Day 1 Schedule

  • Session 1  6:30 - 7:05 PM CST

    Opening Devotional and L01 Where Are We Now? Assessing Our Congregation's "New" Normal

    Plenary with Rev. Mark Wood, Director, LCMS Witness & Outreach Ministry

    Effectively responding to our changing context starts with an objective assessment of our strengths and weaknesses as a congregation. By answering the question “Where are we … really?”  we have a starting point for addressing the challenges and opportunities of carrying out God’s Mission in whatever our ‘new’ normal may be. The CADDS self-assessment resource provides a no cost, low impact, consistent, and objective means for LCMS congregations to assess themselves for more effective disciple making in their contexts.

  • Session 2  7:10 - 8:00 PM  CST

    L02 Session with the Executive Director, National Mission

    Q&A with Robert Zagore, Executive Director, LCMS Office of National Mission

    Meet with the Executive Director of the LCMS Office of National Mission, Rev. Bob Zagore, to learn the latest news about the work the Synod is supporting throughout North America. Submit questions to MDFL@lcms.org before the session or use the ‘chat’ feature to ask questions during the session.

  • L03 Challenges and Solutions for Addressing Congregational Decline

    Spotlight Session with Rev. Dr. Mark Wood, Director, LCMS Witness & Outreach Ministry

    We live in an era of congregational decline. Church membership and attendance is down across denominations. Some of the decline is due to demographics and cultural changes, but much of the decline is due to falling behind changes in our contexts. Learn about resources available to LCMS congregations at little to no cost for assessing and addressing the issues that are contributing to congregational decline.

  • L04.1 COVID and PTSD

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Steven Hokana

    PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is often associated with highly charged and dangerous situations in which one’s life is threatened. Many people think that PTSD is limited to the experiences of military personnel, first responders, and other dangerous occupations. But PTSD can impact anyone and it is likely to be impacting many people who have been dealing the effects and after-effects of COVID-19. Discuss how COVID restrictions and responses may be fostering PTSD in your congregation and what resources can help you deal with it.

  • L05.1 Respite Care in Time of COVID

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Michael Meyer

    The COVID crisis has laid new demands on church workers. Studies are showing that pastors and other church workers are working longer hours and facing greater stresses than before COVID restrictions limited gatherings and other activities. Where can church workers find respite for themselves? Learn about sources and resources for respite care for church workers who are facing the challenges of ministry during the COVID response.

  • L06.1 Mergers and Partnerships

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Steve Schave & Rev. Todd Kollbaum

    Decline in membership, attendance, and involvement often have significant impacts on what a single congregation can do. Maintaining or expanding ministry can be very challenging without the people and resources to do the work. This discussion explores the ways that forging partnerships can help congregations maintain or expand their ministries. We’ll also talk about the indications that merging congregations would be more effective than partnerships and the implications of forming a new congregation out of two (or more) existing congregations.

  • L29.2 Responding to the Critical Race Theory

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Gray

    How does the Bible describe relationships between races? How does it compare to Critical Race Theory (CRT) which promotes the understanding that “racism is engrained in the fabric and system of the American society” and that “power structures are based on white privilege and white supremacy, which perpetuates the marginalization of people of color.” (UCLA School of Public Affairs). The only solution is the Gospel, period! God’s love for all humanity in Christ. How do we as Lutheran Christians navigate race, racism, and racist behavior, since we are all sinners in thought, word, and deed?

  • L35.2 The Importance of Mercy Work in the Congregation

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Ross Johnson

    Mercy work is fundamental to the ministry of any congregation. Through mercy work we show our communities and the world the love of Christ. The mercy work that we do often open doors for us to speak the love of Jesus to the people we serve. Share what mercy work has been impactful for your congregation and what new opportunities have presented themselves to carry out mercy work during the COVID crisis.

  • L40.2 Retaining Young People

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Mark Kiessling and Julianna Shults

    LCMS Youth Ministry’s research and outside research give us information and trends about retaining young people in the Church.  This is an opportunity for conversation about our research insights, your questions, and sharing success and failure in congregations caring for young people. Bring especially your ideas for transitioning young people from high school into what’s next and how we can best resource you, parents, and other church workers. 

