Nothing beats being in community with fellow believers! One of the many draws of the LCMS Youth Gathering is that it allows attendees to do just that—in one of the biggest ways possible.

Thousands of people from around the world will descend upon Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium for tonight’s Mass Event—the kickoff to the massive, five-day event. If you’re planning to be among the multitude, be sure to include your alma mater on your list of friends from around the globe with whom you’ll connect this week and next.

There are plenty of places to spot a friendly CUW or CUAA face at this year’s Gathering. Here are just a few:

At Mass Events and Morning Sessions

It will be tough to miss these faces at NYG! As a Mass Event emcee, Rev. Jake Allstaedt (’07) will be one of three key faces during the event as he leads participants in discussions surrounding the theme: Real. Present. God. Youth and adults will be able to connect with him at Mass Events (and beyond) each night.

The other three CUW alumni pictured below—Scott Giger (’98), Chad Janetzke (’03), and Gabe Kasper (’08)—can be found guiding youth through the book of Psalms each morning. As three of 10 Morning Session Leaders, these alumni will help participants dive deeper into God’s Word and discover how the psalms are relatable to their lives.

Learn more about these key NYG players and more by clicking here.

From left: Jake Allstaedt, Scott Giger, Chad Janetzke, and Gabe Kasper

At Morning Sessions and on the loose

Consider these 12 Concordians your “hype men/women” at the event. You’ll start each day with at least one of our Concordia Ambassadors at Morning Sessions, where they’ll share a bit about themselves, their faith journey, and their Concordia story. You can also catch them roaming throughout the Convention Center, shooting off stuffed flying monkeys (you read that right) and, in general, bringing the energy. If you see a Concordia Ambassador, be sure to stop them for a picture because you could win major prizes!


In the Interactive Center

Come check out the Concordia booth-to-end-all-booths…Although, in reality, it’s less of a booth and more of an experience! Concordia’s booth is located within Halls C and D of the Interactive Center on Level One of the Minneapolis Convention Center. With two digital escape rooms, simulated residence halls (so you can experience Concordia’s campus), free giveaways, appearances from Freddy the Falcon and our resident comfort dogs, games, and more, believe us when we say it’s worth a visit. While you’re there, make sure you ask about programs and alumni benefits available to you as well.

A sneak peek of Concordia’s NYG booth mid-setup.

At a break-out session

Call us biased, but we think a session led by one of our own will be worth your while. Check out the following CUW and CUAA alumni or faculty at these sessions:

  • Daily at 10:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. — CUW Professor of Education Brad Alles | “Is There a Gap in Your Map? Worldviews & Truth” | Room L100 BCHI
  • ​Daily at 10:30 a.m. — Trevor Kunze (CUW ‘12) | “Lead Like the Elite… Let’s Go!” | Room 200 FGH
  • Daily at 12:00 p.m. — Vice President of Administration Rev. Dr. Ryan Peterson | “Remaining in Christ Through the Chaos of Life”| Room 200 AB
  • Daily at 12:00 p.m. — Rev. A. Trevor Sutton (CUAA ’08) |Clearly Christian: Following Jesus In This Age of Confusion | Room: M100 IJ
  • Daily at 12:00 p.m. — Rev. Dr. Joel Lehenbauer (CUAA ‘80)  | “Real. Present. God. In The Psalms” | Room: 200 CDE
  • Daily at 2:00 p.m. — Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz (CUAA ’82) | “Spiritual First Responders: Disciples Ready For 21st Century Mission and Ministry | Room: M100 AB
  • Daily at 2:00 p.m. — Jessica Bordeleau (CUW ’00) and LYF Executive Team | “Rooted Identity” | Room: L100 F
  • ​Daily at 4:00 p.m. — Vice President of Administration Rev. Dr. Ryan Peterson | “How Do I Know? A Simple Approach to Complex Decisions” | Room: Hyatt Greenway
  • Friday at 4:00 p.m. — Rev. Marcus Lane (CUW ’11) | “Mustaches, Fig Leaves, and Instagram: How Jesus Sets Us Free to Be Ourselves | Room 200IJ
  • Saturday at 12:00 p.m. — Vice President of Administration Rev. Dr. Ryan Peterson | “A Devotional Deep Dive: Remaining In Christ through the Chaos of Life” | Room 200 AB

At Brit’s Pub

On July 14, CUW and CUAA alumni and friends are invited to take a break from the bustle to hang out with Concordia. Alumni and guests are invited to Brit’s Pub, located at 1110 Nicollet Mall, just 4 minutes west of U.S. Bank Stadium to enjoy some food and drinks on us.

Click here for more information.


— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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