Rocky Mountain Synod
ELCA bYouth Gathering logo 2

e-News for
Rocky Mountain Synod's
Gathering Bound Congregations

to learn to live like Jesus by practicing discipleship through peacemaking that works for justice

In This Issue

Final Details
Malagasy Guests
Sending Litany
The Dome
Share & Give

Quick Links

2012 ELCA Youth Gathering

645 Registered
50 Congregations 
4 States
26 Volunteers
1 MYLE Chaplain
3 RMS Staff 
Issue: 4
June, 2012


Hey friends! Oh my gosh . . . only five more weeks and we'll be together in NOLA with 33,351 soon to be best friends!

In this edition of the newsletter are some last minute tips and up-to-date information.

If you are not already on our ELCA Youth Gathering Bound RMS Congregations Facebook page, please join. This is where we are posting the latest, up-to-date information. And in that space - you can communicate with one another all your questions and share your own great tips and ideas.

Please make sure that at least one member of your adult leader team is in this group. Or better yet, sign up all your adult leaders. In order to get in the group, first friend me (Kristen) so that I can invite you to the group.

Missed the first issues of this newsletter? Let Linda know.

See you soon! 

- Rock On!                         
Kristen Baltrum, RMS Gathering Coordinator


Linda Staats, RMS Gathering Coach

Batrtum  Linda Staats

Friday, June 15, your final confirmation letter will be available in your online congregational account at

Also all the details for your Practice Justice assignments. The final letter is FULL of information. Read carefully!


  GUESTS from Madagascar
International Companion Program

As part of the ELCA Youth Gathering International Guest Program, our synod is hosting 2 youth and an adult from our Companion Synods in Madagascar. Their names are:
Ranaivonirina Mahomby Indrafo Sarobidy, Andrianomenjanahary Michael Nielson and Pastor Haja Wilson, who serves as a Youth Minister for his synod.

They will be arriving in Chicago on July 2 and taking part in an Orientation. July 6 they arrive in our synod where they will be hosted by First Lutheran in Longmont. During their time here, they will visit both Rainbow Trail and Sky Ranch. Our guests will travel by bus to New Orleans with the First Lutheran group and fully take part in The Gathering.

We will all have an opportunity to meet and interact with our guests during our Practice Discipleship Day, and through-out the week.

The cost for hosting each international guest is $4000, which includes visa processing, travel and all arrangements. The ELCA pays 1/2 of the cost for one guest.  First Lutheran in Longmont, CO contributed $6000 to cover the balance for one guest plus full costs for another. The folks at Atonement Lutheran in Boulder contributed $1700 through a pancake breakfast.

We still need contributions of $2300 to support the participation of our Malagasy Guests in the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering. Please consider giving a small portion of funds raised for your own participation to support the hosting of our guests. Any amount will be appreciated. Make checks out to the RMS, marked ICP. Send to RMS office % Cheryl.

Note: We chose to host 2 youth and an adult so a youth would not have to travel alone and to also be accompanied by a caring adult - the same guidelines we try to follow in our own synod.


One way you entire congregation can support the Travel Team/Servant Team is to      include a Sending Blessing in the worship service preceding your group's departure. If going by bus or caravans, include a Blessing of the drivers, the vehicles and passengers.

Check out the power point about RMS's participation in the Gathering, created by Kristen Baltrum for the 2012 RMS Assembly. Offers a great overview before your Blessing. You can access this on our facebook page, posted on May 26.

Consider joining the 33,351 gathered together in New Orleans for Closing Worship in the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome on Sunday, July 22, 8:30am, MDT.  There will be the opportunity to "live stream" the service. ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson will be preaching. The Dome Creative Team will provide a detailed order of service ahead of time so that your congregation may view the entire service or just selected portions. Watch for more details to come!    


  Practice Peacemaking Day -
Convention Center

Watch this utube webinar, to prepare for our Peacemaking Day. 
It includes logistical information and a preview of some of the activities that will be happening during Practice Peacemaking.

We will be assigned one of three morning start times for worship.  

