Synod Journey Update
July 6, 2015
We are now just days away from departing! This is your final Synod Journey update. Please read through to the end - there is a lot to share!

Marty and Laurie Hancer, Paula Ross and I head to Lansing on Thursday to start the final preparations. We look forward to greeting your bus at East Akers hall on Saturday afternoon!! Know that you are in our prayers!

Digging Deep Together,
Catherine Anderson and Your Synod Journey Planning Team
Don't forget your forms!
Remember - Primary Leaders should carry the synod Health and Release, and ELCA forms with them at all times! Don't forget them in your office!!
Social Media and Photo Sharing Instructions
Help us share the Journey! Each morning the Synod Journey Planning Team will post a brief description of what we will be doing that day. We then ask each congregation group to post at least one picture a day that portrays what you are learning and experiencing to one of our social media accounts (if you have the ability). Each night at worship, we will also scroll through pictures that were taken through the day. Click here for more information on how to share and post pictures.
MSU Tipping Update

A clarification on housekeeping tips at MSU: The MSU policy doesn't allow tips, but our conference manager said "Thank you notes really make their day." So instead of leaving a monetary gift in Lansing, encourage your youth to leave a thank you note for the housekeeping staff in their room before they leave! We'll have craft supplies available for them to make home made ones if they want.


We do still encourage you to include a daily tip in your room at the Motor City Casino, as those housekeepers depend on the tips for their income. Suggested amount is $3 per room per day.

Special Dietary Needs at MSU
The culinary service at MSU does a wonderful job working with special dietary needs (gluten free, allergies, etc.) If youth or adults in your group have special dietary needs, please read through this Special Dietary Needs Info Sheet to let you know what is available. If you need more detailed menus, please email Catherine.
Synod Journey Itinerary
Don't forget to print the Synod Journey Itinerary and bring with you to Adult Leader meetings! You will want to use this to note changes in the schedule as we move through the week! 
Gathering Transportation Confirmation
Primary Leaders should have received an email in the last week from the Transportation Team, confirming our transportation to/from the Motor Casino Hotel in Detroit and downtown each day. Our hotel code is 102...which means our shuttle departure each morning is 8:00am! Woo hoo for getting the latest departure time! You will receive wristbands at registration to wear to get on the bus, along with more detailed information.
Proclaim Story Day (July 18) Updates
After careful consideration of the schedule and what would be best for participants, we decided that we will not use any of our Synod Journey buses on July 18, rain or shine...or to transport our folks from the Masonic Temple to Ford Field at the conclusion of the Proclaim Story Day. Why? If it's raining in the morning...participants would have to be standing outside in the rain anyway waiting for doors to might as well leave later and walk. At the end of the day, the walk to Ford Field is only 20 minutes...and most likely you will be stopping part way there for supper anyway. By the time we rotate buses through, you can walk faster than we could bus you. This choice also allowed us to be good stewards of our resources, and fill a desperate need for Proclaim Justice buses on Saturday. Thank you for understanding! I have updated the Final Detailed Itinerary on the mailing page with this change.

Congregation Shirts
If you have a congregation t-shirt, you are invited to wear it on this day as we gather with congregations from our synod.  
ELCA Youth Gathering Updates and Links
Food at Ford Field
Concessions Menu
Pre-reserved Dinners. You can reserve dinner at Ford Field from 5:30-7:00pm. Cost is $25 per person.

Ford Field Prohibited Items
Exceptions: According to the official event memo, Back Packs & other larger carrying packs WILL BE allowed in the stadium upon inspection; banners will be allowed subject to the size restrictions previously communicated in Gathering posts. Empty water bottles will be allowed. There will be water fountains and filling stations within Ford Field. Commercial bottled water - like Dasani - will not be allowed in.

Gathering Devotions for Family Time
First 15
Final 15

Gathering Guidebook and Gathering App
Adult leaders will receive a hard copy of the Guidebook at registration. You are encouraged to download the Gathering App for the latest updates.

Communion Servers at Closing Worship
If your group was selected to serve communion at the Closing Worship in Ford Field on July 19, please email Catherine, along with the time you have been asked to be at Ford Field for instructions.
Bus Departure Times
Please make sure you share with your group the LOAD time listed on the Final Bus Assignments! This is the time you should be in your assigned parking lot, ready to put your gear on the bus. The departure time is when the bus should be leaving the parking lot!
Supply Run in Lansing, Milk Run in Detroit
One leader per group (2 if your group is over 15) will have the opportunity to go on a supply run early Wednesday morning  before you leave for Detroit. You'll only have 45 minutes to do your shopping, so come with your list!

For those of you wanting milk for breakfast in Detroit, we will get milk each morning (Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday). This also means you do NOT need to get milk in Lansing! We will give you details on how/when to order and get your milk at the final Adult Leader meeting on Tuesday, July 14.
Orientation Videos
Proclaim Justice and Community Life will have a series of videos coming out to prepare adult leaders and their groups for the Gathering. You are expected to watch these before we depart! (And don't panic - they're only about 2-3 minutes long). I will keep posting these on our FB group as they come up. Here are the ones I have seen so far:
Proclaim Justice Orientation
Community Life Orientation #1
Pastor Obvious (they don't name this as a orientation video, but it is important reminders for you and your youth!)
Ten Tips for a Great Gathering
I encourage you to read and share with your adult leaders this blog post from our friend Todd Buegler, Director of the ELCA Youth Ministry Network: Ten Tips for a Great Gathering
Helpful Links
Synod Journey Bible Studies
Facebook Group for Synod Journey Adult Leaders

What you will find on the Synod Journey Website:
Mailings: Confirmation letter contents and bus assignments
Training Events: Handouts and Links from the fall trainings
Registration Forms: For additions/substitutions/cancellations
SJ Resources: Bible Studies