New Orleans Trip

Our 3 a.m. departure. Here we go!



   New Orleans and “Jesus, Justice, Jazz” were phenomenal!  Even while we were celebrating Christ’s love in our gatherings and working on our service projects, we felt your presence with us.  All of us who went on the trip want you to know how much we appreciate your support in helping us to get there, and your prayers and kind wishes while we were on the road and in the city.  Please watch for upcoming events this fall as we put together opportunities to share our “Jesus, Justice, Jazz” experiences with you.  Once again… THANK YOU!!!

The ROCK Youth Group attendees of “Jesus, Justice, Jazz”
Bethany Costello, Jamie Anczarski, Zach Teter, Josh Teter,  
Marissa Stauffer, Tyler Stauffer, Sarah Orosco,
John Anczarski, Jamie & Pastor Jay Serafin



“Jesus, Justice, Jazz”


2009 ELCA



by Sarah Orosco


   The 2009 ELCA Youth Gathering held in New Orleans was truly the experience of a lifetime.  Nearly 40,000 people gathered in one place for a common cause made for quite a spectacular sight.  A lot of teenagers struggle with religion during high school, not knowing whether or not the people they surround themselves with will be accepting of their beliefs, which is why I think that so many young Lutherans coming together had such a profound impact on those involved.  It was amazing being able to sing, sway, pray, help, and believe with so many people in your age bracket, from countless places across the United States.

   One of my favorite parts of the gathering was going to the Superdome every night for the daily program.  At the Superdome, speakers told us their stories, many of which I know I will never forget.  The most memorable part of the Superdome programs for me, however, was seeing the immense amount of people interacting with each other.  Whether it was starting “the wave”, or singing along with the House Band, or swaying together as a group, no one cared if they looked silly or not, they just gave into the infectious energy in the room.  It was quite an experience to witness all of these people who share my beliefs, who cared enough to brave early flights or tremendously long car rides to be together to worship God and do whatever they could to help New Orleans and its people.

by Bethany Costello


     To be in New Orleans for the ELCA Youth Gathering this summer was truly an experience of a lifetime. It was incredible to see so many youth with the same religious beliefs as me, gathered together in one place all to support a common cause. Sitting in the superdome every evening looking around and listening to all of the motivational speakers was really an eye-opener, and brought to my attention many other issues in today's society. The most amazing part to me, however, was the general vibe from the city and the residents of it. The people of New Orleans have been through so many hardships brought on by hurricane Katrina, and yet you would never know it to look at or talk to them. In the French Quarter's there were performers, artists, and shopkeepers, all with a smile on their face and a conversation to start. Looking at the devastation, especially in the lower ninth ward, you would think that the city would be generally depressed and distraught, but I guess nothing can dampen the Louisiana vibe.




Page 2