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HERIN T A G H T U CMS YO L L A N O I NAT THE 2013

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WWW.LCMSGATHERING.COM


THERIN A G H T U O L C M SA Y L O, TEXAS A I N N O O T I N T A N N

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ntents t a b le o f c o Welcome + Why the National Youth Gathering? Gathering Dates and Deadlines + Requirements Adult to Youth Ratio + Online Registration Registration Priority Window + Registration Forms Cancellations + Substitutions

LCMS Youth Ministry Staff:

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Rev. Dr. Terry K. Dittmer Director of Youth Ministry Rev. Mark Kiessling Associate Director National Youth Gathering Program James Lohman, DCE Associate Director –– LCMS Servant Events and Gathering Arrangements Krista Miller Associate Director Gathering Registrar and Operations Megan Loomis Assistant Gathering Registrar Amy Gray Project Coordinator Rev. Steve Cholak Project Coordinator/Office Manager

Let the Journey Begin!

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Payment Procedures Housing Process + Group Travel Hotel Price Comparison Key Hotel Price Comparison Map Gathering Website Lutheran Church Extension Fund

Why the National Youth Gathering? For over 30 years, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has demonstrated its care and affirmation of young people by providing National LCMS Youth Gatherings. National LCMS Youth Gatherings provide opportunities for youth and adults to boldly come together in the name of Jesus Christ to proclaim, celebrate, and witness their salvation through Him, rejoice in the fellowship of their Church, and be encouraged and nurtured in their lives as God’s people through Word and Sacrament. National LCMS Youth Gatherings proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ and God’s saving grace to His people through Christ. In this setting, youth grow in their personal relationship with God and in the fellowship of Word and Sacrament in Christ’s Church. The National LCMS Youth Gathering is a vehicle through which the Church cares for, affirms, and reaches out to young people, both churched and unchurched.

The National LCMS Youth Gathering is a unique and special experience. Lasting impacts are made as thousands of youth and adults gather together to profess their Christian faith and join in fellowship National LCMS Youth Gatherings equip youth and adult with one another. It is now time to begin preparing leaders to recognize that youth ministry happens in a for this experience that will take place July 1–5, variety of settings in their congregation, community, 2013. While the months leading up to the Gathering and world. are filled with paperwork, details, and fundraisers, we pray that this time will also be filled with God’s Contact Us love, grace, and provision as He works in the lives For questions pertaining to registration and housing, of youth, leaders, and congregations to take this please send an email to nygregistration@lcms.org. next step in the plan He has already prepared. National LCMS Youth Gathering + LCMS Youth Ministry 1333 S. Kirkwood Road – St. Louis, MO 63122 Phone: 314-996-1155 or 1-800-248-1930 x 1155

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Gathering Dates and Deadlines September 10, 2012 Begin data entry for online registration. October 16 – October 30, 2012 Priority Window for Gathering Registration. January 2013 Registration confirmation for groups accepted to the Gathering. Early Spring 2013 Primary Adult Leaders receive Gathering Hotel Information. Early April 2013 Hotel deposit is due.

The National Youth Gathering will work with groups to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with a disability. In addition to online registration, individuals with a disability will be required to complete a Special Needs Form (available online), stating their disability and need. Once registered, the Gathering Special Needs Advisor will work with the individual and their group to coordinate services. Everyone who attends the Gathering must register. All paid participants will receive a youth or adult wristband for entrance into Gathering activities. Youth and adult wristbands are not transferable. LOST WRISTBANDS WILL NOT BE REPLACED! Only registered participants will be allowed to take part in Gathering events. Non-registered individuals— including children, spouses, and other adults—will not be accommodated in Gathering hotels or events.

May 1, 2013 Full payment due to qualify for express registration on-site at the Gathering. No payments will be Requirements: Youth Participants accepted in the National Gathering Office after The Gathering is intended for high school youth ages this date. Payments after May 1, 2013, must be 14–19. To register for the 2013 National LCMS made on-site at the Gathering. Youth Gathering, youth participants must meet ONE July 1–5, 2013 of the two following eligibility requirements: The 2013 National LCMS Youth Gathering 1. Must be 14 years old at the time of the Gathering. OR Registration Information The Gathering registration fee is $295 per participant. 2. Entering his or her ninth grade year at the time of This fee covers all Gathering program and Office of the Gathering. National Mission Youth Ministry administrative costs; Youth participants must also not have turned 21 by participant items like the Gathering Bible, backpack, the time of the Gathering. and Post-Gathering resources; and secondary insurance for all participants. Young Adult Volunteers ( YAV ) Hotel, travel, and meal costs are not included in the registration fee.

