By the time you read this I’ll be in San Antonio Texas at the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod National Youth Gathering with Nick Hues, Joey Burda, Tabatha Karvia, Megan Prehm, Marjorie Halstead, Parker Woodley, Jacob Wiedemann, Kaleigh Schmeltzer, Dante Perone, James Donaghue, and my boys Alex and Aaron. For over thirty years, The LCMS has demonstrated its care and affirmation of young people by providing Youth Gatherings in major U.S. cities such as Orlando, Houston, New Orleans, and San Antonio. The National LCMS Youth Gathering provides youth and adults the opportunity to come together as a community of God’s people to:

  • be affirmed in their lives as God’s people
  • nurture their relationship with others in the church
  • celebrate their salvation in Jesus Christ through Word and Sacrament
  • recognize that youth ministry happens in a variety of settings in their parish, community and world

Held every three years, LCMS Youth Gatherings provide young people an opportunity to learn more about Jesus Christ, the Christian faith and their Lutheran identity. During the five-days of the Gathering we’ll spend time together in worship, God’s Word, prayer, song and service. This event is organized by LCMS Youth Ministry in Saint Louis, Missouri. Pastor Kiessling’s son Mark is the director, and this year’s event is based on I John 4:9:

“This is how God showed his love among us:

He sent his one and only Son into the world

that we might live through him.”

The majority of events will take place at the Alamodome and the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio. You can watch the evening mass events in the dome by going to the website


Thank you for supporting this incredible opportunity for our youth with your contributions at last year’s Oktoberfest, the church rummage sales, taco feeds, etc. We look forward to sharing with you about our experience when we get back.


Have a happy Fourth of July, and may the Lord bless and keep you,


Pastor Don