Missouri District Virtual Youth Gathering

Take Heart!

Saturday, April 10 from 7-10:00 p.m.

John 16:33 – [Jesus said,] “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Participate in this special Youth Gathering from wherever you are in Missouri!  The event goes live at 7 pm, with live Emcees leading participants through speaker sessions with Rev. Dr. Gerard Bolling, reflection discussions, music from Bread of Stone, and will wrap the evening with a live Q&A session around 10pm. You can watch from your home or plan a party with your youth group!  Registration is required for the Zoom link, but there is no cost to participate.

Missouri District Virtual Youth Gathering

Registration Information

Online registration is required to receive the live links to attend the gathering.

There is no fee to attend, but a free will offering will be collected to support Missouri District Youth Ministry.

Offerings can be mailed to the Missouri District Office. Please make checks payable to Missouri District and mailed to Missouri District Youth Ministry, 660 Mason Ridge Center Drive, Suite 100, St. Louis, MO  63141.

Below are various elements of the District Sr and Jr High Youth Gathering that will happen. Check it out and think of the best ways for your group to experience them together!

Virtual Gathering Elements

EMCEES - DCE Daniel Meyer and DCE Intern Dana Otto will be our EMCEES for the event and will be appearing live throughout it! They will be sharing some social media challenges throughout the night so be ready! Winners will be shown live during the gathering with chances to earn prizes. Use Instagram, tag @Lutheran_Youth and #TakeHeart21

Bread of Stone Music – We welcome back BoS to lead us in songs of praise! Remember to stick around for a 30 minute LIVE meet and greet with BoS!

Main Speaker Sessions – Rev. Dr. Gerard Bolling will be unpacking our theme “Take Heart” from John 16:33 in four mini sessions during the night!

Reflection Discussions – Immediately following each of the four talks by Pastor Bolling, there will be 10 minutes provided for a discussion. Consider having your youth prepared in small groups with a leader to facilitate the discussion. This is also an opportunity to refill snacks or use the restroom.

Q & A with Bread of Stone and Pastor Bolling – This will take place after the end of the gathering. Feel free to stick around to hear from and talk with each of them!

Servant Event

There is still a way you and your group can participate in a servant event as part of the Gathering.  The Missouri District is hosting SHINE!, a District-wide servant event, where you can participate in your own neighborhood with a project that your group selects.

We encourage you to use this opportunity in conjunction with the day of the Gathering.  For example, your group could participate with a SHINE! servant event on April 10 from 4-6pm, have dinner, and join together for "Take Heart" Gathering starting at 7pm.

If you would like to get a group to participate with SHINE! on April 10th, contact Leah Sieveking (leah.sieveking@mo.lcms.org or 314-590-6211) for registration information.  Click here to read more about SHINE!


Rev. Dr. Gerard Bolling was born and raised in the heart of Brooklyn, NY. From an early age, he always desired to serve God’s people in a greater capacity. One visit to Concordia Seminary, and he was “sold out” on serving Jesus!

Gerard attended Concordia Chicago from 2008 to 2012, earning a BA in Theatre with a minor in Languages. Gerard graduated from Concordia Seminary in 2016 with a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and received a call to serve at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in the inner city of St. Louis. He had lead the Deaf Ministry at Bethlehem two years prior to receiving the call. He currently serves as pastor and co-executive director of the Lutheran Hope Center. In this role, he leads the Deaf Ministry team at Bethlehem while reaching out to youth and families in the Ferguson, MO, area in the aftermath of the Mike Brown incident. He also co-leads the dynamic weekly Bethlehem Church ministries (preaching, teaching, and leading outreach programs and community engagement) with the amazingly talented Pastor John R. Schmidtke. Their ministry is an innovation to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and a blessing to those whom they serve, who are often overlooked because of socioeconomic situations.  Rev. Dr. Bolling also serves as a Professor of Leadership at Concordia Texas.

Gerard has been married to his beautiful wife, Lorenda, for six years. Lorenda serves as a preschool teacher at Word of Life Lutheran School. Together they have a four-year-old son named Lincoln, and a two-year-old daughter named Monroe. Both kids were born on October 5 (in different years, of course). They currently reside on the south side of St. Louis, MO.



Brothers, Ben and Bill Kristijanto, formed Iowa-based band, Bread of Stone, in 2004. Their father believed the Lord was calling them to start a music ministry, so the brothers started taking music lessons and began performing in local churches. As time progressed, Bread of Stone began playing at festivals and youth conferences, and various other venues the Lord provided, giving them the opportunity to share the Gospel message. Ben and Bill have since been joined by bass player, Tim Barnes (South Dakota) and drummer, Jason Ferris (Ohio) to form a four-piece band. In 2015, the band charted No. 1 on Billboard’s Christian Rock Charts with their song Porcelain from their project Not Alone. Later that year, the group went back into the studio to work on their fifth album, Hold The Light. The band is currently working on a new project and is focused on pushing the music industry limits to create something fresh. Bread of Stone is passionate about sharing what God has been doing in their lives, both personally and as a group, wherever they travel. During a trip to Indonesia, a country the brothers called home for nine years, they founded The Light Project when they were asked for help from local village pastors. The goal of this ministry is to empower those who are not afraid to carry the light of Jesus into the darkness, even when faced with persecution. Bread of Stone continues to visit Indonesia to encourage the people and to share the Love of Christ.

Missouri District Youth Leader

Dan Kreienkamp, DCE

Missouri District
Assistant to the President: Family Life and Youth Ministry

Questions about the Event?

Sue Thompson

Missouri District
Assistant to the President: Ministry Events Specialist

Forms for Conferences

 + Medical Consent/Liability          + Photo Release Form