NC Breakaways

Asheville Breakaway Sectionals
For 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

Grace for Will
Mr. Andy Bates
Your classmate just announced he’s gay. How do you respond? A friend confides that she struggles with feeling “different.” Maybe you’re not quite as crazy about the opposite sex the way your friends seem to be. Does that mean you’re gay? Alternative lifestyles are becoming socially acceptable in our culture. What is a faithful and loving Christian response to those who identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, curious, or just confused?
Andy Bates serves as teacher, catechist and administrator for service to youth and families at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Waco, TX. He is also the voice of the audio Higher Things daily
Reflections.

Closed Communion - Open Mouths
The Rev. Rick Sawyer

Why is Closed Communion the best evangelism tool ever? Because it requires us to actually say something about what we believe! Worried that you can’t invite non-Lutheran friends and family to your church because the pastor won’t commune them? It’s time to see Closed Communion as an asset, not a liability, to evangelistic outreach! Come and talk about it. We’ve got Closed Communion, but that just means our mouths should be open and confessing the hope that is in us.
The Rev. Rick Sawyer serves Good Shepherd Lutheran Church & School in Brandon, MS.

A Life and Death Issue: Where You Attend Church
Pastor Keith R. Brda

“It really doesn’t matter where you go to Church, as long as you believe in Jesus and He is proclaimed as Lord and Savior.” Oh? Is that true? Come find out why Judas ended up in hell and begin to discuss and debate whether it matters which Church you attend.
The Rev. Keith Brda serves Salem Lutheran Church in Gretna, LA He is the Catechsis Manager for the Asheville FOR YOU Conference.

We Like to Move it, Move it: Mercy Mission Expedition to Madagascar
Pastor Jeffery Ware

What do you get when six seminary students and their professor embark on an expedition halfway around the world to discover confessional Lutheranism in Madagascar? Learn the amazing story of the Malagasy Lutheran Church and its bold confession of faith in the midst of severe poverty and doctrinal persecution. Find out how Lutherans in Madagascar are partnering with LCMS pastors and laypeople to address the spiritual and physical needs of the Malagasy people. If you’re interested in missions this is the sectional to attend.
The Rev. Jeffery Ware serves Living Word Lutheran Church, the Woodlands, TX.

Body Image: (Thy Will Be Done) on Earth as it is in Heaven
The Rev. Dr. David Balla

American Idol says you don’t have what it takes? Then consider your body image. We will apply the Biblical teaching of the spiritual resurrected body to help those of us who don’t have that perfect “idol” body here and now.
The Rev. Dr. David Balla serves Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in West Chicago, IL.

Is There A Santa Claus?
Deaconess 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.
Deaconess Jennie Waters is the Director of the Deaconess Program at Concordia University – Chicago (a.k.a. River Forest).

Connections Between Mormonism and Islam
The Rev. Drew Newman

Living as we do in a world where religious diversity is encouraged by most, what are we to make of the claims being made (sometimes by those who profess to be Christians) that there is only one God and that therefore we are worship the same God and are all headed to the same place? With both Islam and Mormonism claiming be two of the fastest-growing religions in the world today, what dangers does this pose for the Christian Church at large and us, as Christians, individually? In this demonic lie, Satan renews his effort to devour us all as a hungry lion looking for a tasty meal. Don’t let your friends or loved ones fall victim to this lie!
The Rev. Drew A. Newman serves Trinity Lutheran Church Kearney, MO.

Some Things Never Change: Hearing Our Shepherd in a Digital Age
The Rev. R. A. Abernethy

Martin Luther said that a seven-year-old child knows what the Church is: holy believers and lambs who hear the Voice of their Shepherd. In an age of iPods, Blackberries, text-messaging and other new entertainment and informational technologies, does Dr. Luther’s statement still hold true? How does a Christian hear Jesus’ voice today? Even in an age of rapid change, there are some things we can always depend on.
The Rev. R. A. Abernethy serves Mt. Olive Evangelical Lutheran Church in Newton, NC.

HT-U: Youth Ministry 101 Youth Ministry for Dummies (like us)
HT Staff
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.


Breakaway Session B

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.

Grace for Will
Mr. Andy Bates
Your classmate just announced he’s gay. How do you respond? A friend confides that she struggles with feeling “different.” Maybe you’re not quite as crazy about the opposite sex the way your friends seem to be. Does that mean you’re gay? Alternative lifestyles are becoming socially acceptable in our culture. What is a faithful and loving Christian response to those who identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, curious, or just confused?
Andy Bates serves as teacher, catechist and administrator for service to youth and families at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Waco, TX. He is also the voice of the audio Higher Things daily
Reflections.

