summer trip

High School Trip - Deadline Approaching!

High School Adventure Trip - About this trip
by D.J. Chatelaine
Deadline to Register: November 1st

Now he walks in quiet solitude the forest and the streams
Seeking grace in every step he takes
His sight has turned inside himself to try and understand
The serenity of a clear blue mountain lake

Rocky Mountain High by John Denver captures the beauty that will surround us this summer as we spend a week in the Colorado Rockies at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp. Having spent two separate weeks in two similar experiences to what we have in store for July 20-28, 2019, I can tell you, we’re in for a treat. Seriously. I can’t think of too many other places in the world that instill feelings of awe and wonder at the beauty of God’s creation like Colorado. What’s more, we’ll experience it together at an incredible camp, Rainbow Trail, that offers opportunities for leadership development, spiritual growth, service, community building and time to unwind and have a blast for one week in your life--a week you’ll remember as one of the best.

FireShot Capture 112 - Rainbow Trail Blog - Google Docs_ - https___docs.google.com_document_d.png
FireShot Capture 113 - Rainbow Trail Blog - Google Docs_ - https___docs.google.com_document_d.png

Even more exciting, you have the option to walk in the quiet solitude amongst the forest and the streams through signing up for the Compass Points backpacking excursion. Through 3-4 days on the trail, our group(s) will be led by experienced guides who not only know the San Isabel National Forest like the back of their hand, but are gifted in spiritual and leadership development. Plus, the trip includes half-day whitewater rafting (!!), ropes course and a service project opportunity! All cooking and food supplies are provided and we will travel together and be with those who elect to stay onsite for the awesome High School Camp at the tail ends of the week.

If roughing it in nature or going a few days without a shower isn’t your cup of tea, then you have the amazing opportunity to meet, learn from and hang out with a bunch of Lutheran high school students from across the country as well as an exceptional staff at the onsite camp. From the website: “Whether you have been a long time camper or are new to Rainbow Trail, a week of Senior High Camp can be the best week of your summer! Share in a week of creativity, high adventure, leadership opportunities, and close relationships! Activities include high rope adventures like the circuit and dangling duo, hiking and optional white water rafting.”

FireShot Capture 114 - Rainbow Trail Blog - Google Docs_ - https___docs.google.com_document_d.png

We will be traveling to and from Rainbow Trail as a whole group, no matter if you choose the onsite or Compass Points option, so there will be plenty of time to bond in the long drive!

One word summarizes Rainbow Trail: prodigious. To join in on what’s going to be a fun and memorable trip, turn in your registration and to me at church by November 1st! (NOTE THE DEADLINE CHANGE).

Follow this link for the general registration form and this link for Compass Points. Please email me (djc@gloria-dei.com) with any questions you may have.

Middle School Mission Trip - Deadline approaching!

MIDDLE SCHOOL MISSION TRIP - About this trip
by D.J. Chatelaine
Milwaukee, WI - Registration deadline: Nov 11th

Picture a ship about to set sail: the magnificent white hull towers over the docks and points towards the open water ahead. The tall masts shoot into the air, sails ready to propel the vessel onward to the grand voyage ahead. The Milwaukee Art Museum captures this feeling of magnificence and anticipation through its ship-like structure. Situated at the edge of a city with a rich history, one that has seen an influx of peoples from all over the country and world, notably Germany, Italy and the American South, the museum functions as a beacon of what’s to come. Working to overcome problems of racial injustice & inequality, poverty and gentrification, Milwaukee at the same time celebrates its food, culture and successes (just check out the season the Brewers are having).

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All of these things, plus the opportunity to partner with Serve Boldly, a Lutheran service organization grounded in the understanding of loving your neighbor, make me very excited for Gloria Dei’s Middle School kids to spend a week together doing God’s work in this community that’s only 4 hours away! I’m looking forward to a time of building each other up, while we serve alongside Milwaukee service organizations that are focused on youth and hunger. And of course, I can’t wait for all those fun and unexpected mission trip moments that will become lifelong memories. Sound like fun? Then be sure to turn in your deposit and registration by November 11!



