Across the Pastor’s Desk: Recounting youth trip to Houston

Published 10:04 pm Thursday, August 2, 2018

Across the Pastor’s Desk by Eileen Woyen

Eileen Woyen


On June 25, 11 young adults and two adult chaperones joined me for a trip of a lifetime. We jumped on a bus to go to Houston to go to the ELCA Youth Gathering where we were told that “This changes everything!”

What an event. What a time.

We stayed at the Houston Marriott Marquis, a hotel so fancy that it didn’t have a free Continental Breakfast. It even had a lazy river pool shaped like the state of Texas.

They do say that everything is bigger in Texas.

While in Houston, we experienced a lot:

A Houston Astros game

The interactive center: where we learned about issues of justice and peace while having fun (Alexi Heavner donated blood. Jaiden and Josie Venem donated hair.)

Daily Bible study

The Texas heat and humidity

Mass Gathering with almost 31,000 of our brothers and sisters in Christ worshipping, learning and praising God together in NRG Stadium.

Meeting Lutherans from all over the United States and in our own neck of the woods here in Minnesota

Painting a home in Houston that needed help. In repairing this retiree’s home, we would help keep mice out.

The Texas heat and humidity

Sharing Holy Communion with all our Youth Gathering friends

Building relationships within our church family and with God

Learning that the ELCA Youth Gathering in 2021 will be in Minneapolis!

“This changes everything!” God’s grace changes everything. God’s hope changes everything! God’s forgiveness changes everything! God’s love changes everything!

Now…all the children are ready for their next adventure sharing the love of Jesus here in Albert Lea and next summer! Because Jesus Changes Everything!

Eileen Woyen is a pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Albert Lea.