The 2022 Gathering theme song was co-written by Sam Noble and Faith Bartelt while serving on summer staff at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp in Hillside, CO in 2019.
Sam was a participant at both the 2015 and 2018 Gathering and felt called to use his gifts to write a theologically sound pop-rap song that young people could be excited about. Having performed at the 2018 Gathering in Houston, Sam had lots of ideas but wasn’t sure where all the pieces were going to come from.
Fast forward to that summer when both Sam and Faith found themselves serving on Rainbow Trails staff. After Faith and her partner shared an original song at the staff talent show, Sam reached out about collaborating on this exciting project. Sam came to Faith with a chorus “lick” and instrumental track, looking for a lyrical, female vocalist to help bring his Prince-inspired concept to life. Faith, having also attended the 2015 and 2018 Gathering, knew Sam’s style was different from hers, and was intrigued by the unique pairing and energy they shared.
While they hoped to “write all summer,” it wasn’t until they were paired to lead a trip across the country that their creative minds were able to join. Cancelled 4am flights, inclement weather, and unfortunate traffic delayed them a day and a half to their service site in the Tennessee Appalachian Mountains and over 18 hours coming home. This provided the perfect time to finally write a song–brainstorming lyrics and melodies was exactly what they needed to stay awake and keep their spirits alive on their journey back to Colorado.
As the first co-write for both Sam and Faith with someone who wasn’t “already a best friend,” they were challenged to mesh Sam’s rhythmic, Christian-pop and Faith’s lyric, singer-songwriter styles; they both reflected that neither could have written “boundless love” without the other! Throughout their collaboration, Faith was challenged to think about praise music in a new way, and Sam was challenged to embrace traditional, flowing styles and ideas.
Nevertheless, the pair’s unique dynamic has developed a fun, praiseful, call to action song they hope will serve as a reason to dance, and a reminder of how boundless our God really is! Written over several years, and re-written and edited through zoom during a pandemic (no parts recorded together in-person!), they can’t wait to be together with thousands of other young people to praise and worship our boundless God at the 2022 ELCA Youth Gathering!
Faith Bartelt is a recent graduate of Viterbo University where she received her BFA in Musical Theatre with a minor in Arts Administration. Today, she works as a Church Administrator at New Heights Lutheran Church in the South Central Synod of Wisconsin where she leads strategic planning, operations and procedures, the church’s future building project, and occasionally dabbles in special music with her husband. With both a creative and organizational mind, she loves the arts, spending time with her friends and family, exploring creation, game nights, and peanut butter! Faith is incredibly humbled and honored to get to share this opportunity with her summer colleague, and can’t wait to laugh, dance, and praise God at the 2022 Gathering!
Samuel Noble Garcia is a recent graduate of Pacific Lutheran University where he earned his B.A. in Communication with a minor in nonprofit leadership. Sam is a first year student at Luther Seminary and is currently pursuing his Master of Arts in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry. Sam was raised in the Northern-Texas Northern-Louisiana Synod and is a member of Calvary Lutheran Church in Richland Hills, TX. Sam experiences the love of God when listening to both sacred and secular music, and answers his call to reform by creating catchy songs that young people can easily relate to. His love of God, hip-hop music, the church, and youth culture has transformed his homemade parodies into an exciting musical ministry. Sam is overjoyed to have the opportunity to share his gifts at the 2022 Gathering and looks forward to experiencing it’s ministry in a new way.