Reflections on the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering

Katy Larson (High School, 12th grade) tells of her highlight:
“I would argue that the words from Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, spoke a powerful message on Friday night, July 17. There is no way I could condense everything she said into a couple sentences or paragraphs. However, after Mrs. Edelman said this, “The ark was built by amateurs and the titanic, by experts,” the crowd erupted into applause and cheer. I find this quote incredibly powerful and influential in all aspects of life. Reflecting on the service work we did, I find this quote connecting perfectly. Upon the travel from our hotel to the actual work site, there were many stops, a few bumps in the road, but we did, eventually, make it to the site. Our project was to “beautify the streets of Detroit.” Therefore, we were pulling weeds, taking down trees, cleaning gutters, etc. I think I can speak for the whole group saying, we were NOT experts in neither the “beautification of neighborhoods” nor dealing with the very hot and humid weather.”

Julianne O’Reilly (High School, 10th grade) reflects:
“Today (Friday) was another day at Cobo Center, the gigantic interaction center. We spent most of our time in the proclaim community room, which is a big spacious room that had 4 different sections with numerous stations with activities. I went to a couple stations. The first one I went to the station that had bumper cars. The bumper cars were fun, but the wheels were hard to turn and the cars would sometimes spin in circles. Then I went to walk to the water station. At this station, you get a 5-gallon jug of water and walk around the course that is a tenth of a mile long. Each jug had a color and that color would represent a story that goes on during the course. Along the course, there were facts about the lack of clean water around the world and places where you had to stop for a break or go to the medic because you got Malaria. When I finished the course had really sore arms and a pin. The station really made me think about just how fortunate I am to have clean water every day and not have to worry about catching a disease from water.”

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