Over 1,000 youth travel lightly to Whitehorse for 2008 Canadian Lutheran Youth Gathering

Service, advocacy and prayer expected to light up Whitehorse more than ever

Over 1,000 youth from across Canada will travel to Whitehorse, Yukon, to take part in the 2008 Canadian Lutheran Youth Gathering (CLYG) August 14 to 17 and participate in a variety of events, acts of service, advocacy and prayer that organizers hope will encourage participants to think consciously about the burden our unsustainable lifestyles have imposed upon the environment and the urgency of learning to travel lightly. CLYG will provide youth with an opportunity to explore what role they can play in Travelling Lightly both individually and in their communities.

Organized by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), this national gathering, which takes place every two years, is aimed at youth ages 14 to 19 and includes Lutherans and Anglicans from across Canada. Since 2001, the Anglican Church of Canada has been in a full communion agreement with ELCIC. This means that clergy are eligible to officiate at the other denomination’s churches, confirmations are mutually recognized, and Anglicans and Lutherans work jointly on a number of fronts.

Building on the ELCIC’s national theme of being a church In Mission for Others, the gathering theme “Travel Light” is about challenging youth to imagine how together they can be a light for the world. Acts of service, advocacy and prayer at the gathering will spark hope and bring life as youth return home to be the light of Christ in their congregations and communities across the nation.

The framework of the gathering is built around six large group times with each event building on the gathering theme, Travel Light, and a variety of other activities interspersed among the large gathering events. Rev. Fred Ludolph, Edgewood Camp and Conference Centre executive director, is the keynote speaker for the gathering. Ludolph is well known for his passion for the health of creation. Youth will also participate in a servant opportunity during their time in Whitehorse, supporting two organizations in the region: Mary House, a centre that assists primarily men on the street, and Kaushee’s Place, a transition house for women and their children.

In-between gatherings, youth work together on a two-year National Youth Project (NYP). It is because of the efforts of youth in the ELCIC on the 2006-2008 NYP that Lutheran youth in Bolivia will also be able to gather nationally. Funds raised for this project, titled “Reunión” (pronounced ray-youn-YON, which is Spanish for gathering), will be donated to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bolivia (IELB) and be used to bring together youth for fellowship and solidarity.

Highlights from the gathering will be available on the ELCIC youth website.

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