The Gospel According to Bart Simpson
The Rev. J. Bart Day

Can anything godly come out of The Simpsons? Yes, indeed! There is much that this show touches on in relation to God, Jesus, the Scriptures, and the Christian faith. We will look at where Bart gets it right and where he gets it wrong.
The Rev. J. Bart Day is serves Memorial Lutheran Church in Houston, TX.

Is There A Santa Claus?
Deaconess 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.
Deaconess Jennie Waters is the Director of the Deaconess Program at Concordia University – Chicago (a.k.a. River Forest).

Closed Communion - Open Mouths
The Rev. Rick Sawyer

Why is Closed Communion the best evangelism tool ever? Because it requires us to actually say something about what we believe! Worried that you can’t invite non-Lutheran friends and family to your church because the pastor won’t commune them? It’s time to see Closed Communion as an asset, not a liability, to evangelistic outreach! Come and talk about it. We’ve got Closed Communion, but that just means our mouths should be open and confessing the hope that is in us.
The Rev. Rick Sawyer serves Good Shepherd Lutheran Church & School in Brandon, MS.

The Holy Spirit FOR YOU: The Third Article
The Rev. Gregory Schultz

What’s the Holy Spirit? How does He work? Does He live in my heart? Is He moving through me? What makes Him tick? This sectional will examine what and how the Holy Spirit works in the lives of believers by pointing them to Christ and His gifts as given in the Holy Christian Church.
The Rev. Gregory Schultz serves St. Peter Lutheran Church in Campbell Hill, IL.

MyReligion, it’s All about Me: The Self-Centeredness of Pop-Christianity
The Rev. Chad E. Hoover

Wouldn’t it be great if Christianity was just like MySpace? You could create every aspect of your religion to cater to your own likes and dislikes! Choose your favorite music, edit content, block unwanted users, and (best of all) it’s all about you! Come and discuss some of the disturbing tends in popular Christianity which falsely claim to be “Biblical” and sound so good to our sinful nature, but are predominantly self-centered rather than Christ-centered.
The Rev. Chad E. Hoover serves as assistant pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Traverse City, MI.

Connections Between Mormonism and Islam
The Rev. Drew Newman

Living as we do in a world where religious diversity is encouraged by most, what are we to make of the claims being made (sometimes by those who profess to be Christians) that there is only one God and that therefore we are worship the same God and are all headed to the same place? With both Islam and Mormonism claiming be two of the fastest-growing religions in the world today, what dangers does this pose for the Christian Church at large and us, as Christians, individually? In this demonic lie, Satan renews his effort to devour us all as a hungry lion looking for a tasty meal. Don’t let your friends or loved ones fall victim to this lie!
The Rev. Drew A. Newman serves Trinity Lutheran Church Kearney, MO.

The Antichrist
The Rev. Glenn Huebel

The topic of the antichrist is quite popular, especially through the prolific publication of millennialist materials. Many people expect the antichrist to arise in the near future. Examine the antichrist prophecies of Daniel combined with New Testament commentary, and learn how the Lutheran confessors had a much deeper appreciation for and understanding of the Biblical texts than so-called millennialist “prophets” today.
The Rev. Glenn Huebel serves Messiah Lutheran Church in Keller, TX.

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.


Breakaway Session C

The Gospel According to Bart Simpson
The Rev. J. Bart Day

Can anything godly come out of The Simpsons? Yes, indeed! There is much that this show touches on in relation to God, Jesus, the Scriptures, and the Christian faith. We will look at where Bart gets it right and where he gets it wrong.
The Rev. J. Bart Day serves Memorial Lutheran Church in Houston, TX.

The Holy Spirit FOR YOU: The Third Article
The Rev. Gregory Schultz

What’s the Holy Spirit? How does He work? Does He live in my heart? Is He moving through me? What makes Him tick? This sectional will examine what and how the Holy Spirit works in the lives of believers by pointing them to Christ and His gifts as given in the Holy Christian Church.
The Rev. Gregory Schultz serves St. Peter Lutheran Church in Campbell Hill, IL.