  • Session 3  8:05 - 9:00 PM  CST

    L07 Emerging Topics in Life Ministry

    Q&A Session with Deaconness Tiffany Manor, Director, LCMS Life Ministry

    Meet the new LCMS Life Ministry Director, Deaconess Tiffany Manor, and learn what is happening in LCMS Life Ministry. Submit questions to MDFL@lcms.org before the session or use the ‘chat’ feature to ask questions during the session.

  • L08 Seven Practices of Healthy Youth Ministries

    Spotlight Session with Rev. Dr. Mark Kiessling and Julianna Shults

    LCMS Youth Ministry’s research and outside research give us information and trends about retaining young people in the Church.  This is an opportunity for conversation about our research insights, your questions, and sharing success and failure in congregations caring for young people. Bring especially your ideas for transitioning young people from high school into what’s next and how we can best resource you, parents, and other church workers. 

  • L10.1LCMS Grant Opportunities

    Tabletop Session with Deaconess Maryann Hayter

    Grant opportunities are one way the Synod helps congregations and church workers adjust to our “new” normal.  Be the first to learn about the new Esther 4:14 National Grant program – targeted toward projects proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ in new and exciting ways.  Receive updates on Soldiers of the Cross-Amplified; National Development grant program; and Take Heart respite retreats. Bring your own success stories and questions for live discussion.

  • L11.1 Challenges in Reaching Inactive Members

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Mark Wood, Director, LCMS Witness & Outreach Ministry

    Every congregation has sheep who tend to stray. How do we deal with our members who have been absent from worship and Bible study for weeks, months, or even years? How have the restrictions on meeting together during the COVID crisis complicated this matter? Should we think of all of our members as ‘inactive’ until we can meet together normally? We’ll discuss how to effectively engage short-term and long-term inactive members in a caring and compassionate manner with the goal of restoring straying sheep to their Shepherd.

  • L12 Training World Class Elders in the Congregation

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Robert Zagore, Executive Director, LCMS Office of National Mission

    Join this discussion about the joy of having congregational elders who move forward the mission and ministry of a congregation. Recruiting great elders, helping them to find their gifts, and providing training to help them grow comfortable in their role is essential. We will spend our time talking about resources and strategies to help congregations.

  • L30.2 Additional Areas of Training Available to Pastors for Crisis Response

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Rob Wurst

    This discussion will briefly review some additional areas of training that pastors may find helpful in their ministry during an unusual crisis. Various resources from the Synod and outside sources will be discussed. Please bring resources that you have found useful to the discussion and relate how they helped you.

  • L36.2 Church Planting

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Steve Schave

    The LCMS has historically responded to national crisis through new mission work to hurting communities. After pandemic and unrest, we will discuss factors for healthy mission starts to make disciples through outreach to the least and the lost. 

  • L49 Schools Ministry Q&A

    Tabletop Session with Dr. Rebecca Schmidt

    Lutheran schools have been an integral part of congregational ministry throughout the history of the LCMS. Our current context is filled with threats, challenges, and opportunities for Lutheran schools to continue and expand their ministries. This Q&A session with the director of LCMS Schools Ministry provides a forum for discussing how Lutheran schools can continue to be faithful and effective as we promote Lutheran education in our changing culture. 

Day 2 Schedule

  • Session 1  6:30 - 6:50 PM  CST

    L13 Another "New" Normal for the Church

    Plenary with Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, President of LCMS

    Throughout her history, the Church has faced changing and challenging contexts. From world wars to pandemics, favored status to persecution, prosperity to poverty, the Church has prospered under God’s grace through many ‘new’ normals. President Harrison shares his perspectives on meeting the challenges and opportunities of our newest normal for making disciples.

