LCMS district coordinators ready to serve
Prepare for National Youth Gathering


ST. LOUIS, June 7, 2012—Coordinators are ready to serve adult leaders from their districts as congregational groups prepare for the 12th triennial National Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) Youth Gathering (NYG) July 1-5, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas.

Forty coordinators represented 33 LCMS districts met recently in St. Louis and learned more about their important role for the 2013 event.

The training gave coordinators time to explore the NYG’s theme, “Love Live(d),” taken from I John 4:9 and learn how youth participants will encounter the theme through daily activities. District coordinators also brainstormed ways to provide groups from the same district special opportunities to connect with each other during the Gathering.

Those serving as district coordinators include:

Atlantic District, the Rev. Matthew Ryan Gonzalez, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran, Bronx, N.Y.
California-Nevada-Hawaii District, Shelly Alba, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Redwood City, Calif., and Jennifer de la Motte, Good Shepherd Lutheran, Turlock, Calif.
Central Illinois District, the Rev. Christopher Decker, Zion Lutheran, Mt. Pulaski, Ill., and the Rev. Aaron Schellhas, Christ Lutheran, Peoria, Ill.
Eastern District, Nicole O'Connell, St. John Lutheran, Orchard Park, N.Y.
Florida-Georgia District, Debbie Gaylord, Grace Lutheran, Winter Haven, Fla., and Lamar Stewart, Redeemer Lutheran, Augusta, Ga.
Indiana District, Larry Hencye, Trinity Lutheran, Fort Wayne, Ind.
English District, Korey Danley, Beautiful Savior Lutheran, Lee Summit, Mo.
Iowa East District, Leon Kroemer, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Iowa West District, Cindy Storm, Calvary Lutheran, Sioux City, Iowa, and Amy Schmidt, St. Paul Lutheran, Ankeny, Iowa
Kansas District, Arleata Harmon, Risen Savior Lutheran, Wichita, Kan., and Elaine Whiteneck, Messiah Lutheran, Emporia, Kan.
Michigan District, Randy Bickel, St. Martin Lutheran, Birch Run, Mich., and Rev. Galan Walther, Michigan District office
Mid-South District, Tabitha Wildhirt, Christ Lutheran, Little Rock, Ark.
Minnesota North District, Christopher Brown, St. Paul’s Lutheran, Perham, Minn.
Minnesota South District, Lisa Day, Zion Lutheran, Hopkins, Minn., and Matt Harwell, Good Shepherd Lutheran, Glencoe, Minn.
Missouri District, Rev. Shawn Deterding, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Clinton, Mo., and Mary Beth Popp, Child of God Lutheran Church, Saint Peters, Mo.
Nebraska District, Julie Johnston Hermann, St. John Lutheran, Seward, Neb., and David Kumm, Concordia University Nebraska, Seward, Neb.
New England District, Dean Hollrah, Immanuel Lutheran, Danbury, Conn.
New Jersey District, Alicia De Sena, Good Shepherd Lutheran, Old Bridge, N.J.
North Dakota District, Pat Sebastian, Bethel Lutheran, Bismarck, N.D.
North Wisconsin District, Mike Henning, Faith Lutheran, Appleton, Wis., and Melissa Tonn,  Immanuel Lutheran, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
Northern Illinois District, Christine Rechsteiner, Celebration Lutheran Ministries, Park Forest, Ill.
Northwest District, Jamie Walters, St. John Lutheran, Palmer, Alaska
Ohio District, Karen Dutton, St. John Lutheran, Garfield Heights, Ohio
Oklahoma District, Heath Lewis, Holy Trinity Lutheran, Edmond, Okla., and Hannah Miller, Messiah Lutheran, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Pacific Southwest District, Dave Rueter, Pacific Southwest District office
Rocky Mountain District, Robin Kurth, Mt. Olive Lutheran, Aurora, Colo.
SELC, Rev. Mark Moreno, Hope Lutheran, Melbourne, Fla.
South Dakota District, Lorien Peterson, Zion Lutheran, in Rapid City, S.D.
South Wisconsin District, Robin Mueller, South Wisconsin District office, and Jenny Wolff, Zion Lutheran, Menomonee Fall, Wis.
Southeastern District, Charessa Koontz, Redeemer Lutheran, Richmond, Va.
Southern District, Cindy Namanny, Our Redeemer Lutheran, Clinton, Miss.
Southern Illinois District, Roger Sprengel, Southern Illinois District office, and Dorinda Werner, Blessed Savior Lutheran, O’Fallon, Ill.
Texas District, Becky Krentz, Faith Lutheran, Georgetown, Texas

“District coordinators are an important liaison between the Gathering, LCMS districts and congregations,” said the Rev. Mark Kiessling, associate director for LCMS Youth Ministry – Gathering Program and facilitator for the training. “The support services they provide adult leaders in each district is vital for preparing the congregations attending the Gathering and experiencing the Gathering in a positive manner. We are blessed to have these dedicated leaders partnering with us for 2013.”

Since 1980, the NYG is a meeting held every three years for youth of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) to spend time together in worship, God’s Word, prayer, song and service. The NYG provides young people an opportunity to learn more about God, Christianity and their Lutheran identity.

The NYG is the LCMS’ single largest event. The coming NYG marks the third time the event will be held in San Antonio, the most recent being “River of Light” held July 2-6 in 1995. The San Antonio Convention Center and Alamodome will serve at the primary home for the five days of the event.

District coordinator contact information is available at To learn more about the 2013 National LCMS Youth Gathering, visit

About The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

The 2.3 million-member Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is a mission-oriented, Bible-based, confessional Christian denomination headquartered in St. Louis, Mo. Through acts of witness and mercy, the church carries out its mission worldwide to make known the love of Jesus Christ. Learn more at


Vicki Biggs
Director, Integrated Communications
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
314-996-1236 | 314-556-3829 (mobile)

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