Dallas, TX—At Highland Springs retirement community, Jamie Bruning serves the spiritual needs of nearly 800 residents as the Pastoral Ministries Coordinator.
Recently, though, she assisted another generation as an Adult Leader at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's (ELCA) National Youth Gathering.
The triennial event occurred in Detroit, Michigan, where 30,000 people congregated July 15-19 to volunteer and engage in fellowship.
Pastor Bruning, a resident of Garland and a member of Rejoice Lutheran Church in Coppell, chaperoned ten teenagers from her church. They performed landscaping and clean-up work in a Detroit neighborhood undergoing revitalization.
"The kids loved it. They actually enjoyed the physical activity and the satisfaction from seeing the end results of a job well done," stated Pastor Bruning. "In turn, the residents in Detroit welcomed us warmly and with open arms."
Pastor Bruning's contingent comprised part of a large deployment of volunteers—10,000 per day for three days--who visited work sites. Among other projects, they reached six hundred (600) neighborhoods, painted 1,847 murals, distributed 1,425 backpacks for school and even donated 78 gallons of blood.
In the evenings, the participants assembled at Ford Field, home of the NFL's Detroit Lions, for worship, inspirational speakers and musical performances.
By the numbers, it was an impressive showing. But a glimpse of the future left Pastor Bruning encouraged.
"At Highland Springs, I am grateful to partner with residents who have given back to the community for decades. I see it daily with their volunteer and philanthropic activities," stated Pastor Bruning.
"In Detroit, the young generation also served to inspire. They went about their business with positivity and passion, which left all of the adult leaders feeling hopeful for the future," she said.
Pastor Bruning notes the next ELCA National Youth Gathering will occur in 2018 in Houston.
About Highland Springs: Highland Springs is one of eighteen continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living. Located in North Dallas, Texas, the scenic 89-acre campus is home to more than 780 residents. Highland Springs is the ideal greater Dallas retirement destination offering a true sense of community, convenience beyond compare and a sensible financial structure.