2020 Great Lakes Gathering


February 7-9, 2020 • Kalamazoo, MI

The Great Lakes Gathering

The Great Lakes Gathering is an authentically welcoming community of faith focused on making an impact in the world. The community of the Great Lakes Gathering brings together groups of high school youth and young adults throughout the Great Lakes region for a weekend of faith, service, and leadership. This event is designed to walk alongside participants as they connect faith and life in ways that unlock their specific gifts and interests. It is our hope that each member of the Great Lakes Gathering community become an agent of change in a hurting world as they experience and learn to share the radical,
transformational, and countercultural love of Christ.

Introducing Faith Tracks

Participants will dig deeper into Faith Tracks during the Great Lakes Gathering! Each activity-based Faith Track will be facilitated by a team of experienced mentors and provide an opportunity to connect faith and life around a specific topic of interest throughout the entire Great Lakes Gathering. Faith Track selections will be made at the event.

High School Faith Tracks in 2020:

  • Faith & Jesus (learn more)
  • Faith & Service (learn more)
  • Faith & Worship (learn more)
  • Faith & Peer Ministry (learn more)
  • Faith & Justice (learn more)
  • Faith & Science (learn more)

    Specific young adult and adult leader Faith Tracks are also in development. Stay tuned for more information!

    Cost – Registration Opens September 2nd, 2019

    The Great Lakes Gathering utilizes a split fee registration process. Groups will pay a per person participant fee to Living Water Ministries when they register and then independently book their hotel rooms with The Radisson in Kalamazoo directly. Living Water Ministries will not be assigning housing and each group is responsible for securing housing by booking directly with The Radisson in Kalamazoo by contacting them directly at (269) 343-3333. LWM will be happy to connect groups looking to collaborate with other groups to maximize their housing.

    2018 price

    Registration Tips

    For adult leaders registering groups of youth, you’ll need to collect the following details for each participant before you begin entering information into our registration system.

  • First name
  • Last name
  • DOB
  • Gender
  • Grade
  • Address (Street, City, State, Zip)
  • Phone Number
  • E-mail
  • T-Shirt Size
  • Faith Track Selection (Participants are only able to choose one faith track for the entire event)
  • Young Adults Welcome!

    Young adults age 18-25 are also welcome to register & attend the Great Lakes Gathering in 2020! Programming for the Young Adult Track will intersect with the event, but also have components specifically designed for the young adult audience. Young Adult participants register as individuals and do not require adult leader accompaniment. Young Adult participants will be accountable to the Young Adult Program Manager, house with other young adults in The Radisson, and be expected to participate in all Young Adult programming components. Young Adults will pay a flat fee that includes the price of housing, and LWM will assign housing for Young Adult participants only.

    Penny Offering

    Funding for Great Lakes Gathering scholarships is assisted by the annual Penny Offering that takes place at the Great Lakes Gathering. Freshman, sophomores, juniors, seniors, young adults, and adult leaders compete in an effort to provide this meaningful experience for others. Points are awarded for pennies, and subtracted for other change and bills. Bring pennies to help your team and bring other change & bills to subtract points from other teams!


    Worship is at the center of how we build community during the Great Lakes Gathering. Each worship experience is uniquely crafted to provide leadership opportunities for participants, tie into our theme and create space where we grow together in faith. Rev. Jay Gamelin is our speaker that will weave a common narrative connected to our curriculum through each worship as well.

    Packing Basics

    Bibles (a must), pen or pencil, forms, clothes, toiletries, swim suits, coolers (for food), food or money for eating out, games for congregational time, and a willingness to grow in faith and have fun!