In a variety of ways, the people of New Orleans are truly excited to see the youth of the ELCA arrive and prepare for their ServantLife events. The presence of 37,000 participants sets the stage for much-needed service work to be done on a massive scale.

The city has rolled out a red carpet for the ELCA youth. You may have seen my previous picture of the Welcome banners lining Canal Street and Convention Center Drive, but it certainly doesn’t end there.

Even the Hard Rock Cafe has entered the game with a limited edition Youth Gathering commemorative pin. By the time you read this, they may have already been sold out, because they had sold 90% of their 500-piece printing by Tuesday night.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune ran an article today describing the arrival of all the Jesus, Justice, Jazz youth, who “filled more than 70 hotels to capacity and engaged the services of 300 buses” in New Orleans.

But perhaps most telling are the words of the New Orleanians themselves.  Conversations, blogs, and Twitter are abuzz with comments overheard on the streets of New Orleans: “The Lutherans are here.”

Tomorrow, all the preparatory work begins to pay off in service to the people of New Orleans–God’s work, our hands.


I’ve been sent two more news articles from Louisiana’s WWLTV:

City Flooded with Teens Giving…

Lutheran Convention (video)