A Month To Go!

Dear Adult Leaders:

Can you believe that we are about a month away from the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston? It has been two+ years of planning and prepping for many of you and we are now in the home stretch. As we head into the Memorial Day weekend I wanted to send some reminders as well as sharing some new information for you to help you get your group ready. Check out each of the BOLD categories below for more information. ** NOTE: Please see the bottom of this e-mail for contact information for next week as I will be out of town.

  1. Hotel Reservations: I have been in contact with the DoubleTree all week and as far as we can tell, all groups have sent in their rooming lists and deposits. :-) THANK YOU! I have been urging them to send reservation confirmations to everyone, but I do not know when that will happen. I can tell you that I have a list of ALL of the reservations and given the number, I feel like I can tell you that everyone should be all set! If you are staying at the Crowne Plaza and have not heard from them, please contact them directly - I have not received a call back from them myself.
  2. Breakfast at the DoubleTree: The DoubleTree will offer "Grab & Go" breakfast items for purchase Thursday-Sunday during the Gathering. These options will be available in one of the meeting rooms. Location and hours will be posted once we arrive. The price for these items will range from $8.00 - $15.00 and will include both hot and cold items. These are open to all participants with a Gathering wristband (regardless of which hotel you are in).
  3. Dinner for Tuesday, June 26: Dinner is being offered from 6pm-8pm at our host hotel, the DoubleTree Houston/Greenway Plaza and the cost is $18.00 per person, all inclusive. All groups are welcome regardless of which hotel you are staying at. To learn more about logistics, the menu, payments AND to make reservations for your group, visit the website at https://tinyurl.com/scswdinner. The deadline to sign-up is Thursday, June 7.
  4. Box Lunches for Sunday Departure: Old Lutheran is once again offering box lunches from Honey Baked Ham on Sunday, July 1 following worship. Box lunches need to be pre-ordered and if you are parked in the NRG Stadium lot (synod buses will be parked here) they will deliver them to your bus or you may pick them up upon leaving the stadium on foot. To order visit their website at https://oldlutheran.com/products/travel-box-lunches. If you are on a synod bus, please try to work with all the groups on your bus, this may help avoid an additional lunch stop if everyone on your bus buys the box lunches.
  5. Synod Bus Logistics: If you are riding the synod bus I have sent in all rooming lists, lunch orders, and itineraries so we are almost ready to go! I will be working with the bus companies to finalize the logistics the week of June 4 so look for more information if you are riding a synod bus coming that week.
  6. Adult Leader Orientation: The video is now live on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHxPep8RfUA. You are strongly encouraged to share this video with ALL of your adult leaders prior to the Gathering.
  7. Gathering Transportation: If you are using Gathering transportation during the week in Houston, detailed information will be shared to your Gathering account early in June. This will include your bus information and more helpful info. You can see general info here: http://elca.org/YouthGathering/details/transportation.
  8. Helpful Links: There is a TON of information on the Gathering website that will help you in planning the who, what, where, when of the Gathering. Click on the links below to learn more and to help you be ready for the Gathering:
Remember, if you are collecting books for the Blast off For Books campaign and are riding the synod bus you may bring your books to Bethel Lutheran in Madison on Saturday morning, June 23 from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
I will be out of town on vacation beginning Monday, May 28 through Monday, June 4. During this time, I will not be available by phone or e-mail. If you need help with your hotel room reservations in Houston please reach out to your hotel directly AND the Gathering office by e-mail at gathering@elca.org .

If you need assistance with payments or your balance for the synod bus or other pre-Gathering amounts due, please call the synod office at (608) 270-0201 or e-mail Carolyn at carolynb@scsw-elca.org . I will be available for contact on Tuesday, June 5.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at anytime if you have any questions at all.

Thank you for all you are doing to help your youth get ready for the Gathering. Have a blessed and safe Memorial Day!

Jason Xiong
Synod Coordinator - 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering
South-Central Synod of Wisconsin
(608) 381-2861 - Cell
2018 ELCA Youth Gathering
"This Changes Everything"