You’ve probably never wondered how many tables and chairs it takes to make a Gathering
happen. Me either! Well, until I said yes to serving as the Operations Team Leader for the 2018
ELCA Youth Gathering. (For the record we used 9,555 chairs and 750 tables of varying sizes.)
Our team is the logistics branch of this event. We coordinate meals for volunteers, assign
spaces for offices and events, host the bishops, manage signage for spaces, and keep the
master calendar of everything happening across the city for our time in Minneapolis. It’s
spreadsheet central.

We’re a small group that spends our time behind the scenes making sure things run smoothly.
We work with the teams of the Minneapolis Convention Center and U.S. Bank Stadium to make sure your experience is focused on faith formation.

Part of our team training is problem solving. What would you do if….? Last cycle, one issue was
music stands. They weren’t in the storage unit as we thought. Our solution – a rental truck and
a middle school band director who was our person of the day for actually being at school during
the summer break. Synod day bands had music stands. Alleluia!

We don’t know what’s coming each day but our promise to you is to work hard so you get to
spend time with your young people. That time is priceless. You are part of their faith journey.
My prayer is that you take the time to share your journey of faith with them. We are thankful
for you and your young people are too.

Tammy Jones West serves as an assistant to the Bishop in the North Carolina Synod with responsibilities in most things around Leadership. She is married to Eric who is a CPA and we have one son, Robert, who graduated in 2019 from UNC -Chapel Hill and is in graduate school at NC State in statistics. Tammy serves as the Team Leader for Operations for the 2021 ELCA Youth Gathering.