Minneapolis Breakaway SectionalsFor additional variety, you have the choice of numerous breakaway sectionals covering a vast array of topics. Choose one sectional for each of the Breakaway Sessions.
Breakaway Session A
A Killer King, A Violent Vinter, and Other Scandalous Parables Just FOR YOU!
The Rev. Bruce Keseman
Jesus said some outrageous things in His life. He did it quite often through stories called parables. And they’re all FOR YOU! He does this for you by telling the story of a king who kills the guests he invites to a wedding, a vineyard owner who sends his son to certain death, a farmer who refuses to let anyone pull the weeds in his field. How do these parables apply to you? Bring your Bible and find out.
The Rev. Bruce Keseman serves Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church, Freeburg, IL.
F-Disk Worms, Viruses, Trojans in the Church: The Antichrist
The Rev. D. Georg Williams
Within the true Church the devil places the Antichrist as a virus that infects our computer leaving worms to eat away at its core, Trojans to destroy her mighty fortresses, and to try to F-disk all her memory. Before the age of computer hard disks, cell phones, or MP3 players, St. Paul warns us of the Antichrist. Who is the Antichrist? Where does he reign? What does he teach? Can he win? Or is the Lord Jesus always FOR YOU? Of course He is!
The Rev. D. Georg Williams serves Zion Lutheran Church in Ainsworth, NE.
Can a Christian Be a Soldier?
The Rev. Rob Jarvis
Jesus said, “Turn the other cheek.” Then how can a person be a soldier? Jesus said, “Love your enemy,” and “You shall not murder.” Then how can a soldier kill? Since war involves fighting and killing, are soldiers disobedient to God? Can they even be saved since they appear to be murderers? These questions will be addressed as we investigate the vocation of soldiering, the two kingdoms, and whether or not wars can be fought.
The Rev. Rob Jarvis is pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Morris, MN and campus pastor at the University of Minnesota at Morris, MN. He is also directing the Christ on Campus Volunteers at the Minneapolis FOR YOU Conference.
He Ascended Into Heaven!
The Rev. Peter Lange
So where is Jesus now? Is He stuck up in the sky somewhere sitting on big velvet pillows? Do we need to climb Jacob’s ladder to get up to Him? Is this what the Ascension means? No, just the opposite. You’ll be joyfully surprised to learn what the Lord’s Ascension means for you.
The Rev. Peter Lange serves St. John Lutheran Church, Topeka, KS.
PC & A!
The Rev. Paul Beisel
What in the world is this? Some new secret society? Something that Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, would write about? Well, there have been very prominent practitioners of PC & A for generations: Martin Luther, Johann Sebastian Bach, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Bill Cwirla, and Klemet Preus just to mention a few. What is this PC & A? It’s a remarkable treasure that’s just FOR YOU! Straight from the Lord Jesus Christ! Don’t miss the uncovering of Christ’s hidden treasure in this sectional!
The Rev. Paul Beisel serves Concordia Lutheran Church, Warsaw, IL.
Holy Spirit: The Unsung Hero of the Trinity!
The Rev. Nathan Sherrill
What’s the Holy Spirit up to? Does He love to talk about Himself? Always bring attention to Himself? No. He’s bullish about talking about Jesus! Always calling our attention to Jesus. That’s no surprise is it? After all, Jesus is the Savior. Come learn what the Holy Spirit’s up to in this sectional.
The Rev. Nathan Sherrill serves St. Paul Lutheran Church, Council Bluffs, IA.
HT-U: Youth Ministry 101 Youth Ministry for Dummies (like us)
What’s “youth ministry”? Do we do it? How? How can it be done faithfully? Do you absolutely need to have guitars and drum sets? How much money do you need? How do you start? Improve? Use gimmicks? Come and discuss youth ministry “Higher Things style” at this sectional for anyone interested in “doing” youth ministry.
The Rev. Borghardt is the youth/assistant pastor at Saint Mark Lutheran Church, Conroe, TX and Sandra Ostapowich is the Christian Education and Youth Director at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Loveland, CO.
