San Antonio: Breakaway Session B

Everything You Know about Christmas Is Wrong!
The Rev. Duane Bamsch

Was Jesus born in a barn or a cave? How many inns did Bethlehem have anyway? And what were shepherds doing out in the fields in the dead of winter? Does it really matter? Join us to explore the real historical setting of Jesus’ birth. We may even break out some Christmas carols!

Pastor Bamsch serves Evangelists’ Lutheran Church in Kingsbury, Texas and is the Catechist for Sola - San Antonio. He’s also been known to sing Christmas music out of season. Often. 

The No-Threat, No-Fear Evangelism Technique
The Rev. Dr. Ron Bogs

God tells us that we should always be ready to give an explanation for our faith. Thankfully, God also tells us that when He gives us an opportunity to bear witness to the Gospel, we don’t need to worry because He will give us the words to speak! Come and learn how this is possible.

Pastor Bogs serves St. Matthew Lutheran Church of Westfield, Texas. He serves on the Board of Directors and as the Theological Director of Crossties Lutheran Ministries. 

Surviving College with Your Faith Intact
The Rev. Daniel Burhop

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 Burhop serves as Campus Pastor at University Lutheran Chapel in Boulder, Colorado, and is the CCV Coordinator for Sola - San Antonio. 

Teach Us to Pray
The Rev. William M. 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, Hacienda Heights, California and is the President of the Higher Things Board of Directors. 

Hi Def: Defined by the Apostles’ Creed
The Rev. Chad Eckels

The Creed is not just a long statement of faith that we blindingly rattle off every Sunday. It’s who we are. It defines us. We are defined by our belief in God, the Father. We are defined by our faith in God, the Son. We are defined by our trust in God, the Holy Spirit. This is our High Definition.

Pastor Eckels serves as Associate Pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Evansville, Indiana. 

Journey with Christ through Holy Week
The Rev. Mike Erickson

Go to church everyday for a week? You must be kidding! The observances of Holy Week are some of the most meaningful and theologically rich in the whole church year. Each day of Holy Week takes the congregation on a journey with their Savior from His riding into Jerusalem to the institution of the Lord’s Supper, the crucifixion and His resurrection. We will learn how each day emphasizes our Lord’s Passion and His great sacrifice for us. 

Pastor Erickson serves Zion Lutheran Church in Pampa, Texas. 

From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee
Deaconess Lynn Fredericksen

Teenage depression is not just having bad moods and occasionally feeling a little sad. Are you concerned about someone because of her mood and behavior changes, eating disorders? Maybe you’re worried about a friend who’s been talking about hurting himself or others. Signs and symptoms of teenage depression, ways of helping, and related topics will be covered. 

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 Best Apologetics Tool: Your Small Catechism
The Rev. Kevin Johnson

Have you ever been asked tough questions about your faith? Were you able to put together a good defense for the truth that is in you? You have the answers and Biblical support right at your fingertips. Your Small Catechism is the best tool you have to give quick, direct and accurate answers to tough questions. Come and learn how to use it!

Pastor Johnson serves Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Carlisle, Iowa. 

What the Monkey?!
The Rev. Paul Kaiser

What is a Christian to make of so-called evolutionary science? Scientists claim to have found the missing link proving that humans descended from monkeys. Is it compatible with what God’s Word says about Creation? Did God use evolution to create? If we believe the Bible, do we have to check our brains at the door?

Pastor Kaiser serves as pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Edna, Texas. 

Christian Responses to Abortion Excuses
The Rev. Kristopher Morris

If you ever found yourself talking to an abortion supporter, what would you say? Have you been stumped by their arguments in the past? We will look at several reasons that people give to excuse - and even promote - the practice of abortion. You will be equipped with God’s Word to appropriately respond and defend the unborn.

Pastor Morris serves as the Associate Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church, Collierville, Tennessee. 

The Rev. Michael Scudder

“Dear husband, the Bible says I must submit to you - thus I will.” “Dear parents, God’s Word declares I must obey you - thus I will.” Many Christians believe submission to be absolute obedience without question.  Is this your concept of submission too? Let’s look at Ephesians 5 and 6 to see what Scripture really says about submitting.

Pastor Scudder serves Faith Lutheran Church in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. 

Finding Jesus in ALL the Wrong Places!
Mr. Stan Lemon

Jesus taught with parables, but they were about Him too. Take a look at Jesus in the parables and you might not find Him where you expect. He throws a lot of curve balls in these heavenly stories with heavenly meanings, showing up in the last place you’d look. Further investigation will find the Gospel in the Lord’s least-ness, last-ness, and lost-ness.

Stan Lemon serves as the Database Manager for Higher Things and is a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. 

Why Can’t God Be a Woman?
The Rev. Jeffrey W. Ware

If God is Spirit, and spirits are neither male nor female, then what’s the deal with all the male terminology for God in Holy Scripture? Is there a reason that God shouldn’t be called “Mother” instead of “Father?” And couldn’t Jesus have just as easily have been born a woman? Why can’t God be a woman?

Pastor Ware is the Assistant Pastor of Living Word Lutheran Church in The Woodlands, Texas. 

Why the Church Needs Real Guys
The Rev. Sherman Stenson

Society and the media portray Christian men, and men in general, in some pretty negative ways. They are either seen as greedy charlatans, dysfunctional wimps, or judgmental holier-than-thou hypocrites. But Christian men don’t have to surrender their masculinity in order to serve God faithfully. Good leadership for healthy families and congregations requires the God-given attributes that only spiritually strong men can offer to the Church. We’ll explore how our biblical understanding of the Trinity and the Incarnation, as well as many current societal and churchly trends, make it essential that Christian men understand their maleness in the vocations God will give them throughout their lives.

Pastor Stenson serves as Associate Pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas. 

What is Youth Ministry? (Part 1)
The Rev. George Borghardt and Mrs. Sandra Ostapowich

Are your youth loving their time at the conference and asking how they can continue once they get home? Just what is youth ministry anyway, and can it be done faithfully? Come and learn about the myths and fundamentals of youth ministry. The truth may surprise you!

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