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Is this FREE Adult Leader registration for the LCMS Young Gathering thing true?!

Yes, it’s true!  LCMS Youth Ministry values the time Youth Gathering Adult Leaders invest in their congregation’s youth and the Gathering.  We pray that NATONAL is a time for you to be encouraged and supported in your many vocations. We hope that you will be strengthened by your time at NATIONAL and also find it a time to invest in your preparation for the LCMS Youth Gathering.  Please note that in order to receive the complimentary LCMS Youth Gathering registration, you must stay at the Astor Crowne Plaza for a minimum of two nights.  Your reservation must be made through the proper method when it is provided (explained here).

Can I attend even if I am not currently serving at a congregation?

Yes.  All people who care about young people are invited and welcomed to attend NATIONAL15.

How are youth participants connected to NATIONAL?

Youth (14-18 year olds who have not graduated from high school) are invited to attend NATIONAL15 with a registered adult leader.  Youth are eligible for the discounted registration fee of $250.00.  A “Youth Track” will run parallel to the adult  workshops in which young people will be encouraged in their current and future vocations.  Youth participate in the plenary sessions (keynote speakers and Bible study) with adult participants.  More information on the youth program will be available at a later date.

How can college, graduate and seminarian students participate?

Students (aged 18+, graduated from high school) in college, seminary or a graduate program are eligible for the discounted registration rate.  This rate also qualifies the student for one complimentary LCMS Youth Gathering registration.


In addition, “Orange Nation” in conjunction with LCMS Young Adult Ministry, is planning to host a servant event for young adults at New Orleans’ Camp Restore, July 16-19, 2015.

Are meals included in the registration fee?

For the most part, meals are on your own. (New Orleans is a great food city to explore!) A meal will be provided at the LCMS Youth Gathering sponsored event on Monday (7/13) night. Also, beverages and snacks may be provided by sponsors during the conference

How do I make a hotel reservation?

You can make your hotel reservation through the Astor Crowne Plaza. Click here to register online

OR call toll free: 877-408-9661; Ask for the National Lutheran Youth Worker Conference rate/block.


Do I have to stay in the NATIONAL hotel?

You are not required to stay at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel but it is highly appreciated.  LCMS Youth Ministry negotiated a special rate for the conference and access to the meeting space under the agreement that our participants fill a specific number of rooms.  Also, the complimentary Gathering Adult Leader registration is available ONLY to those who complete reservations and stays at the Astor Crowne Plaza through the provided method.

What is the cancellation policy?

If you must cancel your reservation for NATIONAL15, a cancellation fee will be collected.  If the cancellation is made before May 1, 2015, a $50 cancellation penalty will be withheld on refunded registration fees.  Following May 1, cancelled registrations will not be eligible for a refund.  If you have specific questions about the policy, please do not hesitate to contact LCMS Youth Ministry at youth.ministry@lcms.org.

How can I become an exhibitor at NATIONAL?

Exhibitors at the NATIONAL are generally LCMS Entities; LCMS Recognized Service Organizations; LCMS Auxiliaries; or Christian ministry resources, vendors, and organizations which do not conflict with the program, philosophy, or theology of existing LCMS boards, agencies, or departments.  If interested in participating as a NATIONAL15 exhibitor or sponsor, please email youth.ministry@lcms.org.


What can I expect to happen at NATIONAL?

NATIONAL planners strive to provide you meaningful opportunities to be:

  • AFFIRMED – Be affirmed in the service your work provides the Church through encouragement, celebration, and recognition of your calling to be a youth worker.
  • CONNECTED – Network with volunteer and professional youth workers through fellowship and community building
  • EQUIPPED – Be equipped with resources and theory to develop ministry that points youth to Christ in mission, program and outreach.
  • ENRICHED – Leave enriched by content that is relevant and applicable for your day-to-day ministry

Check out the event schedule for more details.


Who hosts NATIONAL?

LCMS Youth Ministry hosts NATIONAL for youth ministry practitioners and members of the Body of Christ who care about young people. It is one way that LCMS Youth Ministry leads, serves, resources and networks youth and adults as a community of God’s people where Jesus Christ is the central focus.  Additional resources provided by LCMS Youth Ministry for youth and youth workers include thESource, LCMS Servant Events, LCMS Young Adult Ministry, LCMSU and the LCMS Youth Gathering.  Additional information about these ministries can be found at www.lcms.org/youth.

I’m confused by the schedule. When does the event start?

NATONAL15 has a schedule different from past years.  Based on responses from past participants, NATIONAL planners desire to accommodate the schedule of people who can dedicate no more than two weekdays to the event as well as individuals who must attend or serve at their home congregation over the weekend.


Sunday is the first day of NATIONAL program starting with a worship opportunity at a New Orleans LCMS congregation (transportation assistance provided).  Registration and workshops will be available on Sunday afternoon.  A workshop session will also be available on Monday morning.


The “core” of NATIONAL15 begins with the first plenary session on late Monday morning and runs through the fourth plenary on Tuesday afternoon.  Numerous workshop sessions happen on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Participants are welcomed at attend Sunday through Wednesday to take full advantage of all workshop offerings.


The first youth track session will be on Monday morning.  For additional details of the schedule, please visit the Schedule information.

What should I bring?

Event planners will continue to update this and provide a final list for registered participants.  Here’s an early start:

  • YOUR BIBLE – For study during the event’s Bible study sessions and personal reflection.
  • CASH RESOURCES – Consider bringing cash along with other payment methods (e.g., credit card, etc.) for meals and other expenditures.  New Orleans has some great eateries that may accept CASH ONLY.
  • BUSINESS CARDS – NATIONAL is the perfect opportunity to network and share ideas with other youth ministry practitioners.  Business cards are a great way to share information so that you can stay in touch and support others and receive support.

How do I sign up for workshops?

Workshop information will be added at a later date and continually updated under the Schedule tab.. You are not required to sign-up for workshops, but planners will provide an opportunity to pre-register for workshops later  in 2015.  This information will help event planners gauge interest in subject matter and reserve your seat in the session.

How are youth participants connected to NATIONAL?

NATIONAL15 features a youth track specifically designed for high school-aged youth. Youth track participants will participate in regular plenary sessions and the Steamboat Natchez Cruise (under the guidance of their congregational adult leader). A meeting room will host the youth track sessions and be available for other community activities. On Monday and Wednesday, youth participants may choose to attend workshops as their schedule allows.


Learn more about the youth track including the schedule of events at http://nlywc.com/youth-track/.

New Orleans

What is there to do in New Orleans while attending NATIONAL15?

Check out the New Orleans menu option created by the New Orleans Convention and Visitors’ Bureau specifically for NATIONAL participants!  Consider spending additional days in New Orleans to explore this unique American city!

How do I get to the conference?

Check out the travel page with options to fly, drive, train and bus to New Orleans.

Is parking available near the hotel?

Yes, parking is available at the Astor Crowne Plaza and the surrounding area.  The Crowne Plaza provides safe and convenient valet parking at $34.00 per night (+tax).  (Price is subject to change.)  Other parking can be found across the downtown New Orleans area (Central Business District or the French Quarter).