Young adults who are 19–25 years old are encouraged to submit applications to serve the Gathering as members of the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) Corps. In an effort to practice good environmental and The YAV application process will begin July 15, financial stewardship, registration will take place online. 2012. Details about the YAV Corps are available at There will be no paper registration for the Gathering; www.lcmsgathering.com/yav. however, each group will be required to mail a Pastoral Affirmation Form, Registration Account Form (available Invite a Friend to print after completing online registration), and the The Gathering is a great event for youth to invite friends deposit payment. who are not members of their church, but are longing to learn more about God’s love for them. Be sure to include the friends and their parents in all pre-Gathering meetings and events. These meetings are ideal times to discuss Scripture, support faith development, and introduce congregational pastors, church workers, and members. Check out the Gathering’s website (www.lcmsgathering.com/resources) for resources on now to incorporate friends outside of the church.

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Adult to Youth Ratio The Youth Gathering promotes a ratio comparing youth to adults in order to provide sufficient space for youth to attend the event. The youth to adult ratio for the 2013 Gathering has been adjusted to allow congregations more flexibility in determining the number of Adult Leaders they select to attend the Gathering. The Gathering values the involvement of parents and other significant adults in the faith life of young people and encourages their participation as Adult Leaders at the Gathering.

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RECOMMENDED

Requirements: Adult Leaders Adult leaders are responsible to care, nurture, and support each youth throughout the Gathering. These leaders are expected to attend the Gathering activities It is strongly recommended that: and participate fully with their group. Congregational 1. All groups have at least two adults. adult leaders can work together to find time to attend workshops especially for adults. They must be 2. Congregations secure criminal background 21 at the time of registration and approved by their checks for its Adult Leaders. pastor to serve in this role. For more information www.protectmyministry.com on the role of the adult leader, see the website, 3. The adult to youth ratio does not exceed one adult for every two youth for groups with more www.lcmsgathering.com/adultleaders. than six youth. The Gathering strongly recommends that every congregation attending has a minimum of two adult Congregations with only one youth attending leaders and that each Community Group includes at the Gathering can be connected to other LCMS congregations by their District Coordinator. District least two youth. Coordinators’ contact information can be found at the Primary Adult Leader ( PAL ) District Coordinators’ page on the Gathering website Each congregation will designate one Primary Adult (www.lcmsgathering.com/districtcoordinators). Leader (PAL). All communication between the Gathering office and the congregation will be handled Online Registration through each group’s PAL. They will complete a unique Refer to the Registration page at www.lcmsgathering. online form. com/registration to download the Youth Participant and Adult Leader Worksheets and give to potential Community Group attendees. Use the worksheet information to complete Previously called Family Group, a Community Group is the online registration. Data can be entered into the the core unit at the Gathering. It is the primary place registration program starting September 10, 2012. for learning, growing, sharing, and fellowship before, during, and after the five-day on-site experience. Complete online registration instructions can be Community Groups provide youth the opportunity found at the Gathering website: to talk things through in a close setting and make www.lcmsgathering.com/registration. new discoveries about life in Christ and life in the All participants must register online. Church. Use the recommended youth-to-adult ratio to determine appropriate Community Group sizes. A smaller congregational group may only have one Community Group. # of Youth # of Adults

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Gathering Registration Priority Window Priority Registration for the Gathering opens Oct. 16, 2012. Forms postmarked before Oct. 16, 2012, will be returned and registration to the Gathering will be delayed. The Priority Window for Registration closes Oct. 30, 2012. Any forms postmarked between Oct. 16 and Oct. 30, 2012, will receive priority consideration for Gathering registration and housing. When registration fills to capacity, remaining groups will be placed on a waiting list. Participants for the waiting list will be admitted to the Gathering on a space available basis. After March 1, 2013, participants will continue to be admitted to the Gathering on a space available basis for the late registration fee of $345. Registration Forms Youth Participant Worksheet: Use this worksheet to collect registration information and complete the registration process for each youth participant at www.lcmsgathering.com/Registration. This form can be kept for personal records. After completing the online registration process, the Primary Adult Leader will: • Follow the available instructions to print the appropriate forms (Pastoral Affirmation Form and Registration Account Form). • Acquire signatures where required. • Complete Special Needs Form, if necessary. • Mail forms and required deposit to the National Gathering Office. All registration forms and deposits can be mailed on or after Oct. 16, 2012. Any forms that arrive at the National Gathering Office postmarked before Oct. 16, 2012, will be returned and registration will be delayed. Congregations may begin entering registration information on Sept. 10, 2012. Forms may not be mailed to the National Gathering Office before the Priority Registration Window.

