“THE WAIT IS OVER. We are so beyond excited to announce the dates and location for CLAY 2023,” wrote organizers July 11 on the Facebook page of the Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth (CLAY) gathering.
The event returns in-person next summer for the first time since 2018. CLAY is normally a bi-annual event, but due to the pandemic, organizers chose to run 2020’s gathering online via video conferencing software and to postpone 2022’s event by one year, citing fundraising difficulties and lingering concerns about travelling for a nation-wide gathering. For 2023, CLAY is inviting youth groups to meet at Waterloo’s Wilfrid Laurier University Aug. 10-13. The meeting will explore loss, renewal and purification through the metaphor of fire, and is themed “Ashes and Embers.” Keynote speakers will be two Lutheran pastors, the Rev. Aneeta Saroop and the Rev. Nathan Fong, and Archeacon Val Kerr, former archdeacon for truth, reconciliation and Indigenous ministry for the diocese of Niagara, will serve as gathering elder.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada has been holding a bi-annual youth event, originally known as the Canadian Lutheran Youth gathering, since the mid-1960s. In 2010, organizers added the A to its acronym, reflecting its new status as a joint event for Anglican and Lutheran youth.