MyReligion, it’s All about Me: The Self-Centeredness of Pop-Christianity
The Rev. Chad E. Hoover

Wouldn’t it be great if Christianity was just like MySpace? You could create every aspect of your religion to cater to your own likes and dislikes! Choose your favorite music, edit content, block unwanted users, and (best of all) it’s all about you! Come and discuss some of the disturbing tends in popular Christianity which falsely claim to be “Biblical” and sound so good to our sinful nature, but are predominantly self-centered rather than Christ-centered.
The Rev. Chad E. Hoover serves as assistant pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Traverse City, MI.

The Antichrist
The Rev. Glenn Huebel

The topic of the antichrist is quite popular, especially through the prolific publication of millennialist materials. Many people expect the antichrist to arise in the near future. Examine the antichrist prophecies of Daniel combined with New Testament commentary, and learn how the Lutheran confessors had a much deeper appreciation for and understanding of the Biblical texts than so-called millennialist “prophets” today.
The Rev. Glenn Huebel serves Messiah Lutheran Church in Keller, TX.

Some Things Never Change: Hearing Our Shepherd in a Digital Age
The Rev. R. A. Abernethy

Martin Luther said that a seven-year-old child knows what the Church is: holy believers and lambs who hear the Voice of their Shepherd. In an age of iPods, Blackberries, text-messaging and other new entertainment and informational technologies, does Dr. Luther’s statement still hold true? How does a Christian hear Jesus’ voice today? Even in an age of rapid change, there are some things we can always depend on.
The Rev. R. A. Abernethy serves Mt. Olive Evangelical Lutheran Church in Newton, NC.

We Like to Move It, Move It: Mercy Mission Expedition to Madagascar
Pastor Jeffery Ware

What do you get when six seminary students and their professor embark on an expedition halfway around the world to discover confessional Lutheranism in Madagascar? Learn the amazing story of the Malagasy Lutheran Church and its bold confession of faith in the midst of severe poverty and doctrinal persecution. Find out how Lutherans in Madagascar are partnering with LCMS pastors and laypeople to address the spiritual and physical needs of the Malagasy people. If you’re interested in missions this is the sectional to attend.
The Rev. Jeffery Ware serves Living Word Lutheran Church, the Woodlands, TX.

A Life and Death Issue: Where You Attend Church
Pastor Keith R. Brda

“It really doesn’t matter where you go to Church, as long as you believe in Jesus and He is proclaimed as Lord and Savior.” Oh? Is that true? Come find out why Judas ended up in hell and begin to discuss and debate whether it matters which Church you attend.
The Rev. Keith Brda serves Salem Lutheran Church in Gretna, LA. He has served as the Catechsis Manager for the Asheville FOR YOU Conference.

Body Image: (Thy Will Be Done) on Earth as it is in Heaven
The Rev. Dr. David Balla

American Idol says you don’t have what it takes? Then consider your body image. We will apply the Biblical teaching of the spiritual resurrected body to help those of us who don’t have that perfect “idol” body here and now.
The Rev. Dr. David Balla serves Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in West Chicago, IL.

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.


Breakaway Session D

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? 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 is the pastor at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church & Campus Center in Laramie, WY. He serves as HT’s Christ on Campus Executive.

From Calvary to Sinai and Back
The Rev. David Oberdieck
“From Calvary to Sinai and Back” is the personal journey of Pastor David Oberdieck as he searched for deeper religious experience in non-Lutheran church bodies during senior high and his freshman year of college. In hindsight, his journey was taking him away from the Gospel. Pastor Oberdieck came to understand that God’s good gifts were demoted to mere acts of human obedience in the other church bodies with which he was enamored.
The Rev. David Oberdieck serves Trinity Lutheran Church in Lebanon, MO.

Men’s and Women’s Vocation in Marriage
The Rev. Tod Rappe

Look at the vocation of husband and wife in the Christian marriage as it pertains to the atonement. Examine Genesis 2 as well as Ephesians 5 with Paul’s understanding of love and submission, and the Adam/Eve and Jesus/Church metaphor as it plays out in daily life through the Divine Liturgy. How does this affect our understanding of dating in light of the atonement?
The Rev. Tod Rappe serves Our Redeemer, Fayetteville, NC.

Driving the Devil Away
Rev. Christopher S. Esget

The devil and demons are the popular subjects of horror movies and Halloween. But for man people in the modern world (including many Christians), the devil’s existence and evil work is denied or ignored. This sectional will address how Christians - particularly within our older Lutheran tradition - have dealt with demons and used God’s powerful gifts to drive the devil away.
The Rev. Christopher S. Esget serves Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Alexandria, VA. He has also served as the Chaplain of the Asheville FOR YOU Conference.

