints, the all-Lutheran Youth Gathering, at the Super Dome in New Orleans. About 26,000 were in attendance.

Check out this video: https://youtu.be/YktZKyJI8yI 


1988 – Rejoice in the Lord Always in San Antonio

Having just graduated from seminary, I accepted a call to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa. I took a group to this event. In that group were Amy Aufdengarten, Betsy Batcher, David Fisk, David Hatfield, Beth Kusatz, Jeff Lindmark, Clint Schnekloth, Sara Welty and others.

1989 – LCMS: Blessed in the Journey in Denver
I enjoyed playing with SONG, the main stage band at the LCMS Youth Event at Mile High Stadium in Denver. 

1991 – Called to Freedom in Dallas

I attended this event with the youth of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa, where I served as a first-call pastor. ELCA pastor Clint Schnekloth, in our youth group, wrote a devotion for the gathering.

1992 – LCMS: A Time for Joy in New Orleans

I again had the privilege of playing in the main stage band at the LCMS Youth Event in the Super Dome.

1994 – 2B Alive at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta

I attended this event with the youth of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa, where I served as a first-call pastor.

1995 – LCMS: River of Light in San Antonio

I again had the privilege of playing in the main stage band at the LCMS Youth Event in the Alamo Dome. 

1997 – River of Hope at the Super Dome in New Orleans

I stopped by to poke my head into this event while traveling from my call in North Carolina to my new call in Texas.

1998 – LCMS: Called To Be in Atlanta

I enjoyed playing on the main stage band at the LCMS Youth Event at the Atlanta Dome.

2000 – Dancing at the Crossroads in St. Louis

I led section of the Interactive Center with Paul Hill in St. Louis. My team included Peggy Hahn from the Synod Office, her daughter Kristen Contos, Kathleen Ahrens from Grace Conroe and others.


2003 – Ubuntu! Do Life! August in Atlanta

I served on Interactive Center Team with Paul Hill in Atlanta, and also hung out with our group from Grace in Conroe, Texas. Ubuntu was held twice, in two consecutive weeks.

2006 – Cruzando in San Antonio

Cruzando was held twice, in two consecutive weeks. Here’s a group from Grace in Conroe, Texas with our intern Andrea Dobberman.

2009 – Jesus, Justice and Jazz in New Orleans

I was privileged to serve as host bishop for the first time.

2012 – Citizens with the Saints in New Orleans

I was privileged to serve as host bishop for the second time: https://youtu.be/PPWD0CUVL3g

2015 – Detroit

2018 – NRG Stadium, arena and Center in Houston

Promotional video: https://youtu.be/jUQuw3mWDeQ


Come to Houston video: https://youtu.be/-epAh3PyClE

Welcome to Houston video Mike: https://www.facebook.com/youthgathering/videos/10155298398306540/

Thank you Houston video: https://www.facebook.com/youthgathering/videos/10155307803166540/

Patheos article: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/ecopreacher/2018/07/a-thousand-points-of-lutheran-light-2018-elca-youth-gathering/

Multicultural Youth Leadership Event (MYLE):

The tAble for those living with disabilities:Blair was Bishop Eaton’s handler:Awesome communications team:Diana was the bishops’ handler:Pastor Will Starkweather (St. Martin’s Sugarland) spoke at the event. With Clint again 30 years after our first time together in 1988, above.

Mayor Turner with Pastors Alejandro Montes and David Roschke. Yuliana joined me Sunday morning.

The 2021 ELCA Youth Gathering will be held in Minneapolis!