High School Youth Gathering 2017 | Michigan District, LCMS

High School Youth Gathering 2017

Sunday, June 25, 2017 - 03:30 pm EDT to Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 11:30 am EDT

Most events will take place at the Mission Point Resort:

Mission Point
6633 Main St
Mackinac Island, MI ‎

Event Description: 

Fortress - 2017 Theme

Recap Video from 2014

Our theme verse is 2 Samuel 22:2: "He said, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer." We pray that the speakers, music, sectionals, and fellowship provide everyone with additional skills and spiritual growth.


Gathering Cost:  $385/person covers 3 nights' lodging, ferry service to and from the island, a Gathering t-shirt, 7 meals, luggage transfer, and all Gathering activities and events.

Gathering Details:

  • BIBLE STUDY LEADERS: Rev. Bill Yonker, Rev. Ryan Peterson, and Dr. Rev. David Maier
  • SECTIONALS: Large and small sectionals on a variety of topics
  • SERVANT EVENTS: Each participant will have an opportunity to serve in Mackinaw City, St. Ignace, or on Mackinac Island. After you have registered, you will receive information from our Servant Event Team.
  • ACTIVITES: Lawn games, group challenges, evening events, concerts, sightseeing, and much more!
  • PRESENTERS & MUSIC: See below for a complete list, photos and bios on all our special guests!

Registration Details:

Age Specifications: Youth participants include anyone age 14 (or entering 9th grade in the fall of 2017) to age 20, and must be affiliated with an LCMS congregation. All adult leaders must be age 21 or older and affiliated with an LCMS congregation. There is no minimum or maximum for the size of a church's group, though it is suggested that there be one adult leader for every six youth. If a group is to have both male and female youth participants, there must be at least one male and one female adult leader. 

PreRegistration: Groups must pre-register for the 2017 Michigan District High School Youth Gathering. The  Pre-registration webform asks each congregation for their group's contact info, and a deposit of $350. This will enable you to receive the registration forms via email. You will receive a confirmation email after you have pre-registered. If you have paid by credit card, the forms will be attached to the confirmation email.  Otherwise, you will receive the forms after your payment has been received. The $350 will be returned ONLY if your group remains on the waiting list and does not get to attend the gathering. (Note: For tax purposes, no personal credit cards or checks will be accepted.)

  • Please register as soon as possible as the Gathering fills up fast!
  • The youth leader should pre-register for the group on the Michigan District's website.
  • The $350 does NOT hold any rooms for your group.  It WILL be applied to the total group balance.
  • Checks should be made payable to Michigan District, LCMS and mailed to:

High School Youth Gathering

Michigan District, LCMS

3773 Geddes Rd

Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Registration: REGISTRATION DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED!!!!  After receiving the housing, servant event, youth, and adult registration forms, have them completed electronically, print them and sign them. (NO HANDWRITTEN FORMS WILL BE ACCEPTED) 

  • The youth leader will collect the forms and mail them into the Michigan District office by April 30, 2017. A waiting list will be formed when the Gathering reaches capacity.
  • Any substitutions in your youth's group registration are due by April 30, 2017.  No exceptions!
  • Final payment of the balance to the District Office is due by MAY 1, 2017.
  • CANCELLATIONS will be accepted until May 1, 2017.  No refunds will be given after this date.


Facebook: Join the Facebook group Youth Leaders - Michigan District, LCMS to network, share ideas, ask questions and keep up to date on the latest youth gathering news!

TEXT ANNOUNCEMENTS: Want to receive text announcements and reminders regarding H.S. Gathering information and updates? We will be using this to send reminders and important information during the event as well, so don't forget to sign-up! See below under Resources & Information for a guide on how to sign up.

Registration Information: 

321 Improv

321 Improv Comedy will bring tears to your eyes, a pain to your side and they’ll make your face ache with laughter! An evening with 321 Improv is unlike any you’ve been a part of before. It is a unique interactive comedy experience. Each show, the three guys in 321 Improv instantly turn audience suggestions into hilarious scenes. No two shows are the same! The three members of 321 Improv have come together to join in a ministry to glorify God in everything they do. Carl sums it up this way, “Our goal is to use comedy to spread a message of true joy that can only have come from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Tige & Sara Culbertson

Tige Culbertson loves his Bible open, his food spicy, and his Jeep muddy! He is driven to share the passion and promises of Jesus to hurting people in relational and life changing ways. He serves as the Founding Pastor of Restoration Fellowship, a new church in Midland, Michigan, reaching families recovering from addiction. By too many miracles to count, he is married to his beautiful wife Sara, and is daddy to his incredible11-year-old daughter, Faith.

Sara Culbertson is a native Michigander, and her heart is deeply connected to the Great Lakes, fall colors, and the crackle of a campfire! She is a Behavior Analyst at Community Mental Health in Midland, Michigan, and she loves helping people with autism live better lives. She has been married to her husband, Tige for 19 adventure-filled years, and mother to her daughter, Faith for 11.

