– Chris Marien
Greetings from the Mass Gathering Team. My name is Chris, and I have the honor of leading the team that creates and shapes the mass gathering sessions each night and worship on Sunday morning. With my own eyes, I have seen the transforming power and work of God through the ELCA Youth Gathering.
The depth and breadth of ministry offered at the Gathering invites participants to engage the promise and grace of God on their own terms, yet in the same breath, defies their imaginations.
As a high school student, I experienced my own Youth Gathering under the banner, “Called to Freedom.” As a pastor, I was invited to accept the challenge of going behind the scenes to serve God as a participant on a planning team. Few experiences of God’s wonder compare with the sheer energy and awe of the Youth Gathering.
Leading the Mass Gathering Team, I have the privilege of working with some of the most gifted and dedicated people in our church. People from all over the church send ideas to the Mass Gathering Team for consideration and development towards an expression on the main stage during an evening session. The best part the Gathering is being able to imagine anything and everything to the glory of God, and then watching the Holy Spirit shape the actual moments that define each night we gather together.
Opening night at the Gathering is always a mix of excitement, exhaustion, anticipation, and trust in our God that all will be as God plans it to be. We are already counting down the days to June 2018.