Rocky Mountain Synod
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Rocky Mountain Synod's
Gathering Bound Congregations

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

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2012 ELCA Youth Gathering



MYLE Youth


MYLE Chaplain 
RMS Staff 
 Issue: 5
July, 2012


Hey friends! This is it, after three-years of planning we will be gathering in New Orleans - NEXT WEEK!

This edition of the newsletter is filled with last minute Must Reads and Must Watch Videos that will make your journey as smooth as possible, so you can then be prepared for the surprises and things that don't go according to plan.  Be sure to pack an extra measure of patience and humor and expect transformation of your faith along the way!

Stay in touch during the journey. Post your "Ah Ha's!" and questions on our ELCA Youth Gathering Bound RMS Congregations Facebook page.  Not yet a member?  friend me (Kristen) so that I can invite you to the group.

Call us if you want to check in, but the 800# on your wrist band is for all emergencies!

Traveling mercies to all. See you in "noo-AW-lyenz!"

Kristen - Rock On!                         
Kristen Baltrum, RMS Gathering Coordinator


Linda Staats, RMS Gathering Coach

BatrtumLinda Staats

Down load at least one copy of the Gathering Book and Map
before leaving home. Read on plane, van or bus and you will be well prepared upon arrival in New Orleans. It is an awesome Guide! 


If you haven't done so already, involve your entire congregation in a Sending Blessing this coming Sunday. If going by bus, car or vans, include a Blessing of the drivers, the vehicles and passengers.

Consider incorporating a powerpoint, created by Kristen Baltrum, that gives an overview of the Gathering. Access it on our facebook page, posted May 26.

Share the Gathering Schedule with your Support Team (congregation, friends and family are all part of your Support Team!)

Invite your Support Team to join you and your 33,351 friends gathered together in the Dome each evening and for Closing Worship on Sunday, July 22, 8:30am, MDT. Go to the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering web site for opportunity to "live stream"  evening events and the Sunday worship service.    



RMS MapBy now all your transportation details should be well in place! Everything you need to know related to transportation can be found here.

Wondering about where to park your cars, vans, buses, or helicopters? You can park at your hotel and pay for the convenience or park in the Gathering long-term parking lot located across from Hall J of the convention center. Pick up a permit for your vehicles during registration or at the Community Info Booth in either the convention center or the Superdome. 


Is your "Wait. .  . Wait. . .Wait - Stand in Line"  team prepared and ready with all sorts of cool games?   


- Decks of cards

- Faith Talk Cards    

- Rhythm game  

- Story Cubes (available at Target) 

- Big Bootie! (instructions on the web)

- Apples to Apples (the small travel version)

- "Would You Rather?" book or cards.

- "The Fruit Game"   

- Impromptu human interaction games . . . ask anyone who has been to camp.    


Google "games to play while waiting in line" and see the wonderful suggestions. Yes, most are for those ages 3-12, but there may be times that is how we feel (and act!)    

Upon Arrival

Find out exactly how the registration process will work this year
(Different than 2009)  
It  is covered in the video:    


And Yes, every adult needs to attend Orientation!  

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 

Monday, July 16:

MYLE/DAYLE registration begins at 2:00 pm.  

(Trinity, Ft Collins is participating in 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 adults go to Orientation.

* Participants will receive a backpack with a Bible, Map, Bookmark.   

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

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



Our synod, with a couple of exceptions, is housed in the  Sheraton Hotel on Canal Street. Call the Sheraton 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 Sheraton, Convention Center, and Dome. There is a Walgreens 2-blocks away and a Rouses's Supermarket close by.

There is a Starbucks in the hotel. All other food services are VERY expensive! 

Be prepared for the "Elevator Experience!"  :) 

  Practice Peacemaking Day -
Convention Center

Our synod has been assigned a 7:30am Start time. Whoopee! Means more time to spend in Interactive Learning and fun! 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 becoming familiar with the purpose of the day and the layout of the Convention Center. Pick which activities are musts for your group. Some activities will be great for your whole group and others will be better if you break into small groups of three to five people.

