Experiences that Changed Everything

Posted on July 12, 2017 by ELCA Youth Gathering

– David Hunstad

In 1973, I was a junior in high school and I had an experience that indeed “changed everything.” I went to the All Lutheran Youth Gathering in Houston, Texas. I came from a small town in Wisconsin and my dad was our pastor and youth leader. Until I sat in the Houston Astrodome with Lutheran youth from all over the country, I thought the church, this faith that I was a part of, was kind of a family thing.

I remember to this day the reverberation of the Lord’s Prayer filling the largest room in the world. I remember watching as some of my dad’s friends ran the sound system and made announcements on the stage.

The joy and excitement of that space opened my eyes to the vast reaches of God’s grace, love, and mercy.

That moment in time changed the course of my life. I made it my mission to participate, attend, organize, and implement similar transformational events for future generations of high school youth. The Christmas gift that was most exciting for me was when my parents paid my way to a Gathering in Minneapolis. When I was in college, I would find a youth group that needed help going to a Gathering. As a youth director, I worked tirelessly to make sure our youth could attend local, regional, and Churchwide Gatherings.

The mission of Old Lutheran is to provide unique products and services that help our customers express their Lutheran identity.

I believe that the ELCA Youth Gathering is an event that helps shape that identity, and I consider it a privilege to be a partner.

I get a thrill knowing that my life’s journey of participating and organizing has led to a business that continues to help express the identity of this event before, during, and after we all gather in Houston.