Notes on The Youth Gathering - By Carrie and D.J.

Worship at The Gathering
By Pastor Carrie

Every night of the National Youth Gathering, we piled into NRG Stadium with the over 31,000 other youth and adults for Mass Gathering, a kind of worship service to end the day.

Each night would always start with a great D.J. making sure that even though it was the end of the day, we were pumped up and ready. After we danced and got re-energized, we would settle in for speakers who bravely shared their stories every night. We would hear from about five people each night that came from a variety of backgrounds spanning age, race, gender, culture, etc.

  • We heard about following God’s call from Reverend Tuhina Rasche, a Lutheran pastor who grew up Hindu.

  • We heard from military chaplains, deacons, and bishops. You could hear a pin drop in that giant stadium as we heard young people share their stories of addiction, eating disorders, and sexual assault.

  • We heard from Reverend Nadia Bolz-Weber, learning that “...there’s a word for when our tears turn into joy, there’s a word for when our own pain is a balm for those who also hurt, there's a word for when our failings are redeemed into something beautiful, and that word, my Lutheran friends, is grace.”

  • We heard from a young transgender girl and her mother speak about how young people can be the hope of the church and all people.

Our youth were challenged, encouraged, and inspired to go out into the world as their authentic selves.

Between speakers, we witnessed a variety of music and arts. We were led into singing by a house band every night, rapped along with Agape, and crooned with Rachel Kurtz. We heard from a marching band. We got to participate in a full-on rock concert as Tenth Avenue North closed out a night belting out songs about redemption. We watched dancers twirl with lighted capes and express a physical manifestation of their prayers. The crowd lit up the stadium with cell phone lights, and we even started the trend of lighting up water bottles with flashlights, watching with glee as this phenomenon was spread from section to section.

In short, Mass Gathering was a time where we learned that we are loved for exactly who we are, that we are all God’s beloved children, and that we can all have an incredible influence on this world. It was a delight to watch as our youth took these things to heart, and I am excited to see where God leads them.

Our Youth spending time at the Mass Gathering.

Our Youth spending time at the Mass Gathering.

A few Houston Hiccups faced with positivity from our Youth
By D.J. Chatelaine (Youth Coordinator)

“Houston: we have a problem.” One of the most-quoted movie lines of all time, this reference from Apollo 13 reflects upon our time in Texas. When you’ve got bus problems on the way to and from the Gathering, “Houston: we have a problem.” When you wait in a long line for 2 hours in the scorching heat to get into NRG Stadium for the opening night Mass Gathering, “Houston: we have a problem.”

Yet, for all the problems we faced, the kids and adult leaders were there to roll with them. What’s more, our flexibility turned frustration into laughter and helped us make the most of our time, whether it was lounging in the Texas-shaped lazy river, playing multiple games of floor hockey, learning from our siblings in Christ who were there to share their stories and vocations at various booths and events in the Interactive Learning Center, or by getting the best tacos any of us have ever eaten (beef tongue is worth a try).

As this was my first meaningful time spent with the kids, I was impressed with their maturity in dealing with our problems and willingness to engage in all the Gathering experience had to offer. In doing so, they modeled a Mass Gathering idea that “God’s Grace Changes Everything.” Having the patience to trust things would work out in time, they had a grace-filled outlook, in thanking stadium workers, partnering with a Virginia Beach Church and the staff at Kashmere High School on our service day, and really not complaining about any of the hiccups that occurred. Knowing things wouldn’t be perfect, they showed that when we do have a problem, God’s Grace is there to not only get us through, but to also impact our neighbors in ways we could not imagine.

DJ and our high school youth hanging out in the Interactive Learning Center.

DJ and our high school youth hanging out in the Interactive Learning Center.