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ELCA Youth Gathering Blog

Gathering Interviews: Meet Joy

Gathering interviews continue with Joy Emenyonu. Joy attended the 2015 Gathering in Detroit; that experience led her to apply to be one of the Gathering emcees. Get to know Joy before you see her at Mass Gathering.

Tell the Gathering blog readers a little bit about yourself.
Like most people my age, school consumed my life. I always had my hands full with extracurriculars and a rigorous academic schedule. This work has simultaneously destroyed my mental health and built me up as a person I am proud to be today.

Where do you see God most active in your life?
attribute my academic success to God and God alone. I wouldn’t be here getting ready to take on my bright future if I hadn’t turned to God every step of the way.

What is your favorite thing about your church/ faith community?
My youth group, the place where my relationship with God first took place is probably my favorite thing about my community. It’s a group of beautiful kids with different personalities and aspirations who all just want a deeper understanding of God. It is in my youth group that I expanded my faith and learned about the true love of God.

What are you most excited about being a Gathering emcee?
I originally applied to be an emcee because I had a great experience in Detroit. I learned so much and it was practically life-changing. I had an amazing time and I knew that participating in the Gathering would only further my enjoyment

The theme for the Gathering is “This Changes Everything.” How does this theme and these words connect with you as a member of the church?
The theme “This Changes Everything” to me means that even with the slightest understanding of God’s love, a whole new world of possibilities is opened. With God’s love, there are no boundaries, no borders, no room for prejudice, and no room for racism. Anyone can do anything and simply understanding that changes everything. 

What is your biggest hope for you when you come home from the Gathering?
I hope that this Gathering will allow me to meet more empowering people. People whose faith is stronger than mine in every sense and who I can learn from and aspire to be like. 

With the theme “This Changes Everything” and your hopes and expectations for the Gathering, what is your biggest hope for your church/ faith community when you return from Houston?
I hope that my faith community can grow in wisdom and understanding from this great experience and that we grow closer because of it.