  • Session 2  6:55 - 7:55 PM CST

    L11.2 Challenges in Reaching Inactive Members

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Mark Wood

    Every congregation has sheep who tend to stray. How do we deal with our members who have been absent from worship and Bible study for weeks, months, or even years? How have the restrictions on meeting together during the COVID crisis complicated this matter? Should we think of all of our members as ‘inactive’ until we can meet together normally? We’ll discuss how to effectively engage short-term and long-term inactive members in a caring and compassionate manner with the goal of restoring straying sheep to their Shepherd.

  • L14 Session with Synod President

    Q&A with Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, President, LCMS

    Meet with the President of the LCMS, Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, to learn the latest news about the work the Synod is doing across the globe. Submit questions to MDFL@lcms.org before the session or use the ‘chat’ feature to ask questions during the session. 

  • L15 MAF Congregational Partnership: Operation Barnabas

    Spotlight Session with Rev. Dr. Steve Hokana & Rev. Craig Muehler

    Operation Barnabas is a resource for congregations to engage active, retired, and former military members and their families in their communities. Learn how Operation Barnabas can assist your congregation in the care, support, and outreach to all military connected people in their congregations and their communities.

    Every community has military connected people, including veterans who have borne the weight of repeated deployments. Through Operation Barnabas you have the resources to receive them home in concert with local chambers of commerce, schools, medical facilities, and veterans organizations and to connect them to the community of caring and appreciative people who make up your congregation.

  • L16.1 Engaging Men in the Congregation Through Mercy Work

    Spotlight Session with Rev. Michael Meyer

    Getting men engaged in church activities can be challenging. Mercy work provides excellent ways to engage men in activities that they find interesting and challenging. Learning early responder skills, helping people recover from disasters, and learning how to use chain saws for emergency clean up are some of the ways that men can get more engaged in the mercy work of your congregation.

  • L17 Stewardship - Building Congregational Resiliency

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Heath Curtis

    Stewardship can be a tricky topic for both pastors and laity: perhaps never more so than in today's pandemic-stricken world. Rev. Heath Curtis, Coordinator for Stewardship, has concrete help for your congregation to make an effective stewardship plan that Biblically faithful and robustly Lutheran.

  • L18 Incarnational Theology in a Digital Culture

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Jamison Hardy

    Gathering for worship services was an early and immediate casualty of the restrictions imposed in the COVID response in many communities. Even with eased restrictions, in-person worship continues to be constrained across the country. Even where the restrictions have been lifted, some people have chosen on-line over in-person worship. What are the long-term impacts of worship in isolation? What are the benefits of gathering in person to worship and study God’s Word together? What is working (and not working) in your context?

  • L19 The New Landscape of Religious Liberty

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Jonathan Lange

    Another contentious election cycle and a shift in the balance of power. State and local government officials issuing restrictive orders that limit public gatherings, including worship. A culture that is deeply divided politically and philosophically. What does all this mean for the Church? How has it impacted – and how will it continue to impact – how we carry out God’s Mission to make disciples in our communities?

  • L42.2 Ideas for Outreach to Multicultural Neighbors

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Robert Zagore & Rev. Dr. Steve Schave

    Join a discussion about ways that congregations can reach out to multicultural and new immigrant neighbors in their community. While COVID has made connecting harder, the isolation of new folk who are far from home makes this outreach imperative.

  • Session 3  8:00 - 9:00 PM CST

    L05.2 Respite Care in Time of COVID

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Michael Meyer

    The COVID crisis has laid new demands on church workers. Studies are showing that pastors and other church workers are working longer hours and facing greater stresses than before COVID restrictions limited gatherings and other activities. Where can church workers find respite for themselves? Learn about sources and resources for respite care for church workers who are facing the challenges of ministry during the COVID response.

  • L20 Session with the Chief Mission Officer

    Q&A Session with Rev. Kevin Robson

    Meet with the Chief Mission Officer of the LCMS Office of National Mission, Rev. Kevin Robson, to learn about the work the Synod is supporting domestically and overseas, the challenges that we face in today’s context, and how we are working with districts, congregations, RSOs, and other entities to meet those challenges. Submit questions to MDFL@lcms.org before the session or use the ‘chat’ feature to ask questions during the session. 