Adult Leader Worksheet: Use this worksheet to collect registration information and complete the registration process for each adult leader at www.lcmsgathering.com/registration. This form can be kept for personal records. Special Needs Form: This form is required for individuals with a disability that requires assistance from the Gathering and must be mailed with registration information. It can be found at www.lcmsgathering.com/registration. Pastoral Affirmation Form: This form lists all participants’ names and must be signed by the pastor and mailed to the National Gathering Office. It will be available to print after completing the online registration. Registration Account Form: This form contains important account information that MUST be mailed to the National Gathering Office. It will be available to print after completing the online registration. . .

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Cancellations A $100 charge per person will be retained for cancellations made on or before May 1, 2013. This fee goes into effect once the initial congregational group has been accepted into the Gathering. The remaining funds will be refunded to the congregation through the Primary Adult Leader. No refunds will be issued as of May 2, 2013. Because all supplies and materials needed for the Gathering are ordered based on the registration number up to this point, participants who cancel after May 1, 2013, will still be required to pay the full $295 registration fee. All cancellations must be made in writing and submitted to the National Gathering Office. The congregational ID is found on the mailing label of the Pre-Gathering DVD, mailed August 2012. Or contact the National Gathering Office at nygregistration@lcms.org.

Substitutions Participant substitutions may be made with the National Gathering Office until June 1, 2013. Following June 1, 2013, substitutions will not be accepted. Substitutions will not be accepted on-site at the Gathering. Substituted participants must complete the online registration form in order to be accepted. Both the name of the registered participant and the substitute must be clearly indicated or the substitution will not be accepted. The congregational ID is found on the mailing label of the Pre-Gathering DVD, mailed August 2012. Or contact the National Gathering Office at nygregistration@lcms.org..

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Payment Options Express Registration: Congregations that pay their group’s registration fees in full before reaching San Antonio save time at the Youth Gathering. An expedited express registration service will be available in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center for congregations that pay the full $295 fee per participant before May 1, 2013. Hassle-free express registration is the best way to begin the Gathering experience. Arrive, register quickly and conveniently, and start enjoying the Gathering! No payments will be accepted in the National Gathering Office that are postmarked after May 1, 2013. Payments after May 1, 2013, must be made on-site at the Gathering. Select one of the following options only. Do not combine options when making payment: 1. Submit $100 deposit per person with each registration. Pay the balance anytime before May 1, 2013, or upon arrival at the Gathering. OR 2. Submit payment in full for ALL participants at the time of registration. Payment Procedures LCEF Account Gathering payments can be easily submitted with a direct transfer from a Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) investment. For more information, call 1-800-843-5233, or visit www.lcef.org/nyg.. (Note: An authorized signature will be required for an organization’s LCEF investment.) Indicate this method of payment on the Primary Adult Leader’s online registration form.

Other Options – Check or Money Order When making any payment (deposit, balances, or payment in full), be advised of the following: • Checks must be drawn on the congregation or youth group bank account. • One check per congregation. • A cashier’s check or money order may be sent in lieu of a congregation or youth group check. • Make checks, money orders, or cashier’s checks payable to the LCMS Youth Gathering. • Congregational ID number must be included on check memo line. • Personal checks and cash are not accepted and will be returned. • A $50 fee will be assessed for any check returned with insufficient funds. Note: We are tax exempt in the state of Texas. Texas Tax Exempt Status Organizations with a 501(c)(3) status are state tax exempt in Texas. Possession of this certificate will allow your group to be exempt from paying the 6% state taxes for your hotel bill for the Gathering. Individual congregations may obtain these forms via the web at www.cpa.state.tx.us/taxinfo/exempt/index.html. Financial Assistance Limited financial aid is available. Interested registrants should submit a letter of request to the National Gathering Office no later than Jan. 1, 2013. For an individual to receive financial assistance to offset registration fees, send a letter to the attention of the LCMS National Youth Gathering Financial Aid.

National LCMS Youth Gathering 1333 S. Kirkwood Road St. Louis, MO 63122 nygregistration@lcms.org Phone: 3 1 4 - 9 9 6 - 1 1 5 5 or 1-800-248-1930 x 1155 Fax: 314-996-1504

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Step-by-Step Housing Preference Process Determine what type and how many rooms are needed for your group. •

Double (four people per room-do not plan to put more than four in each room)

King (two people per room-do not plan to put more than two in each room)

Suite properties do not guarantee more than four persons per double room and two persons per king room.

Note: For liability reasons, it is not advisable to put one adult and one youth alone in one room or one bed. Do not put male and female participants in the same room, unless they are married.

Groups Traveling Together If you are traveling to the Gathering with another group and wish to be housed in close proximity: •

Each congregation must complete its own registration and print the online forms.