Speak to Me in a Language I Can Hear! Billy Corgan, Johnny Cash and Jesus Christ
Rev. Marcus Nelson

Podcasts, commercials, friends, downloads, teachers, TV, YouTube, MySpace...there are a lot of influences your life. What influences your world? St. Paul tells us not be conformed to this world. Is there something that conforms the world to it? Explore the Scriptural world that God gives FOR YOU in His Word and how it creates something better tha you have ever imagined. Look at the many Christian images in music and movies and how knowing Scripture transforms them for our benefit.
The Rev. Marcus Nelson is serves St. John Lutheran Church in Wheaton, IL.

Goths
Mr. Scott DeCaluwe

There is just so much darkness in the world that infects our culture. You see it every day, don’t you? Why does someone become a “Goth?” What’s that whole thing about? Cone and learn with us.
Scott DeCaluwe is the DCE at Living Word Lutheran Church in the Woodlands, TX.

Murder, Killing and Bloodshed
The Rev. Kent Schaaf

In light of random acts of violence and murder such as the Virginia Tech Massacre, September 11th, and drive-by shootings, people often ask, “Why?” Why do people kill one another? How are we to react as Christians? Does the loss of life through murder and random violence shock us or are we too accustomed to it in our daily lives? These questions and any questions you may have will try to be answered through this open discussion on the 5th commandment.
The Rev. Kent Schaaf serves All Saints Lutheran Church, Charlotte, NC. He is also the Local Arrangments Coordinator for the Asheville FOR YOU Conference.

Celebrating Easter Every Day: Living in Your Baptism
Rev. Joseph M. Fisher

St. Paul said that in Baptism we die and rise with Christ Jesus our Lord. This becomes the oxygen for the Christian soul, exhaling in confession and inhaling Christ absolution. Living the Christian life is to constantly die and rise with Christ each day, drowning the Old Adam and raising the new creature in Christ. Sounds great doesn’t it? But what does this mean? How does something done without my consent benefit me? How does living in my Baptism help me deal with embracing my inner nerd?
Rev. Joseph M. Fisher serves Pilgrim Ev. Lutheran Church, West Bend, WI.

When Good Things Happen to Bad People or... So You Think You Have Free Will, Huh?
Rev. Kevin W. Martin

Do you think you have free will? Really? Are you absolutely sure of that? Would it surprise you to learn that Martin Luther and the Lutheran Church insist that human beings don’t have free will? In this sectional we’ll see why Lutherans (and the Bible) say stuff like that, why Luther goes at the “Problem of Evil” the opposite way of most everyone else, and what that all might mean for us. Possibly (as a “free” bonus) we’ll get some insight into whether you were simply predestined to hate trigonometry, or to like someone who doesn’t seem to like you so much.
The Rev. Kevin W. Martin serves Our Savior Lutheran Church, Raleigh, NC.

What’s the Difference Between a Lutheran and a Lutheran
Rev. Allan Wierschke

ELCA? LC-MS? WELS? ELS? What’s the difference? Is it just alphabet soup? Come find out the difference between the major Lutheran church bodies in America.
The Rev. Allan Wierschke serves Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Blackduck, MN.


Breakaway Session E

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? 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 is the Higher Things Christ on Campus Executive.

The Gospel According to Bart Simpson
The Rev. J. Bart Day

Can anything godly come out of The Simpsons? Yes, indeed! There is much that this show touches on in relation to God, Jesus, the Scriptures, and the Christian faith. We will look at where Bart gets it right and where he gets it wrong.
The Rev. J. Bart Day is serves Memorial Lutheran Church in Houston, TX.

Men’s and Women’s Vocation in Marriage
The Rev. Tod Rappe

Look at the vocation of husband and wife in the Christian marriage as it pertains to the atonement. Examine Genesis 2 as well as Ephesians 5 with Paul’s understanding of love and submission, and the Adam/Eve and Jesus/Church metaphor as it plays out in daily life through the Divine Liturgy. How does this affect our understanding of dating in light of the atonement?
The Rev. Tod Rappe serves Our Redeemer, Fayetteville, NC.

