Frequently Asked Questions

What is the NALC Continental Youth Gathering?

What is the NALC Continental Youth Gathering?

The NALC Continental Youth Gathering (CYG) is a four-day event hosted by the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). The mission of this event is to provide opportunities for Lutheran youth to not only grow in their faith, but to be encouraged by connecting with other believers throughout North America. 

This is the first year we are hosting the CYG, and we are excited for all that’s in store! Throughout the event, youth, leaders, and volunteers will join in corporate worship, study God’s Word, engage in large and small group sessions, reach out to the community through mission events, and engage in fellowship and fun.

Who can attend the Gathering?

Youth ages 12-18 as of June 2024 are welcome to attend the gathering as participants. The CYG sessions are planned for Lutheran youth, however, we encourage attendees to invite their friends, because all youth ages 12-18 are welcome. We will provide pastoral support for questions about the teachings of the Lutheran church. Adults (ages 25+) are able to attend the gathering as group, or Home Team, leaders. Young adult volunteers (ages 19-24) are able to serve as Leaders in Training (LITs). Please see the “What is an LIT?” section below.

What is a Home Team? What is a Home Team leader?

We ask that groups attending the CYG have a minimum of one adult leader for every seven youth, so a Home Team is a maximum of seven youth and their team leader(s). Each Home Team may have more than one leader but may only have a maximum of seven youth. If you have more than seven youth in your church you will need to register another adult leader to oversee an additional Home Team.

Who can be a Home Team Leader?

A Home Team leader must:

  • Be a confirmed member of a North American Lutheran Church congregation, or have exceptional status from the director of Youth and Family Ministry of the NALC
  • Have love for God and for youth
  • Be at least 25 years old at the time of the Continental Youth Gathering
  • Be approved by their pastor or church president for their role as a Home Team Leader
  • Submit a valid, recent background check that is less than two years old at the time of the gathering.

Do I send both male and female Home Team leaders if I have co-ed youth?

You are required to send one leader for every seven youth. However, we highly recommend that you consider having a Home Team leader of each gender, if possible.

Why is the Gathering called “We Belong”?

As Christians WE BELONG! We belong to Christ. We belong to the Church. We belong to the Community. And we belong to each other.

Where will the Gathering be held in 2024?

The gathering will be held at St. John Lutheran Church in Boerne, TX. An informational booklet will be provided to all registrants upon arrival, which will include maps, information on mission/service projects, Bible studies, information on teachers and speakers, excursions, transportation, and much more. Note: The excursions and many of the mission projects will take place off-site, and leaders are required to supervise their youth at all times. As mentioned in the previous sections, each group must have one leader for every seven youth. 

Music & Speakers

Who will be providing music at the CYG?

The band during the CYG will be the Lurvey Brothers, who are actually brothers. They grew up in a pastor’s musical family, and have been making music together all their lives, wherever God has led them. Between them, they’ve been to Liberia, Cameroon, Nigeria, India, Finland, Japan, plus the US and Canada.  They’ve worked at Bible camps and led music at youth gatherings in Canada and the US, and a couple of them have pastored eight Lutheran churches over the years.  

The Lurvey Brothers bring their own brand of song leading—from the wacky to worshipful, from quiet to cacophonous. Prepare to move and be moved, as we rejoice and celebrate the goodness of God and His grace and mercy toward us!

Who are the speakers and teachers at the CYG?

  • The Rev. Michael D. Wikstrom Retired Army Chaplain, Marriage and Family Therapist and an expert in Suicide Prevention. Pastor Michael will speak about finding our identity in Christ, dealing with peer pressure and suicide.
  • Michelle Bauman Director of Y4Life, Lutherans for Life. Michelle will  help us to discover the miracle of our beginnings and learn how, from one developmental stage to the next, we have always been made for LIFE!
  • The Rev. Dr. Dan SelboBishop of The North American Lutheran Church, Dallas, TX. Bishop Dan will speak at our First Session reminding us We Belong to Christ, We Belong to Church, We Belong to Community, We Belong to each other. The focus scripture verse will be John 10:14-15.
  • The Rev. Paulette McHugh Joy Mission Church, Lexington, SC. Pastor Paulette will speak at our second session reminding us that we belong to Christ. The focus scripture verse is 1 Corinthians 12:12-27.
  • The Rev. Bert and Kristie Eldredge Prince of Peace, Caspar, WY. Pastor Bert and Kristie will also share how we belong to Christ at our third session. The focus scripture verse is Ephesians 4:1-7. 
  • The Rev. Mathew Magera Zion Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh, PA. Pastor Mathew will speak at our fourth session reminding us we belong to the Church. The focus scripture verse will be 1 Peter 2:4-12.
  • The Rev. Darcy AlbersSt. Albert Ev. Lutheran Church, St. Albert, AB. Pastor Darcy will also discuss how we belong to the Church at our fifth session. The focus scripture verse is John 14:15-20.
  • The Rev. Jay LutzTrinity Lutheran, Ponoka, AB. Pastor Jay will speak at our sixth session reminding us we belong to community. The focus scripture verse will be 1 John 2:1-6. 
  • The Rev. Joe Hill St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church, San Jose, CA. Pastor Joe will speak at our seventh session reminding us we belong to each other. The focus scripture verse will be 1 John 4:7-16.
  • The Rev. Teresa Peters NALC Director of Youth and Family Ministry, Winnipeg, MB. Pastor Teresa will be our MC for each of the seven sessions and provide valuable information and instruction for all the other events at the gathering.
  • The Rev. Eric Waters St. John Lutheran Church, Boerne, TX.  Pastor Eric will be our preacher for opening and closing worship.
  • The Rev. Dr. Amy Little NALC General Secretary, Arlington, TX. Pastor Amy will be leading our opening and closing worship.

