Filling the Gap

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In college, Elizabeth experienced strong connections with other young adults through the Jacob’s Porch campus ministry at The Ohio State University. The number of young adults actively involved in many synod congregations, however, made such connections more difficult to come by.


Fortunately, Elizabeth learned about Gather Twin Cities — a ministry of the ELCA that connects young adults with one another, God, and local congregations in such places as Twin Cities, Minnesota. Elizabeth wanted to bring similar opportunities to her home church (First, Cincinnati) and others in her area. So, she teamed with leaders at Gloria Dei in Crestview Hills and First Lutheran, to do that through Gather Cincinnati.


“It helps fill in the gap,” said Elizabeth Gilbert, as she excitedly described a young adult ministry called “Gather Cincinnati,” which works to fill the gap experienced by many young adults in connections between faith, church, and one another.


“We are a ‘nomadic’ ministry,” explained Elizabeth. “We’re not trying to take the place of congregations. We’re trying to connect young adults with their own congregations or others. So, we are nomads — meeting for worship once each quarter at a different one of our current eleven host congregations. We connect with one another through bible studies in coffee shops or churches twice per quarter, gathering for social events every two weeks or so, and doing service projects together. And we are very intentional about welcoming everyone no matter who they are or where they are in their faith journeys.”


Gather Cincinnati is now filling a gap in the lives of about forty young adults who long for connections to others and to God. Currently led with co-coordinator Addy Kruse (St. Paul, Reading, their efforts are bringing hope to young adults and to congregations in the Cincinnati area.


Gather Cincinnati is funded by the Thrive! Campaign. Thrive! is bringing hope by filling the gap between regular mission support and what is needed to initiate programs such as Gather Cincinnati. You will hear more from Elizabeth — as well as from others who are finding new hope through Thrive! — at the 2023 Synod Assembly: Hope in Believing!


You can help fill the gap, too, by holding a Thrive! Campaign for your congregation. Contact Thrive! Campaign Manager, Pastor Larry Donner, to learn more.