ELCA Youth Gathering Blog: Wednesday, July 15-First Day of Gathering

Posted on: July 20th, 2015 by Brad Peterson


Today started off sadly as we learned that Luke would not be able to join us.  He just wasn’t feeling well enough to come.  So we sent him this picture of us being sad.  He is with us in spirit and we pray that he gets better soon.

After getting some breakfast downstairs in the hotel, we got on the hotel shuttle and headed out to Greenfield Village.  Greenfield Village was built by Henry Ford, right across from a Ford plant, to house and display important buildings and things of America, especially late 19th century stuff.  It is broken into sections like the Working Farms, Liberty Craftworks, Railroad Junction, Porches & Parlors, Edison at Work, Main Street, and Henry Ford’s Model T.  It includes actual buildings that were moved here, like Edison’s Menlo Park lab or Henry’s Ford family home, and other buildings that were reproductions like working glass works, mills, and even a church.  We started with a train ride around the whole property and then broke into groups to experience all that Greenfield Village had to offer, which was a ton.  Everyone had a great time and we met at lunch time to eat at the Eagle Tavern which served seasonal Michigan food from the 1850’s.  It was fabulous!


Outside of Greenfield Village

After a wait for our hotel shuttle, we made it back to the hotel to get some battery power back into our phones.  We arranged to have the bus that brought us from Wisconsin to take us into Detroit.  This was fortunate for us, because it let us stay longer at Greenfield Village and also help out our neighbors on our floor from California who missed the last Gathering shuttle to Detroit.  So we gave them a lift.

We got into Detroit and walked the 25 minute walk or so from the Cobo Center to Ford Field.  We found some seats in the upper levels looking almost straight on to the stage.  As we listened to music we went and got some dinner from the Ford Field concession stands.  Lost and Found started us off and then we learned the dance move of the day.  The House Band shared music with us and then we were pumped and ready (and had done a bunch of waves throughout the stadium) to officially start our first Mass Gathering!


We met our emcee’s and then heard from the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, and the bishop of the Synod Detroit is in as well.  Mikka McCracken of the ELCA World Hunger Appeal spoke to us about the need to Rise Up to end hunger and our main speaker was Dr. Luke Powery from Duke University, who powerfully encouraged us to be Rise Up and be witnesses to the resurrection of Christ and make a difference in the world.  We ended the night with music from Agape and the Selected of God.  It was a great first Mass Gathering!


We then headed with the throng through the streets of Detroit to get to our buses to take us back to the hotel.  Along the way, we saw lots of people taking cell phone video of about 30,000 Lutherans walking right down the middle of their streets.  We had a pretty good wait for the bus, then made the 25 minute journey back to our hotel.  We talked about the day, planned for our 7:05 am pick-up for tomorrow, and prayed before heading off to bed.

Thursday we will do a little Detroit sight seeing followed by our Proclaim Story stuff with the rest of the folks from our Synod, then another Mass Gathering!

Thanks for all the prayers!  Below is a few extra pictures.  God bless!