Each congregation must (separately) follow the recommended youth-to-adult ratio.

Each congregation must request the SAME hotel zones in the SAME order.

Each congregation must include its own (separate) payment - check or LCEF account. All forms from ALL congregations must be mailed to the National Gathering Office in the SAME envelope. One person must be identified as the contact person for the ENTIRE group. (Each group still has its own Primary Adult Leader).

Review the list of Gathering Hotel Zones on page 8.

Consider cost, type of hotel, and location.

The Primary Adult Leader indicates the group’s first and second choice of desired zone on his or her registration form.

Note: Every effort is made to place a congregation in their preferred zone, however; the Gathering does not guarantee this placement. Registrations received during the Priority Window will be given first consideration. •

Primary Adult Leaders will be notified of their housing assignment in early Spring 2013. Additional information about Gathering housing will be provided at that time.

Once assigned to a hotel, groups will be required to provide a one-night deposit for each room in the room block along with a rooming list indicating the names of the individuals in each room. Information about the deposit and rooming list will be included in your housing confirmation letter.

If any form is incomplete or if there is a discrepancy in any group’s deposit, the registration of all congregations in the group will be delayed.

Reminder: Housing costs are not included in your registration fee. Groups are responsible for paying their hotel bill upon checkout. Note: All hotels rates are commissionable and include a rebate to defray administrative costs.

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SAN ANTONIO HOTEL ZONES

Zone #1

Zone #3

$149/night (plus applicable taxes)

$125 – $129 (plus applicable taxes)

Want to beat the heat and cut down on your walking while at the Gathering? Then you will want to stay in one of the Gathering’s 4 Star luxury hotels which are all located on San Antonio’s famed Riverwalk just steps away from the convention center and the Alamodome. These hotels will also be the “hub” of many Gathering activities.

These hotels are moderate properties such as Wyndham. You will want to anticipate walking approximately 1 mile to the Gathering venues.

NOTE: If your group has participants who are wheelchair bound or have limited walking ability, you will want to consider this zone.

Zone #2

Zone #4 $110 – $124 (plus applicable taxes) Hotels in Zone #4 will be value-dollar properties such as Best Western. Although it won’t be guaranteed, you may be shuttled (up to 30 minutes) to the convention center and/or Alamodome.

$130 – $139/night (plus applicable taxes) This category of hotels will include properties such as Hilton and Sheraton. You may also have the opportunity to experience one of San Antonio’s many historic hotels, rich in history and culture. These hotels may be located within a walkable distance up to 1 mile from the convention center and Alamodome.

NOTE: All hotels have a pool!

Housing at the Gathering The Gathering has contracted with hotels in San Antonio to ensure that there will be ample space for all Gathering participants. Special housing rates have been arranged for Gathering participants. All Gathering participants will be assigned to official Gathering hotels. Congregations do not book their own housing; the Gathering assigns all participants to a hotel. Groups that attempt to book their own housing will not be accepted for the 2013 National LCMS Youth Gathering. There are no exceptions to this important policy.

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SAN ANTONIO HOTEL ZONES

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Gathering Website: www.lcmsgathering.com The Gathering website is the place to find information about the Gathering. Visit the website often for the latest Gathering news. Here’s what you’ll find online:

+ Gathering Update Emails – Sign up to receive Gathering updates via email . www.lcmsgathering.com/gatheringupdates + FAQs – Check here for answers to questions that the Gathering office gets asked most frequently. www.lcmsgathering.com/faqs + Adult Leaders – Get directed to current information regarding programming, resources, tips, and more. www.lcmsgathering.com/adultleaders + San Antonio – This page accessed from the Gathering homepage provides more information on the city of San Antonio itself including places to go, where to eat and shop, maps, and other helpful information. www.visitsanantonio.com/lcmsgathering + Gathering Resources – Find a comprehensive list of Gathering resources from fundraising tips to Community Life resources. www.lcmsgathering.com/resources + Downloads – Find identity mark (logo) resources and Gathering slide templates for congregational use as well as resources for Adult Leaders and Special Forms. www.lcmsgathering.com/downloads + Registration Information - www.lcmsgathering.com/registration + Districts Information – Get up-to-date information on LCMS Districts’ plans for the Gathering. www.lcmsgathering.com/districts + On the Road – Find resources and support for travel to San Antonio. www.lcmsgathering.com/ontheroad + Youth – This page will have information for youth on programming, bands, speakers, and more. www.lcmsgathering.com/youth + Young Adult Volunteers – Anyone aged 19-25 years old and interested in being a YAV should check here for Gathering information related to this particular group. www.lcmsgathering.com/yav

Don’t forget to join the Gathering’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/lcmsyg Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lcmsnyg

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