Alphabet Soup FOR YOUr Soul
Miss Andrea Pitkus
You’re planning to go to college. The clincher will be the kind of campus ministry available. How do you choose? Which will be best for your soul? Bill Bright’s Campus Crusade for Christ? What’s up with that one or some other generic Christian campus ministry? I’ll let you in on one of the best-kept secrets around. It’s called: Christ on Campus!
Andrea Pitkus is a member of University Lutheran Chapel in Minneapolis, MN and is in charge of Local Arrangements for the Minneapolis FOR YOU Conference.
How to Respond to Your Evangelical Christian Friend
Mr. Jeff Schwarz
You know your friends: they are always talking about walking the Christian life, making decisions for Jesus, and feeling close to God. But you Lutherans just don’t get it. How do you talk to Evangelicals, find common ground, but hold up the Gospel at the same time?
Jeff Schwarz is a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hamel, IL and is the Executive Producer of the radio talk show, Issues, Etc.
HT-U: Development and Volunteering
Mrs. Erika Gehrke
This sectional is designed for pastors, congregational leaders, chaperones, and college students. If you or your congregation is interested in supporting Higher Things, then this is the sectional for you. Development Coordinator, Erika Gehrke, will discuss the many ways in which you and your congregation can support Higher Things through giving and volunteering.
Erika Gehrke is a member of Glory of Christ Lutheran Church in Plymouth, MN, lives in Fort Wayne, IN and is the Development Coordinator for Higher Things.
Breakaway Session B
Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide?
The Rev. Mark Tuffin
Isn’t Jiminy Cricket so cute? “Let your conscience be your guide,” he told Pinocchio. How about you? Is that what you should do when you’re confronted by difficult choices in your life? After all, your conscience wouldn’t err would it? Scripture addresses this. Come find out.
Rev. Mark Tuffin serves St. Paul’s and St John’s congregations, Maitland, South Australia.
HT-U: Youth Ministry 102 - Try This at Home
Professionals. We are professionals. They say we are (grin). But is it true that you shouldn’t try what we do at home? No! Bring your questions, we’ll try to answer them. Let’s have a discussion about getting the Gospel into the ears of our kids.
The Rev. Borghardt is the youth/assistant pastor at Saint Mark Lutheran Church, Conroe, TX and Mrs. Sandra Ostapowich is the Christian Education and Youth Director at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Loveland, CO.
Your Pastor Needs Help!
Mr. Stan Lemon
Really he does. Don’t let him fool you. How can you help him? Slip him a twenty? Send him on a cruise? Take him out for a cup of Starbucks? Maybe. Or could it be something else? Come to this sectional to find out. Your pastor needs all the help he can get.
Mr. Stan Lemon attends Redeemer Lutheran Church in Oakmont, PA and is the Webmaster for Higher Things.
Deathly Hallows (and Harry Potter too!)
The Rev. Carlton Hein
What will be the final destination of the “Boy Who Lived?” Will another take his place while Harry dies at the hands of the Dark Lord? Will he pass through death? Will he win the final battle by killing Voldemort, or will someone else? (More than one was born at the end of July!) Together, we will explore the hidden images of Christ that are intentionally laced throughout the pages of J.K Rowling’s novels. We will ponder the life that was thrust upon Harry, and the office that he did not choose for himself. Together, we will pass through the Deathly Hallows, to arrive at life.
The Rev. Carlton Hein serves Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Loveland, CO.
Islam: The Religion of Peace?
The Rev. Philip Houser
What does the Koran really teach? What does Jihad mean? How did Islam spread when it began? Do Muslims believe in the Trinity? What do Muslims say about Jesus? WARNING! You may just be shocked!
The Rev. Philip Houser serves Lamb of God Lutheran Church, Papillion, NE.
