Grand Rapids: Breakaway Session C

Big Man Speak with Forked Tongue?
The Rev. Eric Andrae

Some famous dead Lutheran once said, “We must preach them into hell before we can preach them into heaven.” What?! Isn’t this contradictory? Why would preachers want to do this? The Bible itself says, “The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up.” God has work that He loves to do (His proper, normal, usual stuff) and also does some stuff that He’d actually rather not have to do (His alien, strange work). Come learn to tell the difference!

Pastor Andrae serves as the Campus Pastor at First Trinity Lutheran Church & Luther House Student Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

A Life of Devotion
The Rev. James Roemke

Like all things in the life of a Christian, devotional living is not about us but about Christ for us. Together, we’ll explore how God’s Word teaches us to speak fluently as devoted disciples of Christ. Learn why the liturgy isn’t just for Sundays and how to take all of our senses captive to Christ. Bring a Bible.

Pastor Roemke serves Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Middleville, Michigan. 

How to Read the Bible
The Rev. David A. Dodge

Sure, we all believe in sola scriptura - but what does that mean? There are some strange interpretations of God’s Word and people end up reading the same passage in very different ways. We’ll explore some basic methods to understand the Bible. We’ll ask with Luther, “What does this mean?” and learn how to let the Lord do the talking through His own Word. 

Pastor Dodge serves Our Savior Lutheran Church in Union City, Michigan. 

Youth Ministry for Real People (Part 2)
Pastor George Borghardt and Mrs. Sandra Ostapowich

In “What is Youth Ministry?” we learned what youth ministry is (and isn’t). Now we’ll get into more of the nuts and bolts of starting and maintaining a faithful Lutheran youth program in a congregational setting. Bring your questions! Let’s have a discussion about getting the Gospel into the ears of our kids!

Pastor Borghardt is the Youth/Associate Pastor at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Conroe, Texas and Mrs. Sandra Ostapowich is the Christian Education and Youth Director at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Loveland, Colorado. 

Teach Us to Pray
The Rev. William Cwirla

Would you pray for me? Do you even know how? Do you, really? Prayer is a gift from God, a priestly privilege of the baptized. Learn the different ways Lutherans pray, and how to pray for and with others in all sorts of situations.

Pastor Cwirla serves Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Hacienda Heights, California and is the President of the Higher Things Board of Directors. 

About the Twilight Series
The Rev. Dr. Rick Stuckwisch

The Twilight series is an interesting paradox. It is both phenomenally popular and decidedly countercultural in its premises and values. But what are the books really about - vampires? Romance? Or is there something bigger and ultimately more important? Caution needs to be exercised in reading these fictional works, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to learn from them about life in the world, about love and relationships and commitment, marriage and family, and sacrifice for the sake of what is good and right. Explore the way these various topics are presented and dealt with in the Twilight series.

Pastor Stuckwisch serves as Senior Pastor at Emmaus Lutheran Church in South Bend, Indiana. 

The Real Work of the Holy Spirit
The Rev. Leonard A. Astrowski, Jr.

Where do we find the Holy Spirit at work today? Can we “feel” when the Holy Spirit is at work? How do we know when it’s the Holy Spirit who’s talking? When a Gentile man is looking for salvation, come and find where the Holy Spirit sends him as we study Acts 10.

Pastor Astrowski serves Grace Lutheran Church in Fairgrove, Michigan. 

Just a Janitor?
The Rev. Todd R. Jerabek

You want to be a janitor when you grow up, but your parents want you to be a pastor. Who is right? Is one of them a better, or “higher calling” for a Christian? Have you ever wondered how you can serve the Lord? Can you do it today, or do you need to wait until you graduate from college?

Pastor Jerabek serves Zion & St. Peter Lutheran Churches in Embarrass & Pella Opening, Wisconsin. 

What’s a Deaconess?
Deaconess Jennifer (Waters) Asher

We’ll study the role of a Lutheran deaconess. Are there deaconesses in the Bible? Can they marry or are they like nuns? What do they do? How are they trained? How long have Lutherans had deaconesses? Maybe you think you might be suited for becoming a deaconess - come and find out!

Deaconess Asher is the Director of the Deaconess program at Concordia University - Chicago, . 

Loving Our Embryonic Brothers and Sisters
Deaconess Lynn Fredericksen

John the Baptist leaped for joy in Elizabeth’s belly because fetal-Jesus was in the womb next door. But today, many seek to destroy such little lives. We’ll look at the issues of abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and cloning. Come and discuss how you can protect our unborn neighbors. What kind of stem cell research is good?

Deaconess Fredericksen has been the Treasurer of the Higher Things Board of Directors since the beginning of time. In her spare time, she pretends to be a school teacher, school principal, and registered nurse. 

The Shack: Reimaging God or Help with Suffering?
The Rev. Drew Newman

The Shack is a popular and very controversial novel in which a mourning man meets “God.” What does this book say about suffering and trouble? What does it say about the Gospel? We’ll examine the book in light of Holy Scripture. 

Pastor Newman serves Trinity Lutheran Church in Kearney, Missouri. 

The Real Angels and Demons
The Rev. Steve Kieser

What do you know about angels? Did you know one angel put to death 185,000 in the Bible? Are demons even real? Come find out more about good and evil angels.

Pastor Kieser serves Zion Lutheran Church, Storm Lake, Iowa. 

Surviving College with Your Faith Intact
The Rev. Jonathan Bakker

Are you getting ready to go to college soon? Trying to pick one out? Such a life change can be exhilarating and downright scary all at the same time. How will you survive? Come and hear some straight talk about issues facing Christian students on the college campus from the classroom to the frat house. Learn what to expect and how to remain rooted in Christ on campus.

Pastor Bakker serves as the Campus Pastor at Christ the King Lutheran Chapel in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. He also is the CCV Coordinator for Sola - Grand Rapids. 

Being Superspiritual - or Gnot!
The Rev. Roger James

The ancient heresy of Gnosticism comes and goes throughout the ages in various viral forms, infecting the church. So it goes today too. Take a quick overview at the latest varieties of the old heresy that falsely promises impressive superspirituality.

Pastor James serves Zion Lutheran Church in Marshall, Michigan. 

What’s So Gay about Being Gay?
The Rev. Don Meyer

The picture that Scripture paints is not too pretty, nor does it imply that the homosexual lifestyle is “gay.” Is what the Bible says about this issue relevant today? We’ll discuss solid - but loving - responses to the well-rehearsed and popular arguments of the radical gay movement which cannot stand when the light of God’s Word and sanctified logic shine upon them.

Pastor Meyer serves Pilgrim & Trinity Lutheran Churches in Quimby & Marcus, Iowa. 

The Emerging Church
The Rev. Robert Wentzel

The emerging church is one of the fastest growing phenomena in contemporary American Christianity. Its influence, whether beneficial or harmful, is being felt in our own Lutheran congregations. Join us as we try to define the movement, chart its basic teachings and practices and evaluate how this movement can contribute to our spiritual growth as confessional Lutherans.

Pastor Wentzel serves Trinity Lutheran Church in Walton, Nebraska. 

Luther's Reform of the Liturgy
Dr. John E. Frantz

Most Lutherans don’t know that our Divine Service is the Roman Catholic Mass, only it went through Luther’s reformation process. Originally people didn’t take part in the service. He took the Latin Mass and made it conform to the Scriptures and the doctrines of Sola Fide and Sola Gratia. He also wrote a German version of the service in hymn form. We sing the Mass or Divine Service in our own language because of Luther!

Dr. John Frantz is a member of Peace Lutheran Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina.