– Nicole Kiefer

nicole-keiferWhen I think back to the 2015 Gathering in Detroit, I often think of a huge “Jesus Week” with 35,000 of my closest friends. There are many moments and experiences that I will not forget.

Out of all of the experiences there is one moment that I still remember to this day. This particular moment happened my first night at Ford Field. People from other churches and I were waiting for our buses. For some particular reason we all just started hugging and high fiving everyone that was leaving Ford Field. We hugged and high fived hundreds of people from all over the place, and it was truly amazing. I could definitely feel Jesus throughout that whole experience because it was so touching. From that moment on, I knew that we were in Detroit to make a difference.

I truly believe in my heart that the ministry of the Gathering is important because it opens your eyes to the world, to the love of Jesus Christ, and to the community of the ELCA. It has truly changed my faith journey, and I am a different person because of the Gathering. I have a new energetic spirit for Jesus and for the ELCA. I became more involved with my church, the ELCA, and even took more of an interest in majoring in religion in college.

To this day, I do not stop talking about the Gathering, the experiences I had there, and how it changed me. I was so blessed to have this be a part of my faith journey, and I would like to say, “Thank you so much, Detroit.”