Straight Talk about Homosexuality
Miss Adriane Dorr
If you’re headed to college, be prepared to be inundated with myths about homosexuality. Even though your professors won’t admit it, civilizations from ancient Rome until the current day have suffered from the adverse affects of sexual sin. If defending the Christian view on homosexuality is important to you or if you have a hard time verbalizing what you know the Church believes on the subject, you’ll want to check out this sectional.
Adriane Dorr is a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, IN and is the Managing Editor of the Higher Things magazine.
An I.D. Forged . . . FOR YOU!
The Rev. James DeLoach
Your I.D. please. No I.D.? No access.” Your I.D. forms your belonging and doing. So what’s with all that Goth, man? Can you learn from the Goths? Come find out. You have much more in common with a mallgoth or baby-bat than you may realize. Disclaimer: please no moshing or spiked leather collars especially among the clergy during the session.
The Rev. James DeLoach serves Trinity Lutheran Church in Lewisville, NE.
Getting Your Children to Mind without Losing Yours
The Rev. Todd Jarebek
Is there a theology of parenting? What about society’s suggestions on parenting? Can it be done in the distinctively Lutheran way? You mean Law and Gospel isn’t just for the Sunday sermon? Come find out.
The Rev. Todd Jerebek serves Zion Lutheran Church, Embarrass and St. Lutheran Church, Pella Opening, WI.
HT-U/Christ on Campus: Surviving College
The Rev. Marcus Zill
Getting ready to go to college soon? Trying to pick one out? Such a life change can be exhilarating and down right scary at the same time. How will you survive? Pastor Zill will talk about issues facing Christian students on the college campus from the classroom to the frat house. Come and learn what to expect and how to remain rooted in Christ on Campus.
The Rev. Marcus Zill serves St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church & Campus Center in Laramie, WY. He serves as the Higher Things Christ on Campus Executive.
The Gospel in Star Wars!
The Rev. Richard Heinz
A virgin-born figure of redemption. A master who sacrifices himself so that others may be saved. The son of a chosen one ushers in a new era of peace and restoration. Does this sound like a pair of the greatest film trilogies ever or an opportunity to discuss the Gospel among film buffs? Both! Come and learn more!
The Rev. Richard Heinz serves St. John Lutheran Church & School in Lanesville, IN and is the Editor of myHT.
Breakaways - Session C
How Can a Lawyer Defend a Cold-Blooded Killer?
Mr. Christian Preus
Imagine you are a lawyer assigned by the court to defend a man accused of a brutal murder. What do you do? How could you defend such a man? Doesn’t he deserve everything he gets? Christians every day face moral delimmas. Sometimes the answers are clear; other times they are not. Come hear how Christians can use the Word of God to guide their choices and behavior when facing the day-to-day challenges in work and life.
Christian Preus is a member of Glory of Christ Lutheran Church, Plymouth, MN and a partner in the Meagher & Geer law firm in Minneapolis, MN.
What Does God Need?
Mr. Landon Reed
Do you go to Church to give God something? Does He need something from you? Or do you need something from Him? Here’s a hint: He’s all about giving you gifts when you go to Church. In this sectional we’ll learn from Scripture what He’s all about giving you in Church.
Landon Reed is a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Tomball, TX and serves as Higher Things’ Retreat Executive.
HT-U/Christ on Campus: Campus Ministry – Just Add Water
The Rev. Marcus Zill
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? Get some help starting out from a panel of campus pastors representing several different types of campus ministry models. This sectional is designed to address your specific campus situation and provide practical help and support.
The Rev. Marcus Zill is the pastor at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church & Campus Center in Laramie, WY. He serves as HT’s Christ on Campus Executive.
IS There A Santa Claus?
Dcs. Jennie Waters
We love a God who is like Santa Claus. We sit on his lap, tell him what we want, and if we’ve been good girls and boys we get it. But what happens when we get a “lump of coal”? How do you understand God when a loved one dies, a friend betrays you, a relationship falls apart, or the cloud of depression hangs over your head? What is He doing for you then? Whether you believe in Santa or not, this sectional will help you see the real Giver of all good things... even when His gifts don’t seem very good.
