Poconos: Breakaway Session A

Jesus Slept Here! (And Here! And Here!): Archaeology and the New Testament
The Rev. Duane Bamsch
The land of Israel is dotted with archaeological sites and familiar biblical names. What can they teach us about biblical times, if anything? Does biblical archaeology help 'prove' Scripture? Experience the thrill of discovery, and the agony of just another bucket of dirt as Pastor Bamsch re-lives his time at Caesarea Philippi with too many photos and worthless artifacts.
Pastor Duane Bamsch serves Evangelists' Lutheran Church in Kingsbury, TX.

Don't Rob God's Job!
The Rev. John Drosendahl
Do you think the 7th commandment is only about your behavior toward your neighbor? Think again! Sometimes we actually steal from God Himself! And no, this is not about short-changing God in the offering plate by refusing to give an full Old Testament tithe... It's about God giving His good Gospel gifts to us, yet somehow we get in the way. We think we can do His tasks better than He can, so we try to believe, we try to repent, and we try to live holy lives all on our own, completely forgetting God's work for us. Come find out some common Christian misunderstandings about these matters, and be set free from these otherwise burdensome tasks which have always been God's jobs anyway!
Pastor John Drosendahl serves Peace Lutheran Church in Goldsboro, NC.

What Do I Say Now?
The Rev. Dr. Carl C. Fickenscher II
A friend is convinced she's going to hell because of something she did last night. Three other friends are talking at lunch about their churches' beliefs and ask what you think of them. Yet another friend, who knows you're a Christian, asks why God lets earthquakes and cyclones kill so many people. What do you say to each? We'll talk through moments like these and find wisdom to respond in a very Lutheran source: Law and Gospel.
The Rev. Dr. Carl C. Fickenscher II is Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions and Dean of Pastoral Education and Placement at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN.

Gospel and Law? Living Justly in the Justified Life
The Rev. Gifford A. Grobien
Now that you're justified by grace through faith, the Law no longer condemns you, right? Right! That means we don't have to obey the Law, right? Wrong! Obedience to the law is not condemnation by the Law. How do we keep track of this distinction? Learn how to understand and obey the law in order to serve your neighbor, without calling into question your free salvation through the merit of Christ alone. We will explore the continued relationship between Law and Gospel in the life of a Christian.
Pastor Gifford Grobien serves Emmaus Lutheran Church, South Bend, IN.

Witchcraft and Neo-Paganism
The Rev. Larry Nichols
What is a witch? Are they real or are they like the witches of fairy tales and bad sitcoms? Do they actually exist today? As a Christian, how should I answer a friend who tells me that they are into neo-paganism?
Pastor Larry Nichols serves Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Smithfield, RI, and has authored four books on cults, sects and world religions. Pr. Nichols also serves on the Higher Things Board of Directors.

Dumb & Dumber: A look into the Gospel being Distorted by Man
Mr. Landon Reed
Have you ever seen an advertisement on the side of the road for a TV evangelist pushing some message that doesn't quite sound like the Gospel? The Gospel has been distorted ever since man's old Adam got his hands on it. In this sectional, we will take a look at how throughout time the Gospel has been distorted dumb and dumber to the point of not even being the Gospel anymore. In doing so we will have a good laugh, but more importantly we will learn how dangerous this can be and how this can lead us astray.
Mr. Landon Reed serves as the Higher Things Retreats Executive and is a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Tomball, TX.

Chocolate Houses, Donut Trees, Cloud Beds: Is this what heaven is really all about?
The Rev. Kent Schaaf
Jesus says in St. John 14:2 "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you." As a baptized and redeemed child of God you know that Jesus has prepared a place for you in heaven...but what is heaven all about? Who will we see there? Who won't we see there? What we will do in heaven? Can we find a glimpse of heaven here on earth? These questions and many others will be answered as we open up the Scriptures to discover the who, what, where and when of heaven.
Pastor Kent Schaaf serves All Saints Lutheran Church in Charlotte, NC.

Can you hear me now???
Dcs. Jennie Waters
When you pray, does it ever seem like you've "lost the connection" with God? Is He there? Does He hear your prayer? Is He just not listening? Can God be deaf to our prayers? Discuss why we pray, how to pray, and where to hear God's responses to our prayers.
Deaconess Jennie Waters serves as Director of the Deaconess Program and Assistant Professor of Theology at Concordia University Chicago (a.k.a. River Forest).

Christ on Campus: Campus Ministry - Just Add Water
Rev. Marcus T. Zill & Christ on Campus Staff
Do you have a college near you? Would you like to learn how to begin a campus ministry group at a local college(s) on a shoestring budget? There are a variety of different campus outreach models that can easily be applied to your local context. This sectional is designed to address your specific campus situation and offer practical help and support.
Pastor Marcus Zill serves St. Andrew's Lutheran Church & Campus Center in Laramie, WY. He also serves as the Higher Things Christ on Campus Executive.