Youth and chaperones from First Lutheran Church in Plaza and St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Makoti recently helped people whose homes were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
They were among the 33,309 people who attended the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America national youth gathering in New Orleans in July. The motto for the convention was "Citizens with the Saints" (Ephesians 2:14-20).
The trip to New Orleans served a dual purpose for convention goers.
The Plaza-Makoti Youth Group posed for this photo in front of Gate G at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans before one of the evening sessions. They are, back left to right, Trisha Howell, Jaycey Bangen, Jacob Edwards, Jesse Lee, Alec Lee, Hunter Andes, Costas Kok and Tyler Severance and front, left to right, Peri Edwards, chaperone Gretchen Edwards, Samantha Kok, chaperone Janet Lee and Pastor Chris Lenning.
They helped families who were affected by the hurricane. They also spent time worshiping in the Superdome and listening to speakers, including Bishop Mark Hanson, head bishop of the ELCA, and to Christian singers and bands.
There are dozens of synods in the ELCA. North Dakota has two the Western Synod and the Eastern Synod. This year, for the first time, the Western Synod got together and had a worship service with Bishop Mark Narum of Stanley presiding.
Hunter Andes, who was one of the members of the Plaza-Makoti group said, "Going to New Orleans was a great experience for everyone. Meeting new kids from all over the country, helping out the people in need, and even seeing 9 1/2 inches of rain come down in five hours was just the start!"