Speak to Me in a Language I Can Hear! Billy Corgan, Johnny Cash and Jesus Christ
Rev. Marcus Nelson

Podcasts, commercials, friends, downloads, teachers, TV, YouTube, MySpace...there are a lot of influences your life. What influences your world? St. Paul tells us not be conformed to this world. Is there something that conforms the world to it? Explore the Scriptural world that God gives FOR YOU in His Word and how it creates something better tha you have ever imagined. Look at the many Christian images in music and movies and how knowing Scripture transforms them for our benefit.
The Rev. Marcus Nelson is serves St. John Lutheran Church in Wheaton, IL.

Murder, Killing and Bloodshed
The Rev. Kent Schaaf
In light of random acts of violence and murder such as the Virginia Tech Massacre, September 11th, and drive-by shootings, people often ask, “Why?” Why do people kill one another? How are we to react as Christians? Does the loss of life through murder and random violence shock us or are we too accustomed to it in our daily lives? These questions and any questions you may have will try to be answered through this open discussion on the 5th commandment.
The Rev. Kent Schaaf serves All Saints Lutheran Church, Charlotte, North Carolina. He is also the Local Arrangments Coordinator for the Asheville FOR YOU Conference.

When Good Things Happen to Bad People or...So You Think You Have Free Will, Huh?
Rev. Kevin W. Martin
Do you think you have free will? Really? Are you absolutely sure of that? Would it surprise you to learn that Martin Luther and the Lutheran Church insist that human beings don’t have free will? In this sectional we’ll see why Lutherans (and the Bible) say stuff like that, why Luther goes at the “Problem of Evil” the opposite way of most everyone else, and what that all might mean for us. Possibly (as a “free” bonus) we’ll get some insight into whether you were simply predestined to hate trigonometry, or to like someone who doesn’t seem to like you so much.
The Rev. Kevin W. Martin serves Our Savior Lutheran Church, Raleigh, NC.

You Want Me to Be a WHAT!?! Considering the Office of the Ministry
The Rev. Philip Zielinski

God calls men to be pastors in His churches. Why not you? Trouble speaking in public? Talk to Moses. Not worthy to serve God’speople? Not like David was squeaky clean...but he was forgiven. Maybe your pastor, a teacher, a family member or a friend is encouraging you to be a pastor. Come hear how God could use you to shepherd His beloved people.
Rev. Philip Zielinski is an Admission Counselor for Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN.

Paul Gerhardt: A Hymn Writer FOR YOU
The Rev. Charles Henrickson
Can a poet and pastor born 400 years ago possibly reach your heart today? You’d be surprised! Paul Gerhardt (1607-76) is one of Lutheranism’s greatest hymnwriters, and we use many of his hymns to this day. Gerhardt experienced the full range of life’s joys and troubles, and he puts them into songs we can identify with. We’ll sing a few!
The Rev. Charles Henrickson serves St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Bonne Terre, MO.

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 F

Connections Between Mormonism and Islam
The Rev. Drew Newman

Living as we do in a world where religious diversity is encouraged by most, what are we to make of the claims being made (sometimes by those who profess to be Christians) that there is only one God and that therefore we are worship the same God and are all headed to the same place? With both Islam and Mormonism claiming be two of the fastest-growing religions in the world today, what dangers does this pose for the Christian Church at large and us, as Christians, individually? In this demonic lie, Satan renews his effort to devour us all as a hungry lion looking for a tasty meal. Don’t let your friends or loved ones fall victim to this lie!
The Rev. Drew A. Newman serves Trinity Lutheran Church Kearney, MO.

From Calvary to Sinai and Back
The Rev. David Oberdieck

“From Calvary to Sinai and Back” is the personal journey of Pastor David Oberdieck as he searched for deeper religious experience in non-Lutheran church bodies during senior high and his freshman year of college. In hindsight, his journey was taking him away from the Gospel. Pastor Oberdieck came to understand that God’s good gifts were demoted to mere acts of human obedience in the other church bodies with which he was enamored.
The Rev. David Oberdieck serves Trinity Lutheran Church in Lebanon, MO.

Driving the Devil Away
Rev. Christopher S. Esget

The devil and demons are the subject of horror movies and Halloween, but for most of the modern world (and many Christians), the devil’s existence and evil work is denied or ignored. This sectional will address how Christians--particularly within our older Lutheran tradition--have dealt with demons and used God’s powerful gifts to drive the devil away.
The Rev. Christopher S. Esget serves Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Alexandria,VA. He has also served as the Chaplain of the Asheville FOR YOU Conference.