  • L21 Church Worker Recruitment Initiative

    Spotlight Session with Rev. Dr. James Baneck

    In July 2019, the LCMS adopted Resolution 6-01, “To Support and Participate in the Comprehensive Church Worker Recruitment Initiative.” The resolution called for the Synod to “commend, financially support, and directly participate in this comprehensive, multi-year church worker recruitment initiative.” In the months since the convention, LCMS Pastoral Education has taken the lead in moving the initiative forward. The Synod has conducted 10 focus groups and received over 2,000 survey responses on church worker recruitment. Work to compile a comprehensive report to share with the church is underway. Learn more about this initiative and the work that is being done to encourage people to consider serving as professional church workers.

  • L22.1 Home Devotions

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Sean Daenzer

    The importance of devotions at home cannot be overstated. Yet many people struggle with how to go about leading their families in daily devotions. Let’s discuss some practical options for home devotions, obstacles to starting and continuing having devotions at home, and ideas for overcoming those obstacles. Share how you’ve been successful in promoting home devotions in your congregation and take away some ideas from other participants that can help you encourage your family to find joy in having home devotions.

  • L23 A Conversation with the LCMS First Vice President

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Peter Lange

    Rev. Peter Lange is the First Vice-President of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. During this 50-minute Table Top conversation he will share a little bit about his full-time work as First Vice-President and about how his office relates to the other six vice presidents and to the Office of Synod President. As time allows, and depending on the interest of attendees, he will also give an overview of the District Visitation material which provides a wealth of information on the mission and ministry of the LCMS. That resource is available at https://www.lcms.org/about/leadership/president/district-visitation

  • L24.1 Evangelism in Our Changing Context

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Mark Wood, Director, LCMS Witness & Outreach Ministry

    When Jesus called us to be His witnesses He didn’t exclude any circumstances from that call. There are times when being His witnesses has no real risks involved. And there are times when being His witnesses can result in persecution and great loss. How can we navigate the changes that are taking place in our culture and experience a greater hostility toward religion in general and the Gospel specifically? What challenges will be we facing and what opportunities do they provide us for proclaiming the Gospel?

  • L45.2 Bringing People Back After COVID

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Steve Schave

    How can we start planning ahead now to welcome the public back to worship with us, once COVID restrictions are lifted or fears of gathering subside?  The world around us is hurting and grieving, we will discuss how we can welcome our neighbors to receive God’s grace and mercy. 

Day 3 Schedule

  • Session 1  6:30 - 6:50 PM CST

    L25 Adjusting to the “New” Normals for Church Workers

    Plenary with Deaconess Tiffany Manor, Director, LCMS Life Ministry

    Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever, but our society and ministry context are not. As church workers serve in a changing culture, promoting and nurturing the spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being of pastors and professional church workers is a LCMS mission priority. We’re continually listening to church workers express their well-being and needs in order to provide the support and care that our workers desire. Learn what we’ve heard and be encouraged that our Lord continues to work through LCMS church workers to make disciples in our changing world.

  • Session 2  6:55 - 7:55 PM CST  

    L06.2 Mergers and Partnerships

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Steve Schave & Rev. Todd Kollbaum

    Decline in membership, attendance, and involvement often have significant impacts on what a single congregation can do. Maintaining or expanding ministry can be very challenging without the people and resources to do the work. This discussion explores the ways that forging partnerships can help congregations maintain or expand their ministries. We’ll also talk about the indications that merging congregations would be more effective than partnerships and the implications of forming a new congregation out of two (or more) existing congregations.

  • L26 Worker Wellness in our "New" Normal

    Q&A with Deaconess Tiffany Manor, Director, LCMS Life Ministry

    Have you considered how you can support the well-being of church workers? A follow-up to the “Adjusting to the ‘New Normals’ for Church Workers” plenary, be a part of this live session for interactive discussion about church worker wellness.