Dcs. Jennie Waters is the Director of the Deaconess Program at Concordia University – Chicago (a.k.a. River Forest).
Why Suicide Among Christians?
The Rev. Peter Preus
Many Christians have a difficult time understanding why a fellow believer would take his own life. In attending this session you’ll learn about the temptation which confronts many young people today. What does it mean to be depressed and to despair? Why would a Christian consider such a thing? Why should we believe he died a Christian? What about a Christian approach to suicide prevention? The Rev. Peter Preus serves Triune God Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Center, MN.
Abortion: Straight Talk and Truth FOR YOU!
The Rev. Kirk Clayton
If you or a friend had to confront one of the most difficult “choices” you ever have to make, wouldn’t you want to have all the information to make a good “choice”? Yet information, straight talk, and truth are exactly what abortion providers are not providing “for you”. Come ready to hear the truth, and know that the Truth can set you free. The Rev. Kirk Clayton serves Zion Lutheran Church, Mascoutah, IL.
The Blessed Apostle Paul
The Rev. Rob Frank
Do you know what Paul did before he became a Christian? He hunted down, imprisoned and murdered Christians! You’d think Jesus would have no use for a man like that. But He did. Jesus converted Saul, made him an apostle and evangelist to Gentiles. He became the greatest traveling missionary for the kingdom of God. We read about much of his life in the New Testament book of Acts and he wrote numerous letters that are in the New Testament. Learn more about Paul (formerly known as Saul), his travels, and the world to which he proclaimed Jesus as Savior. The Rev. Robert Franck serves Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Duluth, MN and is campus pastor of the University of Minnesota, Duluth, MN.
Who’re Ya Gonna Listen To?
Mrs. Jillene Houser
How do girls and guys truly want to be treated by each other? Contrary to the message of popular culture, it is God’s Word that leads us to healthy male/female relationships. Join us as we uncover the truth about relating to the other gender.
Jillene Houser is a member of Lamb of God Lutheran Church, Papillion, NE and is the Religion Teacher at Girls & Boystown Highschool, Omaha, NE.
The Rev. Randall Smith
Beware of the virus! Symptoms include: a dread fear of the last days, waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat worrying that you’ve been “left behind,” insomnia due to the fear of facing the Antichrist’s persecution, having the number 666 branded on your forehead or hand, and desperately wondering if you’ll ever be worthy to stand before the great judgment seat throne of Christ on the Last Day. Come get innoculated with the true teaching of the last days and the Last Day from the Scriptures. No need to worry. Jesus keeps you safe and sound. Always has. Always will.
The Rev. Randall Smith serves St. Peter Lutheran Church, Hampton, NE.
The Guardians, the Protected, and the Life!
The Rev. Rob Mayes
Supernatural trees. A demonic beast. An ancient curse. Invisible creatures. A fiery weapon. The latest X-Box game? No. It’s Genesis chapter 3. Check out the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What would happen if one ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? What was the tree of life all about? Why did God keep Adam and Eve from eating its fruit? Is either tree still around today? Come find out. You’ll be joyously surprised how all this relates to Jesus Himself, the Christian faith and your life in Christ.
The Rev. Robert Mayes serves Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Fullerton, NE.
Breakaways - Session D
Are You Kidding Me, Lord?
The Rev. Ralph Patrick
“I Can’t Do That! I’m Not Worthy! I’m Too Young!” That sounds like Moses, Jeremiah...or you, doesn’t it? Of course you’re not worthy. Of course you can’t do it. But the Lord’s not kidding. The Lord Jesus calls men to be pastors. And ultimately, it’s not up to you. The man called to be a pastor is simply the Lord’s instrument. The Lord does His work of killing sinners and raising them to life through the Office of the Holy Ministry in Word and Sacrament. Come learn how this all works. You’ll be delightfully surprised.
The Rev. Ralph Patrick serves Peace with Christ Lutheran Church in Fort Collins, CO.