Rev. Ryan Peterson

Pastor Ryan Peterson currently serves as the Campus Pastor and Assistant Professor of Theology at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Prior to Concordia, Pastor Ryan was a teaching pastor at St. John in Ellisville, Missouri. He met his wife Kristy at Concordia University Wisconsin, and then attended Concordia Seminary - St. Louis. Peterson is finishing his Doctor of Ministry at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Pastor Ryan and his wife Kristy, along with their four kids, love camping and exploring the beauty of #PureMichigan.

Bob Lenz

Bob Lenz has a humorous, down-to-earth style combined with genuine concern. A storyteller at heart, Bob combines his personal experience with in-depth biblical knowledge, awakening understanding and inspiring others to embrace faith in Christ and make the next step closer to God. He captures the audience’s attention immediately and sensitively spans denominational walls.

His rare combination of passion, delivery and substance, both on and off stage, has resulted in Bob Lenz being respected as one of the nation’s top Christian communicators. He shares his message with half a million people each year through community outreaches, festivals, school assemblies, church events, tours and conferences. Bob is known for his highly sought-after school assembly programs on anti-bullying and suicide prevention.

Bryan Osbourne

Bryan Osborne

Bryan Osborne is passionate about reaching the next generation with the gospel! As an expert in the use of exciting, apologetics-based evangelism, this former athlete and graduate of Bryan College connects with audiences through "real life" stories and facts that confirm the truth of the Bible. For 13 years he has boldly and enthusiastically taught Bible history in the public school system of Tennessee, and for nearly 20 years he has helped youth and young adults in the local church to know and defend their faith. Bryan's giftedness as a communicator, and his passion for God's Word have also led him to be a speaker with Answers in Genesis, the multi-faceted ministry that built the 70,000 square foot Creation Museum near Cincinnati.

Bryan lives in Tennessee with his wife of 15 years. Together they are navigating the zigzag road of adoption and hope to soon welcome a new life to the Osborne household!

You will love his practical, cutting-edge talks that reveal the importance of apologetics in evangelizing and equipping today's youth and families in the body of Christ!

Brian Pruitt

Brian Pruitt

Brian Pruitt Motivational formerly known as HACC Motivational Speakers was started in 1994 by its founder Brian Pruitt. Brian is a former All-American athlete, author and entrepreneur. He discovered that people could accomplish just about anything if were willing to display Heart, Attitude, Courage and Consistency. He has traveled across the United States and other countries equipping listeners with the tools to overcome obstacles to accomplish their dreams. Audiences have been rejuvenated to run after their dreams as they discovered that those obstacles could be defeated. The response to “BPM” has been overwhelming! Brian Pruitt Motivational is equipped to inspire, challenge and entertain listeners on every occasion.


Sevenglory can’t help but get excited whenever the conversation turns to music. But the band’s enthusiasm for its message far outweighs any of its musical ambitions. “We want to play cool music, and we want kids to have a good time at our shows,” says one band member. “But at the end of the day, we really want God to get the glory. If we proclaim to know all the answers, we’re lying. The reality is the less we have, the more we’re able to give—which is exactly where we want to be.”

Bryan Drake

Using illusions and mentalism, Bryan Drake gets inside the heads of audience members. Bryan not only entertains any group but also presents the Truth of Jesus Christ. Bryan has shared the stage with many of today's respected speakers and artists including: Leeland, Vota, Brock Gill, The Skit Guys, and many more.

Swen and Dean

Swen and Dean are brothers originally from Northfield, Minn. They love to sing, hang out, and have fun. During the past 12 years they have traveled the country performing for thousands of people, sharing their unique gifts at events ranging from large scale youth events to family night concerts. With their songs and stories, Swen and Dean blend spiritual depth with spirited fun. “We do what we do because of what God has done for us. Singing and sharing are ways of giving thanks. To God be the glory.”

David vonBehren

David and Andrea vonBehren

Dave von Behren is from West Bloomfi eld, Mich. Since a young boy, he has had a strong passion for visual arts, especially drawing and painting. In 2001, he left a 20-year sales and marketing career to make art his business. He now makes his living doing large scale artwork for residential and commercial clients, as well as leading an art ministry at his church. Dave and his wife have three grown daughters.

Rev. Bill Yonker

Rev. Bill Yonker is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church of East Dundee, Illinois. He loves spending time with his family and traveling around the country talking to people about the Lord Jesus. Presently he lives in Illinois, and though he is a long time Michigander and went to school in Indiana and Missouri, he is a “true blue Cheese Head devoted to his birth state of Wisconsin and the Green Bay Packers.” Besides spending time with his wife, Joanne, and three children, Rebecca, Abigail and Joshua and speaking, you can usually find Pastor Yonker reading, writing, or playing basketball, which are his other passions.


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