Before your departure, register small groups for the Hot Spot challenges. Some amazing prizes!  


  Practice Justice Day -

Varied Start Times

Practice Justice Day - Begins in the Dome. This must watch video literally walks you through each and every step of where you will be going. This will assist your pre-assigned "path finder" folks (youth or adults) to map out directions and lead the way for your group.   


Check your congregation's assignment by logging on to your congregational account, click on "congregation details" and scroll to the bottom. Be prepared. Be flexible.  Wear your Justice Shirt!    


Descriptions of each Project Area 


Areas for which you need special release forms signed.   


There will be box lunches this day.  


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

  Practice Discipleship Day -       Marriott Hotel/Mardi Gras Ballroom
Doors Open at 8:45am


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



- Bring a simple snack (energy bar, granola bar, fruit). 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 & Rio Rancho, NM and Casper, WY to lead us for our time together. We are tremendously grateful for his and our youth's time and leadership.  Bishop Bjornberg will preach.   


There will be many folks assisting with the day, but Special thanks to Ben Larson, (Rainbow Trail) and Andy Sprain (Sky Ranch) who have primary responsibility for our synod day.  


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.    


  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 MadagascarMadagascar Guests
Ranaivonirina Mahomby Indrafo Sarobidy, Andrianomenjanahary Michael Nielson and Pastor Haja (Wilson) Ramanantsoa who serves as a Youth Minister for the Lutheran church in Madagascar.

They arrived in Chicago on July 2 and took part in Orientation along with Kaari, one of our LYO members. They arrived in our synod July 6 where they are hosted by Atonement in Boulder, First Lutheran in Longmont, 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.  Our synod's total cost is $10,000. First Lutheran in Longmont, Atonement Lutheran in Boulder and Lord of the Hills, Centennial have all made generous contributions! Thank you!

We still need contributions of $2100 to support the participation of our Malagasy Guests. This is all about Accompaniment! 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.

  The DOME

Check out the latest information about the mass gatherings each night in the Dome. These will be "live streamed."


Check out all the vendors in Champions Square- the place to tail-gate and grab something to eat and be entertained before entering the Dome each evening.  The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau has also set up a website just to Welcome us.  Check it out! Everything you need to know.     




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


Go over with your entire group this page of Safety Tips. It is highly recommended that youth and adults have their cell phones with them at all times, for communication with you, one another and for all the activities utilizing cell phone technology. Yes, this means your group needs well defined and agreed upon times to use cell/smart phones and times they are off.


GroupMe is a texting option that lets you send texts for a group conversation by creating a new phone number for your group. Check it out for your group and those back home who want to keep up on all you are doing while in New Orleans




How about your congregation taking a special offering this coming Sunday and designating it to purchase supplies for all the Practice Justice projects while in New Orleans or one of the special challenges below.


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 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.

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. 



The Gathering is an opportunity to Practice - practice accompanying the people of New Orleans and one another, to practice peacemaking, justice and discipleship, to practice living our baptism. And it doesn't end when we leave New Orleans.

Continue to train adults and learn about effective Youth Ministry. Utilize the FREE training videos created by the ELCA Youth Gathering in partnership with the ELCA Youth Ministry Network. They are found at:  Practice Discipleship: The ELCA Youth Ministry Training Project. 

Check out this down-loadable resource on how to incorporate   Service and Learning into every day life when you return back  home.

Check out this FREE resource, an in-depth conversation on how the Gathering experience can support your on-going ministry with youth and the community and world around you.

And finally, there will be 649 of us in New  Orleans - we expect 649 plus friends at the  Rocky Mountain Synod's Senior High Youth Gathering, November 16-18 at Estes Park. What better way to reconnect and CONNECT-4 LIFE with new friends and old. Registration opens August 1.


                                  Core Team
Thank you!

Your Practice Discipleship Core Team