ST. LOUIS — Hundreds of Lutheran teenagers helped Habitat for Humanity build a house for a needy family in East St. Louis, Ill., spruced up 22 city parks and visited dozens of homes for seniors, homeless shelters and day care centers.

In addition to service projects, the Youth Gathering of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America featured worship, study and fun.

A total of 40,000 youths and adult advisers from across the nation attended two five-day sessions.