Meet the 13 Edgewater Congregations Together youth, 2 young adult leaders, and pastor who are going to the Multicultural Youth Leadership Event (MYLE).
MYLE is a pre-event to the triennial ELCA Youth Gathering, which “empowers multicultural youth groups, youth of color, and youth whose primary language is other than English to claim their story as God’s story” and to grow as leaders who serve and work for justice when they return to their home communities.
As described on the Youth Gathering website, at MYLE:
– Culture is explored. Participants will experience an inclusive community that seeks to build understanding and appreciation of the various cultures and ethnicities that are a part of this church.
– Leaders are formed. Youth and adults will learn about the issues in their communities and how to effect change.
– Identity is claimed. Participants will be encouraged to uncover their story and live out their God-given calling in the world.
– Faith is deepened. Youth and adults will explore the intersection of faith and life and how our faith calls us to act justly in the world.
– Friends are made. Participants will connect with peers who are looking to build relationships and have a good time.
This year, the ELCA Youth Gathering and MYLE are taking place in Houston. So today our group started the day at 3:00am in order to catch our 6:10am flight.
Despite how sleepy we were, we still had a lot of fun bonding over new experiences (no matter how scary some of them were.)
Here, John and Maku talk about their first time flying (or first time flying since they can remember.)
And here’s the infamous first response video to the flight taking off…
We definitely had some fun times on our flights to Dallas and to Houston!
And then it became official! We finally arrived!
Once we landed, we took a shuttle to the University of Houston, which will be where we spend our time for the duration of MYLE.
And guess who greeted us and showed us around when we did:
(Kalleb, right, one of E.C.T.’s original youth group members and now incoming junior at Valparaiso University! He is serving as a volunteer for MYLE and the Youth Gathering.)
The theme for MYLE this year is “ONE,” based on Ephesians 2:14-19, which ends by staying: “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God.”
Each day has a sub-theme, and today’s sub-theme is: “One body, many parts” based on 1 Corinthians 12:14-26. Each one of us matters, is important, has so much to offer the world, and is needed by God JUST THE WAY WE ARE!
Here, young adult leader (and former E.C.T. youth) Ngbarazere and youth Lillian and Hope explain some of the highlights of the day:
There were so many powerful moments during worship:
Following worship, youth broke out into small groups (which consists of youth from many different churches and locations.) They will meet with these small groups throughout the rest of our time at MYLE.
And of course, we had to end the evening with a little fun!
We can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store for us!
Brought tears to my eyes watching videos from the MYLE.
Thank you Pastor Emily and youth group. Thank you for sharing this amazing experience. Please include me on your group emails. This is Hope Johnson’s mom, Anna-Kari Johnson.
God bless you all.
Thank you so much for these beautiful reports. You are a wonderful leader with so much energy. Thank you for making it possible for these young leaders to be raised up by this faith experience!!!