The Medicine of Immortality
The Rev. Paul Philp
Jesus has a gift FOR YOU - a most remarkable gift! One that no doctor can give. The gift He gives is the medicine of His Body and Blood in the Lord’s Supper. The Sacrament of the Altar is a pure, wholesome, soothing medicine that aids and enlivens both your body and soul. Learn about the bodily benefits of the Lord’s Supper.
The Rev. Paul Philp serves as an Admissions Counselor at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO.
“Why I oughta . . . !”
The Rev. Scott Schilbe
“You deserve a good #^*#***!” “When I get a hold of you I’m gonna #*&@&## you!” Is this how the Lord Jesus speaks to you when you go to Church? Some expect Him to talk like this, so they stay far away. Have no fear. Come hear how the Lord speaks to you when you come to Church as we examine the FOR YOU-ness of the liturgy and prayer offices. After all, those two little gospel words FOR YOU make all the difference in the world - and the world to come!
The Rev. Scott Schilbe serves Christ Lutheran Church, Rochester, MN.
Roaming the Internet
The Rev. Brian Thorson
MySpace, LimeWire, Webcams. The list goes on forever. We love this stuff. It seems like we can’t live without it. How do we use it in a God-pleasing way? What do you do when you mess up? Will God still be for you? How can you be sure? Come check out God’sSpace, which is all for you too.
The Rev. Brian Thorson serves Zion Lutheran Church, Lewisville, MN.
Confessions of a Former Backslidin’ Baptist!
The Rev. Jeff Bloom
What’s the difference between Baptists and Lutherans? Why don’t they baptize infants? Why do Lutherans? Why do the Baptists always want you to answer an altar call? What do they say about Jesus? The Lord’s Supper? Salvation? Come hear it from a former Baptist-turned-Lutheran.
The Rev. Jeff Bloom serves Immanuel Lutheran Church, Lincoln, NE.
He Descended into Hell
The Rev. Glen Gutz
Who did? Jesus did! FOR YOU! What exactly was Christ doing in hell? Wasn’t His suffering on the Cross ‘hell’ enough? Was He ‘lost’? Join us as we examine this controversial and sometimes confusing part of the Apostles’ Creed.
The Rev. Glen Gutz serves Immanuel Lutheran Church, Salisbury, MO.
HT-U: Writing for HT Magazine
Miss Adriane Dorr
Are you a budding author? Have you ever considered writing for Higher Things Magazine but never gotten up the nerve? We will walk writers through the process of putting pen to paper and editing manuscripts as well as informing you on how to tweak your article to fit the magazine’s guidelines so that it is ready for submission to the publication.
Adriane Dorr is a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, IN and serves as the Managing Editor of the Higher Things magazine.
The Apostles’ Creed... FOR YOU!
The Rev. Michael Scudder
Day in and day out, the world asks us the same question that Jesus asked St. Peter, “Who do you say that I (Jesus) am?” Part of the confirmation process is to prepare you to “in your heart regard Christ the Lord as Holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15) Sure, you confess the Apostles’ Creed on a regular basis, but can it be used on a daily basis as you confess Christ to a world so desperately in need of His gifts? Take a deeper look at the Creed as your reason for the Hope that is in you.
The Rev. Michael Scudder serves Faith Lutheran Church in Mount Pleasant, IA.
Alcoholics Anonymous and the Gospel
The Rev. Jon Olson
The organization called Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has helped millions of Alcoholics regain control over their lives. We will take a look at the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous within the Lutheran understanding of Law and Gospel. While much of what AA has to offer the suffering alcoholic is helpful, in the end there is very little, if any, Gospel in it. Learn how to bring Jesus to loved ones who suffer from alcoholism.
The Rev. Jon Olson serves Our Savior Lutheran Church, Pipestone, MN.
HT-U: Retreats, Lock-ins and Internet
How do you do a retreat? Who is going to stay up with the kids all night at a lock-in? Just how do you do it? It’s a big internet too. What kind of resources are out there for youth? Check out this HT-U sectional and see all that is available.