Arrival is 30 minutes before worship time.   

NOTE: Once groups arrive at the convention center, it will take 15 minutes to get to worship area. Only way to enter Practice Peacemaking experiences is through the worship area. From worship, groups are guided to a myriad of meaningful Practice Peacemaking experiences.    


 Practice Peacemaking space is open to everyone beginning at 1pm each day.


Practice Peacemaking Activity Map  Make the most of your Practice Peacemaking Day by prioritizing your time in the convention center. Take a few minutes to look through the activity details on the map. Pick which activities are musts for your group. Some activities will be more effective to do with your whole group and some will be better if you break into small groups of three to five people.


Register now for the Hot Spot Challenge, a virtual scavenger hunt with amazing prizes!  



  Practice Justice Day -


Practice Justice Day - Begins in the Dome     


You can check your congregation's assignment by logging on to your congregational account, click on "congregation details" and scroll to the bottom. Note that the project assignments may change before our arrival in NOLA in July. Be prepared. Be flexible.  Wear your Justice Shirt!   


There will be box lunches this day - more info to come.  


Check out the RMS Facebook page for "How to Dress for Success on our Practice Justice Day!"     


Remember to goal is "to BE" not just "to DO."  

  Practice Discipleship Day -     Marriott Hotel/Mardi Gras Ballroom


Learn more about  Practice Discipleship Day    


Our Location:  New Orleans Marriott Hotel - Mardis Gras Ballroom.  This hotel is directly across from the Sheridan Hotel!   


Time:  Arrival 8:30. Doors open 8:45. Begin 9am. Dismissal at 12:45.   Practice Discipleship Brochure



Diabetics or anyone who has to eat, bring a snack. There are no planned breaks. Bring your Gathering Bible and a pen/pencil. 

Wear your RMS T-shirt or congregational t-shirt,if you have one.    


Our own RMS musicians will lead us in worship and singing.  A huge Thank you to Richard Hielkema, Youth Minister and Music Director at Cross of Hope in Albuquerque for organizing the musicians from ABQ, NM and Casper, WY to lead us for our time together. It is a huge responsibility which for which we are tremendously grateful for his and our youth's leadership.  Bishop Bjornberg will preach.  


12:45pm - groups sent out on faith practice scavenger hunts. Brochure Guides are available on the Practice Discipleship web page for planning purposes. They will also be distributed that day. 


This is a great day to make reservations for a more leisurely group lunch.    


  The DOME

Check out the latest information about our mass gatherings each night in the Dome.

Listen to  Rachel Kurtz's, "Make a Difference." This will possibly become a natural Gathering theme song. Available on  
Rachel's web-site.   

If you have a spot to fill or need a space for someone you are adding - please post this information on our facebook site.

Call the Sheridan Hotel directly if you have specific requests for fridge or rollaways etc. (No rollaways allowed in rooms with 2 beds.)

Consider printing maps for your group with the location of Sheridan, Convention Center, and Dome. There is a Walgreens, 2-blocks away, and a Rouses's Supermarket close by. We will post the exact addresses on Facebook. 


Everything you need to know related to transportation can be found here:

Groups with mobility/special needs movements should contact Groups can expect an e-mail back within approximately 7 days of the request being made.

Buses for Practice Justice launch:  If you are bringing a bus to the Gathering, the Gathering would like to use it for the Practice Justice Days. Please check out this web site with all the info. Buses will be given one number to call for info when they come to the Gathering.

Don't forget!   

Don't forget that you must make your airport shuttle reservations ahead of time in order to receive the discounted price. Visit the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering special discounted airport shuttle page to sign up for a discounted $25 round-trip shuttle for your group.

