Youth and chaperones from area churches attended the ELCA Youth Gathering last week. Shown, in front row, are Pastor Zane Anderson, Randi Mehus, Payton Kampschroer, Aly Folz, Aryn Jahnke, Madison Thompson, Ethan Murphy, Laura Johnson and Betty Johnson; second row, Michelle Jahnke, Kayla Hahn, Joni Mehus, Tara Solberg, Brookelyn Jahnke, Elizabeth Johnson, Abbey Schnell, Kaitlin Bratland, Autumn Bornholdt, Richell Mehus, Tony Siminski, Jenna Bohr and Carrie Hagen; third row, Harrison Speltz, Kendra Prahl, Mariah Deschler, Matthew Mendez, Hank Hegge, Lauren Arneson, Nikki Ellingson and Tom Bjerke; and back row, Larry Schulte, Dustin Vickerman, Keenan Siminski, Kody Olerud, Kailee Bjerke, Derek Johnson and Josh Olerud.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->
Youth and chaperones from area churches attended the ELCA Youth Gathering last week. Shown, in front row, are Pastor Zane Anderson, Randi Mehus, Payton Kampschroer, Aly Folz, Aryn Jahnke, Madison Thompson, Ethan Murphy, Laura Johnson and Betty Johnson; second row, Michelle Jahnke, Kayla Hahn, Joni Mehus, Tara Solberg, Brookelyn Jahnke, Elizabeth Johnson, Abbey Schnell, Kaitlin Bratland, Autumn Bornholdt, Richell Mehus, Tony Siminski, Jenna Bohr and Carrie Hagen; third row, Harrison Speltz, Kendra Prahl, Mariah Deschler, Matthew Mendez, Hank Hegge, Lauren Arneson, Nikki Ellingson and Tom Bjerke; and back row, Larry Schulte, Dustin Vickerman, Keenan Siminski, Kody Olerud, Kailee Bjerke, Derek Johnson and Josh Olerud.

More than 30,000 youth and chaperones gathered in New Orleans last week for the ELCA National Youth Gathering. This gathering takes place every three years. The youth and chaperones complete service projects in whatever city the gathering is held in.

During their service project, Spring Grove's youth were interviewed by the local FOX News station. To see the interview, go online to www.fox8live.com/story/19069196/2012/07/19/30000-lutheran-youths-engage-in-recovery-efforts.

In 2009, the youth gathering was also in New Orleans and many projects were done to help with the recovery from Hurricane Katrina. The city is still recovering, and thus it was decided to once again bring the youth to the city for this great gathering.

As part of the gathering, the Lutheran youth from across the country were challenged to raise $250,000 to build 100 wells or support water projects in developing countries where clean water is often hard to find.

The youth from Spring Grove area congregations raised $4,200 for the 100 Wells Challenge!

There are students from Trinity Lutheran Church, Faith Lutheran Church of Black Hammer, Wilmington Lutheran Church and Cross of Christ Lutheran congregations as well as a couple of non-Lutheran youth that also participated.