Landon Reed is a member at Zion Lutheran Church in Tomball, TX and serves as the Retreats Executive for Higher Things. Stan Lemon attends Redeemer Lutheran Church in Oakmont, PA and is the Higher Things’ Webmaster-extraordinaire.
Breakaways - Session E
What’s He Preaching About Now?
The Rev. Bruce Scarbeary
In this sectional we will briefly examine some modern day ethics, philosophies, and popular preachers, that you might hear on TV or pop radio, see on billboards or at the movies, or read in popular books etc., and ask you to consider whether the message is FOR YOU or “Against you.”
The Rev. Bruce Scarbeary serves Trinity Lutheran Church, Roanoke, IL.
Jesus: Tempted For You!
The Rev. Kirk Schield
Jesus tempted? You bet He was! Big time! Tempted in every way. Enduring temptation’s fullest tempting! Learn how it was all FOR YOU and how that helps you in your Christian life.
The Rev. Kirk Schield serves Shepherd of the Lake, Two Harbors, MN.
HT-U: Reflecting on Reflections - Daily Devotions Unplugged!
Come and discuss the practice of a meaningful and regular devotional and prayer life. In a world saturated with multimedia content, take a few minutes to examine some useful and helpful resources for your daily prayers. No wires, connections, batteries, or electrical power required!
The Rev. Mark Buetow serves Bethel Lutheran congregation in Du Quoin, IL and is the Editor for Higher Things’ daily Reflections.
Discretion is Advised: A Healthy Approach to Watching TV from a Biblical Perspective
The Rev. Stephen Weiss
When it comes to current popular TV Shows, teens are well in the know. Whether it be “American Idol”, “That 70’s Show”, “The Simpsons”, “South Park”, etc., many teens have watched such popular TV shows at one time or another. In this workshop, we will learn to recognize some of the common elements in popular TV shows that you watch and discuss how such elements can adversely affect your faith if left unchecked. And please, don’t tell me “to eat my shorts!”
The Rev. Stephen Weiss serves Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Lakefield, MN.
Don’t Monkey Around with My Family Tree!
The Rev. Kevin Hahn
Scripture makes it clear that the universe was created by the Triune God. Come and learn some of the many ways the universe itself gives stronger evidence for creation than for evolution, is thcontrary to what evolutionists want you to believe.
The Rev. Kevin Hahn serves Faith Lutheran Church, Marinette, WI.
HT-U: Writing by the Seat of Your Pants – myHT
The Rev. Richard Heinz
myHT is where Christian freedom meets the internet. New content, new articles, movie reviews, stories all in one place. All of the website at your fingertips! Interest in writing for the website? Want to try your hand? Come and talk to the editor of myHT and find out more about this valuable resource.
The Rev. Rich Heinz serves Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church & School in Lanesville, IN and is the Editor for myHT.
God Puts You to Good Use!
Mr. Bryce Hedstrom
Christians are to do good works. Why? To get to heaven? Some would say yes. Does the Bible teach that? Do you think? I hope not. Good works are for this life. Redeemed by Jesus, God puts you to good use in this world to serve up heaping portions of good works. But for whom? For God? For your dorky little brother? For your stuck up big sister? For your out of it parents? Come find out the good use God has for you in this life. You’ll love the work He’s given you to do!
Bryce Hedstrom is a member of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Loveland, CO.
Infant Baptism: For You
The Rev. Brian Thorson
Many Christians teach that only those who can act like adults should be baptized. But Baptism is for “all nations,” (Matthew 28:19) and even “for you and for your children,” (Acts 2:38-39). Come find out why we baptize even babies.
The Rev. Brian Thorson serves Zion Lutheran Church, Lewisville, MN.
HT-U: Talk Back about Higher Things
Higher Things Staff
This session is about sharing ideas. We’d like to hear your thoughts about Higher Things. And we’d like to share with you some of the ideas we are considering for the future, and ways that you and others can make use of Higher Things in your congregations. Let’s talk! This session is mainly intended for group leaders.
Members of the Higher Things Board of Directors and Executives will be present to hear your feedback.