Cost & Meals

How much will the CYG cost?

Youth and team leaders pay a subsidized rate of $250.00 per person, which includes the program costs, supplies, t-shirts, drawstring bags, excursions, missions, most food, and transportation during the CYG. We offer a reduced registration rate for our LITs at $150.00 per person. Note: Transportation to and from Boerne, TX, will be the church/leader’s responsibility to coordinate. More information about transportation will be provided closer to the date of the gathering. 

Will there be food provided at the Gathering?

The CYG will provide most meals. Participants will be responsible for their own breakfasts, one lunch, one dinner and two evening snacks. There will be places provided for the participants to purchase the dinner and two evening snacks.

Do we need money for anything else apart from food?

All excursions, activities and mission expenses are covered by the registration cost. However, registrants may want money for souvenirs and/or merchandise that vendors or excursion locations may offer.

Accommodations & Transportation

How do we arrange accommodations?


We have room blocks at these two hotels, and bus transportation will be provided ONLY from these hotels to and from St. John once a day.

Below are the two hotels that the CYG will provide transportation to and from St. John each day:

Hampton Inn and Suites
34935 IH-10 West | Boerne, TX 78006 | Phone: 830-816-8800
Booking Link:

  • Group Code: NAL

Cost info: One King Bed with sofa bed or Double Queens: $174 per night, 6.30.23-7.3.23; $229 on 7.4.23.  Rates for two people. $10 extra per person per night, up to four people. Breakfast included. Taxes not included. Deposit of full stay due at time of booking.  Cancel 21 days prior to arrival to receive a full refund. Note: You may add a night to your reservation by first reserving in the block, and then contacting [email protected]. 

The Bevy:  A Doubletree by Hilton
101 Herff Road | Boerne, TX 78006 | Phone: 830-816-7006
Booking Link:

  • Group Code: NAL
  • Book by 4.30.2024 to receive the group rate.

Cost Info: One King Bed or Double Queens: $159 per night, 6.30.23-7.3.23; $239 on 7.4.23.  Rates for up to four people per room per night. Taxes not included. Breakfast NOT included, but can be purchased from on-site restaurant or other restaurants within walking distance.

Below are options that DO NOT include transportation by the CYG:

Comfort Inn & Suites Texas Hill Country
35000 IH-10 W | Boerne, TX 78006 | 830-249-6800
Booking Link:

  • Group Code if calling hotel: NALC Youth Gathering

Cost Info: One King Bed: $82 per night for 2 people.  Can add one rollaway bed for one person for $10.  Taxes not included. Two Double Queens: $92 per night for up to four people. Taxes not included. Breakfast included. Book by June 1 to receive the group rate.

Guest houses: 

Guest houses/rentals are a great option. Some of these guest houses may be available to book through VRBO or Airbnb and are within walking distance to St. John. Please note that NO transportation will be provided to or from any guest house. Check for a direct link to the house’s VRBO or Airbnb website. If you have your own transportation, there are many guest houses to choose from in the Boerne area.

Host Homes:

Fill out this Google Form to register to stay at a host home, which will be provided by a member of St. John. We encourage host homes to be used by those who have financial need.  Once approved for a host home by the CYG planning team, a fee of $100 is required to hold your space at these host homes. No other payment will be needed.

Who pays for accommodations?

Participants pay for their own accommodations.  When you call or book online through one of our hotel blocks, you will be required to submit either full payment or simply submit a credit card to hold your rooms.  We suggest you divide the cost of the hotel rooms evenly by all participants (including adults), and add this to the fee your church charges each participant. Note: We also encourage churches to fund-raise or ask their congregations to subsidize the costs associated with the gathering, including accommodations.

How does transportation take place at the Gathering?

We will have buses to transport participants from the two designated hotels to St. John and back each day, July 1-4. We will also provide transportation for the activities that take place during the gathering, including bus transportation to off-site excursions and mission sites. More information will be sent out just prior to the CYG. As noted previously, transportation is not provided from the airport to your hotel. We recommend using any type of transportation services that are recommended on the Boerne Visitor Center website: Note: Be advised that Uber is not common in the Boerne area, and one of the above transportation services should be utilized for the return trip to the San Antonio airport. There will be limited availability on church buses to return groups to the San Antonio airport on Friday, July 5. More information on how to arrange this will also be sent out just prior to the CYG.

Leaders, Leaders in Training (LITs) & Youth

Do I have to get a criminal record check?

Yes! All adults (people aged 18 and over) attending the NALC Continental Youth Gathering in any capacity must provide an original criminal record check with vulnerable sector screening that is less than two years old at the time of the gathering.

Can I be a Home Team leader if I’m not 25 at the time of the Continental Youth Gathering?

We strongly discourage congregations from sending leaders who are younger than 25. However, if another Home Team leader over 25 is attending and will co-lead, occasional exceptions may be made. You can contact the Director of Youth and Family Ministry to ask for special permission.

What if a youth who wants to come is only 11?

Prayerfully consider that the gathering’s content is prepared with youth from ages 12-18 in mind. If you determine a youth should be included,  you  may  apply  for  an  exemption.  Please send the Rev. Teresa Peters (director of Youth and Family Ministry) a letter from the parent/guardian granting permission for the youth to attend the CYG and a reference from your pastor, or church president, identifying reasons why he/she feels this youth would benefit from attending this gathering.

What is an LIT?

LITs are leaders in training—young adult volunteers (19-24, or out of high school for 1 year) who are eager to serve in a variety of ways at the CYG. This includes welcoming, organizing, running events, Bible study leading, event setting up and tearing down, taking care of details, etc. In addition to serving and volunteer work, there will also be special trainings, as well as sessions with our guest speakers.  

This program is designed to offer meaningful tasks that will develop your leadership experience, as well as to aid the planning committee in carrying out a successful gathering. Volunteers may be assigned to different program teams, and we attempt to place individuals in areas where they are using their strengths or developing skills of interest.

However, sometimes there are tasks that aren’t anyone’s first choice, and LITs who volunteer should be willing to help out when necessary. LITs will be required to have up to five Zoom training sessions, and to also arrive early on Friday June 28th to begin on-site training. Accommodations for the LITs will be in a separate location from the Home Teams, and is provided free of charge for the training and the gathering itself.  

Note: LITs will be chosen by the CYG Leaders in Training team through an application process.

What is the LIT application process?

Those that wish to be an LIT (ages 19-24) will begin the application process online the same way as an adult that is coming without youth, which can be found at Once the LIT has answered a set of initial questions, the application will be sent to the CYG Leaders in Training team, where they will set up a zoom interview with the LIT.

If approved, the LIT will then be able to complete the registration online. LITs must apply by February 1, 2024. Interviews will take place the month of February and applicants will know by March 1 if they have been chosen, as there are a limited number of spots available. If an applicant is not chosen and still wishes to attend, the CYG Leaders in Training team will try to match them with a youth group that could benefit from a second adult on their home team. 

What is the registration deadline?

The registration deadline is April 15, 2024. You must have your whole Home Team registered online no later than April 15. 

Note: There are only 500 spots available for both youth and adults. If we exceed that number you will be put on a waiting list.

About Your Hosts, the NALC

Who are the people involved in putting on the Gathering?

As the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) has begun to expand throughout the continent, so have our ministries! The Youth and Family Ministry of the NALC, directed by the Rev. Teresa Peters, is committed to sharing the gospel with young people—both Lutherans, and those who have yet to meet Jesus. However, Pastor Teresa could not do this alone! There are numerous pastors and lay people throughout the NALC planning and spearheading this event. Please take the time to read the names of the individuals in the CYG booklet you will receive at registration in Boerne and thank all of those involved!

Who is the North American Lutheran Church?

The North American Lutheran Church (NALC) is a fast-growing, Christian church rooted in the Lutheran tradition, uniting Lutherans in congregations across North America. The NALC embodies the theological center of Lutheranism in North America and stands firmly within the global Lutheran mainstream—and is committed to the authority of the Bible as the inspired Word of God. 

In keeping with the Lutheran Confessions, we believe all doctrines should and must be judged by the teaching of Scripture. We have four Core Values—Christ Centered, Mission Driven, Traditionally Grounded, and Congregationally Focused—and are a church centered on the unique Gospel of Jesus Christ, animated by missions and evangelism, grounded in the 2,000-year tradition of Christian faith, and organized chiefly to serve our congregations.

As a renewed Lutheran community moving forward in faith, the NALC is focused on living out Christ’s Great Commission to go and make disciples in North America and around the globe.

To learn more about the NALC, visit

Cancellations, What to Pack

What should we pack?

  • A reusable WATER BOTTLE to stay hydrated! It will be very hot!
  • A little spending money (for snacks, drinks, worship offering, etc.)
  • Clean, non-marking sneakers for in the gym; sneakers for outdoor games and service trips 
  • Bible, notebook, and pen/pencil
  • Personal items—like toiletries, extra snacks, clothes, etc.
  • Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen—some service trips and activities will be outside!
  • Musical instruments and/or games (optional)

What about refunds, transfers and cancellations?

Once a registration has been entered online, that person has committed to attending. Once the registration fee has been paid, the registration fee is non-refundable. A registration may be transferable to someone else in your group before May 15, at the Registrar’s discretion. No transfers will be accepted after May 15.

In the event that the CYG is canceled for circumstances beyond our control, we will make every effort to provide as much of a refund as possible.