Goths
Mr. Scott DeCaluwe

There is just so much darkness in the world that infects our culture. You see it every day, don’t you? Why does someone become a “Goth?” What’s that whole thing about? Cone and learn with us.
Scott DeCaluwe is the DCE at Living Word Lutheran Church in the Woodlands, TX.

Celebrating Easter Every Day: Living in Your Baptism
Rev. Joseph M. Fisher

St. Paul said that in Baptism we die and rise with Christ Jesus our Lord. This becomes the oxygen for the Christian soul, exhaling in confession and inhaling Christ absolution. Living the Christian life is to constantly die and rise with Christ each day, drowning the Old Adam and raising the new creature in Christ. Sounds great doesn’t it? But what does this mean? How does something done without my consent benefit me? How does living in my Baptism help me deal with embracing my inner nerd?
Rev. Joseph M. Fisher serves Pilgrim Ev. Lutheran Church, West Bend, WI.

What’s the Difference Between a Lutheran and a Lutheran
Rev. Allan Wierschke

ELCA? LC-MS? WELS? ELS? What’s the difference? Is it just alphabet soup? Come find out the difference between the major Lutheran church bodies in America.
The Rev. Allan Wierschke serves Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Blackduck, MN.

You Want Me to Be a WHAT!?! Considering the Office of the Ministry
The Rev. Philip Zielinski

God calls men to be pastors in His churches. Why not you? Trouble speaking in public? Talk to Moses. Not worthy to serve God’s people? Not like David was squeaky clean...but he was forgiven. Maybe your pastor, a teacher, a family member or a friend is encouraging you to be a pastor. Come hear how God could use you to shepherd His beloved people.
Rev. Philip Zielinski is an Admission Counselor for Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN.

Paul Gerhardt: A Hymn Writer FOR YOU
The Rev. Charles Henrickson

Can a poet and pastor born 400 years ago possibly reach your heart today? You’d be surprised! Paul Gerhardt (1607-76) is one of Lutheranism’s greatest hymnwriters, and we use many of his hymns to this day. Gerhardt experienced the full range of life’s joys and troubles, and he puts them into songs we can identify with. We’ll sing a few!
The Rev. Charles Henrickson serves St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Bonne Terre, MO.

HT-U: Retreats, Lock-ins and Internet
HT Staff

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 HTU 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.


Breakaway Session G

Only One God FOR YOU!
The Rev. Jerome Teichmiller

In a pluralistic society, everyone has their own idea of God - maybe even their own God. But how many true gods are there? Are all equally good? How can we know and recognize the true God?
The Rev. Jerome Teichmiller serves Zion Lutheran Church in Tomball, TX.

Interpreting Scripture: What it means to “do righteousness” and “do sin” in I John 3
The Rev. Thomas L. Olson

St. John writes: “Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who ‘does’ righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8) the one who ‘does’ sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (I John 3:7-10)
The Rev. Thomas Olson serves Trinity Lutheran Church, Tryon, NC.

Let Us Fix our Eyes on Jesus: Icons and Images
The Rev. Philip Zielinski

Your eyes are bombarded with pictures and images all day, every day. Some lead you into temptation, others can deliver you from evil. Take a look at Christian imagery through the centuries and see how the Gospel comes to us through our eyes and how that shapes our prayer, praise, and faith.
The Rev. Philip Zielinski is an Admissions Counselor for Concordia Theological Seminary,
Fort Wayne, IN.

God is FOR YOU in Dating
Rev. W. Mart Thompson

Love, sex and marriage are hot topics. Christians have the inside track on understanding and receiving these good gifts of creation in a world that is totally confused. Pastor Thompson will share tried and true biblical insights on how to approach dating. He will reflect on the Lutheran teaching on “vocation” (that is, what God calls us to do) as it relates to marriage.
The Rev. W. Mart Thompson serves Zion Lutheran Church in Pevely, MO.

You Might Be a Pietist if...
Pastor John Drosendahl

You may have heard of the comedian, Jeff Foxworthy, “You might be a redneck…” In this break away, we’ll examine “You might be a Pietist, if...” Some humor will be used to contrast the sorrowful “living under the Law” from the joy of “living under Grace.” We hope to convict the inner-pietist in all of us and then remind us all that God the Father is already 100% pleased with us in Christ Jesus. We’ll look at the distinction of “works of the Law” with the sanctifying works of the Spirit.
The Rev. John Drosendahl serves Peace and Our Redeemer Lutheran Churches in Wilson and Goldsboro, NC.

