Update regarding the 2022 ELCA Youth Gathering (February 22, 2021)

Gathering leadership continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and how it may impact the 2022 ELCA Youth Gathering, MYLE & the tAble. Many of those impacts remain unknown this far in advance of the event dates, however we are optimistic that we will be together in Minneapolis next summer. We plan to provide an update on the Gathering’s viability later this summer (before registration opens) and again in late November/early December. We will continue sharing updates through Gathering communication as we learn more about the projected state of the virus in July 2022. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through these details with an ever-changing virus.

Frequently Asked Questions around COVID-19 & the Gathering

Please note that some of these responses may change. Gathering leadership continues to listen to research and advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, public health officials, professional meeting and event planner organizations, as well as our host city and major venues. Please stay tuned to Gathering communications for future updates.

 

At this time, vaccinations will not be required to attend the Gathering. We encourage everyone to talk with their health care providers and get vaccinated if they are able. To learn more about the vaccine and when you will be eligible, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/.
Masks are an important tool in controlling the spread of COVID-19. It is still too early to determine if masks will be required onsite at the Gathering. Final decisions will adhere to CDC and local health department guidelines.
Because participants attend the ELCA Youth Gathering as congregational groups averaging 13 people, with total attendance around 30,000, physical distancing as we know it today (6ft between persons) would be impossible to accommodate. If the current guidelines on distancing are still in effect in July 2022, the Gathering would likely be cancelled, or the event would be altered to something very different from Gatherings in recent cycles.
No. Registration is unlikely to be postponed because those dates are tied to other planning timelines and contractual deadlines.
We plan to provide an update on the Gathering’s projected viability later this summer (before registration opens) and again in late November/early December.

The COVID-19 pandemic has evolved rapidly since its global emergence in 2019. We anticipate it will continue evolving into this summer and fall. As such, there are no firm dates by when a decision will be made to hold or cancel the 2022 ELCA Youth Gathering, MYLE or the tAble. We pledge to be as transparent as possible with the decision-making process and timeline.
As we’ve learned more about COVID-19, we’ve also learned more about best practices for COVID-19 safety measures at events. We will use local, state, and federal public health guidelines to inform our decisions as they relate to necessary precautions needed to control the spread of COVID-19 onsite. We aren’t entirely sure what those guidelines will be for summer 2022, but we imagine they may include those precautions you are already familiar with today: lots of handwashing, mask wearing, etc.
If the Gathering is cancelled, deposits will likely be refunded, with the option for congregations to donate some or all of those funds towards the ministry of the Gathering or to forward their deposit to the 2024 Gathering.
There are no plans to alter the housing process at this time. Congregations are required to stay at their assigned hotel to participate in the 2022 Gathering. For more information about housing, visit the Registration and Housing FAQs on the Gathering website: https://elca.org/YouthGathering/FAQs#registration-and-housing.