For Immediate Release
Contact: Vicki Biggs, 314-996-1236, 314-556-3829 (cell), @VickiBiggs2
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SAN ANTONIO, July 3, 2013—Citizenship quiz? Check. Learning center on faith and patriotism? Check. Observing a naturalization ceremony? Check! Capping off the day watching a fireworks display? Check!
The 25,000 young people and adult leaders in San Antonio for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s (LCMS) National Youth Gathering (Gathering) will participate in the nation’s annual Independence Day celebration.
The July 4 agenda begins with a 5K run/walk through downtown San Antonio at 6:30 a.m. A record number of Gathering participants – some 3,000 – have registered for the event. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Lutheran Malaria Initiative, a partnership of Lutheran World Relief and the LCMS to provide education and treatment to help end malaria deaths in Africa.
Later that morning, all Gathering participants will join together to celebrate the Great Vigil of Easter at 10 a.m. at the Alamodome. LCMS President Matthew C. Harrison will preach at the service, which is hosted by St. Paul Lutheran Church, San Antonio.
Breakout sessions for the day include an opportunity to visit local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 76 and hear from the Rev. Lonnie Gonzalez, who will teach tangible ways to enter the public square and carry out individual Christian citizenship responsibilities.
Young people who visit the Gathering’s experiential learning center on-site at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center may participate in a citizenship quiz that tests their knowledge of American history and the intersection of faith and the public square.
For the first time in Gathering history, participants will have the opportunity to witness a citizenship ceremony. At 1 p.m., an anticipated 50 people will take their oath as American citizens in a ceremony hosted by the City of San Antonio and held at the convention center.
The evening’s 7:30 p.m. Mass Event at the Alamodome will focus on lifting up all participants as God’s beloved children while connecting them to the celebration of America’s freedom. Following the Mass Event, all participants are welcome to adjourn to North and South Plazas of the convention center to join in observing the city’s fireworks exhibition.
“Live Love[d],” the 12th triennial National LCMS Youth Gathering (Gathering), meets July 1-5 in San Antonio. The Gathering, which is The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s single largest event, brings together young people between the ages of 14-19 to spend time in worship, learning and service. For more information, visit www.lcmsgathering.com.
About The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is a biblical, confessional, witness-oriented Christian denomination with 2.3 million members – 600,000 households – in 6,200 congregations. Through acts of witness and mercy, the church carries out its mission worldwide to make known the love of Jesus Christ. Learn more at www.lcms.org.