– Branden Hunt

The theme for MYLE in 2018 is One.

We must all come together as one. We must all move forward together as one. Yet coming together as one does not mean that groups of people must give up their culture in the process.

There is room for all people at God’s table to come exactly as they are.

There are different communities of people in the ELCA that each bring their own stories and experiences to the table, but for a lot of communities, there can be the feeling that something must be given up in order to fit in.

Our hope for MYLE this year is that we can talk about how we are one in Christ, and one in Christ with different gifts and abilities.

A young person of color can be a part of a community, but they do not have to give up who they are. In fact, they have so much to bring to the God’s table. One of the daily themes is “One Body, Many Parts,” in which we will explore with young people the gifts that they have for the world. These gifts need to be shared with the world to make it a better place.

Our hope for our church and our world is not that we just come together as one, but rather, we come together as one in such a way that every culture’s unique gifts are lifted up and no one has to lose their identity. Our hope is that everyone is accepted for who they are. If we are able to come together in such a way… it can change the church and the world.