There are a few simple rules that you must follow to get this discounted rate:

  • In order to book your discounted airport/hotel shuttle reservations online, you must book no later than 24 hours prior to your flight arrival time.
  • Changes to an existing reservation can be made by phone (866-596-2699) only if you made your original reservation online.
  • The round-trip ticket discount is only for tickets bought through this Web page.
  • You must book in blocks of 10 or fewer, so if you have 21 total people, for example, you'll need to make three, seven-person reservation
Shuttle reservation site: 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering Airport Transportation  

Upon Arrival

Go here
for Forms you will need you when show up in NOLA as they are required from each participant: 

2012 Youth Agreement and Release of Liability 
2012 Gathering MYLE/DAYLE Medical Form

Don't forget to spend time creating a Covenant before your departure. Here are some helps. You may also use the RMS SHYG covenant as a template.

Monday, July 16: 

MYLE/DAYLE registration begins at 2:00 pm. Congregations attending MYLE register for the ELCA Youth Gathering when they check-in and will not go to the convention center on Wednesday. Those attending MYLE will be transported to their synod hotel at the conclusion of MYLE.    


Tuesday, July 17: Convention Center 

Early bird registration noon to 5pm.


Wednesday, July 18: Convention Center 

* Registration opens at 8am and continues throughout the day.

* Youth may explore Practice Peacemaking while adult leaders at Orientation.

* Participants will receive a backpack with a Bible, Map, Book mark.   

* Champion Square, at the Dome, opens at 4pm. Stages with music!   

* Food vendors are ready! They will have vegetarian and vegan options.



  • The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau has set up a website just to Welcome us.  Check it out! Everything you need to know.      
  • This is a really, really good deal!!  Don't drive around looking for lunch after closing worship. Order boxed lunches by the bus load. We will even deliver them to your bus during worship. Order from Old Lutheran (but the sandwiches are fresh!)  
  • Read this article about and how you can save money on eating in NOLA.    


Gathering Offering:

The offering collected during closing worship on Sunday morning, July 22, 2012 will support four domestic and international ELCA ministries.   


1. 100 Wells Challenge 

This is a special offering of money to build wells in places around the world that don't have access to clean water. One well cost $2,500. 

2. The Million Book Project:  
The ELCA Youth Gathering is encouraging the giving of new books this summer to children in New Orleans.The average child in Louisiana is 2 1/2 years behind grade level. Literacy is directly linked to future earnings as an adult and is related to a person's capacity to escape systemic poverty. Teachers and principals in NOLA have created a list of the books needed. Scholastic is offering an option to purchase 4 books for $15. Books may also be ordered from Amazon. Check out the web link above for details.

Supplies for Service experiences: 
ELCA youth will participate in service experiences, Practice Justice, throughout the city of New Orleans. Individuals or congregations can support the service of youth on behalf of the ELCA by giving to specific equipment and project needs. 

Hair needs to be clean, dry &  offer a minimum of 8 inches for cutting. No permission form is needed.

Click here to learn all the details. There is a permission form for those 16 years of age that needs to be filled out by a parent/guardian. 



SWAG: a "give away" item that is fun to trade all along the journey.

Bracelets, pins, decorated clothes pins, custom beads, etc are all super cheap and easy to give away. Is there something that is unique to your congregation/location/state or city? Check with your Chamber of Commerce or large stores for contributions. Mark your "give aways" with your congregations name and city/state and you will be remembered!

Let us know on facebook what your group is giving away! 

Discipleship Trainings -   THANK YOU!

The ELCA Youth Gathering in partnership with the ELCA Youth Ministry Network  brought you the Practice Discipleship: The ELCA Youth Ministry Training Project.

You are invited to keep equipping all adults working with youth in your congregation by watching the nine archived on-line webinars and training videos.They are great preparation for participation in the ELCA Youth Gathering, as well youth group meetings, mission trips, service projects, Bible study and other events.    

Thirteen on-site, face-to-face trainings took place throughout the RMS this past year. Almost 300 youth and caring adults participated in one of the trainings. connecting youth and adults and building a network of congregations committed to effective youth and household ministry.     Core Team
Check-out the ELCA Youth Gathering Bound RMS Congregation's facebook page for photos of these gatherings led by our RMS Gathering Core Team.

And watch for news about our follow-up to The Gathering when we hit the roadstaats again!  
Your Core Team:
Andy, Ben, Kristen, & Linda