Alligators, swamps, and beignets, oh my!

It was a full and fun day in New Orleans for this ROG crew. It was a hot day and one of new experiences and new food. Here is a bit about our day …

We started with breakfast in the French Quarter at the ever popular Cafe du Monde for beignets. French doughnuts with powdered sugar deliciousness. From there, we boarded a bus for a swamp tour on an airboat. It was a great experience, seeing the swamps, trees hanging with Spanish moss (which we learned isn’t actually a moss at all), and holding baby alligators. That’s right – we held a baby alligator!

Our day was capped by the official start of the gathering – a mass gathering of speakers, musicians, and introductions to the week and to the city. We heard a youth matching band from the city of New Orleans and Lutheran musicians, such as the Christian rapper, Agape. We listened up for bishops and pastors. One speaker the youth really seemed inspired by was Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber who shared her life story – one of such grace and calling.

And one more note about the mass gatherings that are held each night – you can join us! You can stream the event online! Go to and I hope there will be a link there somewhere for you to click. It starts at 7pm each night – join us and experience the youth gathering all the way from MN!

Lastly, a few photos from our day –




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