  • L27 LWML Adapts to Restrictions and Serves With Gladness

    Spotlight Session with Debbie Larson

    Women of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML), from local congregations to zones, districts, and on the national level, have found opportunities to serve during the months of isolation and distance worship. Join LWML President Debbie Larson and members of the Board of Directors as they share how they have continued to support our churches and church workers, mission grants, and all women of the LCMS. We look forward to answering questions and sharing the programs and resources of LWML with you.

  • L28 The Study of Millennials: What We've Learned

    Spotlight Session with Rev. Dr. Mark Kiessling & Julianna Shults

    The 2017 Millennials and the LCMS research project provided insight into how today’s adults faith was impacted by their relationships with their families, home congregations, and current congregations. Our findings brought to light many important reasons young people leave the Church or become disconnected with the LCMS.  Come hear about how relationships count in discipling and retaining young people in the LCMS and Christ’s Church.

  • L29.1 Responding to the Critical Race Theory

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Gray

    How does the Bible describe relationships between races? How does it compare to Critical Race Theory (CRT) which promotes the understanding that “racism is engrained in the fabric and system of the American society” and that “power structures are based on white privilege and white supremacy, which perpetuates the marginalization of people of color.” (UCLA School of Public Affairs). The only solution is the Gospel, period! God’s love for all humanity in Christ. How do we as Lutheran Christians navigate race, racism, and racist behavior, since we are all sinners in thought, word, and deed?

  • L30.1 Additional Areas of Training Available to Pastors for Crisis Response

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Rob Wurst

    This discussion will briefly review some additional areas of training that pastors may find helpful in their ministry during an unusual crisis. Various resources from the Synod and outside sources will be discussed. Please bring resources that you have found useful to the discussion and relate how they helped you.

  • L31.1 Evaluating What's Important During a Broadcast Church Service

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Robert Zagore, Executive Director, LCMS Office of National Mission & Rev. Sean Daenzer

    Join the Director of LCMS Worship and the Executive Director of the Office of National Mission in an open discussion of important insights that have come from the need to broadcast church services, etc. This is a “share your insight” roundtable.

  • L46.2 Ideas for Using Every One His Witness After the Workshop

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Mark Wood

    Have you conducted the Every One His Witness workshop in your congregation? How are you keeping it going? What are some good ideas for encouraging people to use what they’ve learned about witnessing in today’s context? How can you make better use of the on-line Context Modules? Let’s talk about ways in which you are using or you could be using Every One His Witness beyond the workshop, especially if you are limited on meeting together because of COVID restrictions.

  • Session 3  8:00 - 9:00 PM  CST

    L04.2 COVID and PTSD

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Steve Hokana

    PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is often associated with highly charged and dangerous situations in which one’s life is threatened. Many people think that PTSD is limited to the experiences of military personnel, first responders, and other dangerous occupations. But PTSD can impact anyone and it is likely to be impacting many people who have been dealing the effects and after-effects of COVID-19. Discuss how COVID restrictions and responses may be fostering PTSD in your congregation and what resources can help you deal with it.

  • L09.2 COVID and Worship

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Sean Daenzer

    COVID restrictions vary widely across the country. In some locations, the restrictions have had little impact on gathering for worship. In other places there are strict limits on the number of people who can gather or outright bans on public worship. How do we continue to receive God’s good gifts of Word and Sacrament while honoring the restrictions placed by civil authorities? What are some ways that you have met the challenges of COVID restrictions in your community? What questions do you have about continuing or restarting worship services during and after COVID?

  • L32 Protecting Your Ministry

    Q&A Session with Rev. Dr. Mark Kiessling and Dr. Rebecca Schmidt

    The LCMS Office of National Mission has been working with various groups to understand the risks that congregations and schools face in a litigious society. Hear about the threats that are common to the well-being of members, students, and congregations as well as steps that you can take to protect your ministry. Submit questions to MDFL@lcms.org before the session or use the ‘chat’ feature to ask questions during the session.