It Takes a Year to ‘Get’ the Lutheran Church
Pastor Kent A. Heimbigner

The Church Year in the Service of the Gospel. What is a liturgical calendar, why do we have it, and what good does it do me? We’ll take a look at the liturgical calendar and discover how it helps us grow spiritually and how it keeps us on track with God’s work in our lives.
The Rev. Kent A. Heimbigner serves Charity Lutheran Church in Burleson, TX.

At the Lamb’s High Feast
Rev. David Fleming

What is worship? Why do Lutherans worship the way they do? How can worship become more meaningful to you? Take a look at what the book of Revelation teaches us about Christian Worship.
The Rev. David Fleming is pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, MI.

Disciples make Disciples
The Rev. John Gerlach

Where do you fit in as a member of your Church and in the Body of Christ? Why opportunities do you have to share the gifts that the Lord has given to you. Discover the wonder that disciples really do make disciples, and in so doing, they grow in their own faith.
The Rev. John Gerlach serves Immanuel Lutheran Church, West Plains, MO.

HT-U: Youth Ministry 102 - Try This at Home
HT Staff

rofessionals. 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.


Breakaway Session H

Only One God FOR YOU!
The Rev. Jerome Teichmiller

In a pluralistic society, everyone has their own idea of God - maybe even their own God. But how many true gods are there? Are all equally good? How can we know and recognize the true God?
The Rev. Jerome Teichmiller serves Zion Lutheran Church in Tomball, TX.

Interpreting Scripture: What it means to “do righteousness” and “do sin” in I John 3
The Rev. Thomas L. Olson

St. John writes: “Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who ‘does’ righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8) the one who ‘does’ sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (I John 3:7-10)
The Rev. Thomas Olson serves Trinity Lutheran Church, Tryon, NC.

Let Us Fix our Eyes on Jesus: Icons and Images
The Rev. Philip Zielinski

Your eyes are bombarded with pictures and images all day, every day. Some lead you into temptation, others can deliver you from evil. Take a look at Christian imagery through the centuries and see how the Gospel comes to us through our eyes and how that shapes our prayer, praise, and faith.
The Rev. Philip Zielinski is an Admissions Counselor for Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN.

God is FOR YOU in Dating
Rev. W. Mart Thompson

Love, sex and marriage are hot topics. Christians have the inside track on understanding and receiving these good gifts of creation in a world that is totally confused. Pastor Thompson will share tried and true biblical insights on how to approach dating. He will reflect on the Lutheran teaching on “vocation” (that is, what God calls us to do) as it relates to marriage.
The Rev. W. Mart Thompson serves Zion Lutheran Church in Pevely, MO.

You Might Be a Pietist if...
Pastor John Drosendahl

You may have heard of the comedian, Jeff Foxworthy, “You might be a redneck…” In this break away, we’ll examine “You might be a Pietist, if...” Some humor will be used to contrast the sorrowful  “living under the Law” from the joy of “living under Grace.” We hope to convict the inner-pietist in all of us and then remind us all that God the Father is already 100% pleased with us in Christ Jesus. We’ll look at the distinction of “works of the Law” with the sanctifying works of the Spirit.
The Rev. John Drosendahl serves Peace and Our Redeemer Lutheran Churches in Wilson and Goldsboro, NC.

It Takes a Year to ‘Get’ the Lutheran Church
Pastor Kent A. Heimbigner

The Church Year in the Service of the Gospel. What is a liturgical calendar, why do we have it, and what good does it do me? We’ll take a look at the liturgical calendar and discover how it helps us grow spiritually and how it keeps us on track with God’s work in our lives.
The Rev. Kent A. Heimbigner serves Charity Lutheran Church in Burleson, TX.

At the Lamb’s High Feast
Rev. David Fleming

What is worship? Why do Lutherans worship the way they do? How can worship become more meaningful to you? Take a look at what the book of Revelation teaches us about Christian Worship.
The Rev. David Fleming is pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, MI.

Disciples make Disciples
The Rev. John Gerlach

Where do you fit in as a member of your Church and in the Body of Christ? Why opportunities do you have to share the gifts that the Lord has given to you. Discover the wonder that disciples really do make disciples, and in so doing, they grow in their own faith.
The Rev. John Gerlach serves Immanuel Lutheran Church, West Plains, MO.

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.