Middle School (or Jr High) Gathering

North Dakota District LCMS
21st Annual Middle School Youth Gathering for grades 6 and up!

Thursday, October 20 (7pm) – Saturday, Oct 22, 2016 (noon)

Baymont Inn and Suites (formerly Doublewood Inn)
3333 13th Ave S.
Fargo, ND

Click here for the Printable Schedule

[NEW and Important!]Pre-Gathering Information Sheet — What you NEED to know before the Gathering!


Location:  The Baymont Inn & Suites is a full service hotel located at 3333 13th Ave South, Fargo.  Please enter through the doors on the east side of the building where you will find the registration area in the Courtyard. You do not need to stop at the front desk.


Hotel phone number:  (701) 235-3333
Cell phone use, including texting, Snapchat, etc. is discouraged during the Gathering.  If an emergency phone message is received, hotel staff will contact the Gathering Chaplain.


What to bring:

  • Bible. Make sure your name in in your Bible.
  • Completed medical form and covenant (available on the downloads page)
  • Remaining payment due, if any.
  • Casual clothes with an appropriate Christian witness and personal items, swim suit and towel.
  • Spending money – Tangled Blue, Pastor Yonker and Lloyd Garrelts will have items for sale. Thursday supper is on your own, except for Teen Counselors. Bring money for Saturday lunch on your own.
  • Variety show act – prepare to share your talent!! Songs/skits that convey a Christian message are highly encouraged.  While not all acts need to be of a spiritual nature, there should be nothing in them which would in even the slightest way compromise our Christian witness. This includes the words and messages to any songs or comedy acts. We want 100% of our Christian youth gathering to be a positive witness to God, including our variety show!
  • Offering for closing worship service – designated for Mercy Meals of North Dakota.
  • mercy-meals
    Mercy Meals of North Dakota is a non-profit organization that allows volunteers to package nourishing food that will be delivered by the Orphan Grain Train to children in need throughout the world. Orphanages, refugee camps, feeding centers, disaster relief centers and local food pantries have been recent recipients of our food.
    Gathering participants will pack Mercy Meals during one of the Interest Sessions.

  • A great attitude!

What to leave home:  All valuables.


Adult Counselors:  Adult counselors are expected to help with small group discussions during Bible studies and evening congregation sharing times.  Each youth and teen counselor will be assigned to an adult counselor, with 1 adult counselor for approximately every 7 students.  If a congregation registers with less than 7 youth, 1 or more youth from another congregation may be assigned to your congregation group.  We ask for your cooperation in taking “stragglers” into your congregation group.  Please help them feel comfortable by finding ways for them to get acquainted with the rest of your group.


Teen Counselors:   Confirmed young people may serve as teen counselors if recommended by their pastor or adult counselor.  Teen counselors are an important component of this Gathering because they can have a strong, positive influence on middle school age youth.  Teen counselors are required to attend training followed by supper 5:00- 6:45 PM, Thursday, October 20.

Guest Bible study leader:


Pastor Bill Yonker

Immanuel Lutheran Church, East Dundee, IL

Pastoring a suburban church in the Chicago area, the Rev. Bill Yonker is an avid storyteller and story-listener. He remains a coffee and tea devotee who loves to read, write, watch sports, work crosswords, enjoy his family, lay on the beach and engage in conversation.  His music tastes vary from the sacred to Sinatra and from the Beach Boys to Beyoncé. Speaking twenty plus weekends around the country, Yonker loves to proclaim the joy of Jesus’ grace.



Guest Musicians:

Tangled Blue – Joel & Aimee Pakan

Joel (vocals, guitar) and Aimee Pakan (vocals, percussion), Philadelphia, PA have performed together as Tangled Blue since 2001 and have logged over 300,000 miles performing at youth gatherings, churches, colleges, coffee shops, camps, living rooms and festivals in 36 states and Guatemala.

Their music is a unique sound that incorporates Latin and electronic percussion, acoustic and electric guitars.  Tangled Blue uses the gift of music to point listeners toward the Good News of what God has done and is doing through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  The emphasis of Tangled Blue is not what we do, but on what God does.





Lloyd Garrelts, Nokomis, IL + Tim Zhorne & Arron Fabbrine

Singer and songwriter Lloyd Garrelts has toured extensively and has shared the stage with Switchfoot, Newsboys, Third Day, Lost and Found, Beki Hemingway, Audio Adrenaline and many other top musical acts. Lloyd’s music reflects experiences and observations about faith and life from his Midwest Christian perspective.  Lloyd will be joined by Tim and Arron at this Gathering.

Lloyd will also lead an Interest Session – Tacking the Tough Ones.




Interest session speaker:

Kim Wagner, Fargo, ND

Diagnosed in 2011 with stage 3 breast cancer, Kim Wagner defines herself as An authentic celebrator of life!  She engages individuals and organizations with powerful, hilarious messages.  A storyteller extraordinaire, she encourages her audiences to unwrap the gift of today, finding joy, hope and reason to celebrate every day we are given. Kim Wagner has been speaking and writing professionally for 16 years.

Wagner holds degrees in Speech Theatre and Business Administration. She lives with her husband, Pastor Dave Wagner, and two dogs in Fargo, ND.  They have 4 adult children and 2 grandsons.



For Gathering information contact:

Pat Sebastian, Gathering Coordinator

Cell:  (701) 471-3289