  • L33 Life After a Suicide

    Spotlight Session with Rev. Peter Preus

    The Gospel can encourage those who suffer loss following a suicide and those with thoughts of suicide. Do you wonder whether your family member who died of suicide died a believer?  Do you wish to comfort those grieving for a suicide? Would you like to offer hope to the despairing Christian? Join this live session to learn from Pastor Preus whose first wife, Jean, committed suicide.

  • L34 MDFL Resource Center

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Mark Wood, Director, LCMS Witness & Outreach Ministry & Katie Ervin

    Can’t find the resources that you are looking for? Even when you know that there must be a resource for a certain ministry topic, it can be difficult to find it. It’s even harder to find resources when you aren’t sure what you’re looking for. The MDFL Resource Center is meant to make finding resources much easier – even when you don’t know what is available. See the current version of the Resource Center, get a sneak peek at the improvements underway, and let us know what you need the Resource Center to do for you.

  • L35.1 The Importance of Mercy Work in the Congregation

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Ross Johnson

    Mercy work is fundamental to the ministry of any congregation. Through mercy work we show our communities and the world the love of Christ. The mercy work that we do often open doors for us to speak the love of Jesus to the people we serve. Share what mercy work has been impactful for your congregation and what new opportunities have presented themselves to carry out mercy work during the COVID crisis.

  • L36.1 Church Planting

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Steve Schave

    The LCMS has historically responded to national crisis through new mission work to hurting communities. After pandemic and unrest, we will discuss factors for healthy mission starts to make disciples through outreach to the least and the lost. 

Day 4 Schedule

  • Session 1  6:30 - 6:50 PM CST

    L37 The Church After COVID: Challenges and Opportunities of Our "New" Normal

    Plenary with Rev. Robert Zagore, Executive Director, LCMS Office of National Mission

    COVID has been a terrible disruption to the status quo, but it has provided both opportunities and challenges. The Office of National Mission has created resources to help congregations and their leaders to meet the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities.

  • Session 2  6:55 - 7:55 PM CST

    L24.2 Evangelism in Our Changing Context

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Mark Wood

    When Jesus called us to be His witnesses He didn’t exclude any circumstances from that call. There are times when being His witnesses has no real risks involved. And there are times when being His witnesses can result in persecution and great loss. How can we navigate the changes that are taking place in our culture and experience a greater hostility toward religion in general and the Gospel specifically? What challenges will be we facing and what opportunities do they provide us for proclaiming the Gospel?

  • L31.2 Evaluating What's Important During a Broadcast Church Service

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Robert Zagore & Rev. Sean Daenzer

    Join the Director of LCMS Worship and the Executive Director of the Office of National Mission in an open discussion of important insights that have come from the need to broadcast church services, etc. This is a “share your insight” roundtable.

  • L38 Expanding Your Ministry Through RSOs

    Spotlight with Deaconess Dorothy Krans

    Recognized Service Organizations (RSOs) foster the mission and ministry of the LCMS as they provide services in the areas of Witness, Mercy, and Education. RSOs provide services from conception to end of life and provide a variety of resources for congregations to access. RSOs also provide opportunities for congregations to show mercy and become engaged in serving their neighbor by providing knitted scarves, hats, school supplies, baby items, and devotional material. Discover how RSOs can help your congregation expand your ministry in your community and beyond.

  • L39 Music Evangelism in Every Setting

    Spotlight Session with Rev. Richard Resch

    David's Harp is a center for evangelism and outreach that uses music as the primary means of communication.  A potential Recognized Service Organization of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, David's Harp seeks to work with churches, schools and missions in areas of ministry revitalization, community engagement and strategic visioning.  Combining the creation of musical resources with a plan for implementation and action, David's Harp provides a structure for support to ministries at both the national and international levels. David’s Harp desires that every Christian church, school or mission would see itself as a center for musical development within its own realm of influence.  As such, each ministry could use music as a vehicle for service, mercy, outreach and growth.

  • L40.1 Retaining Young People

    Spotlight Session with Rev. Dr. Mark Kiessling

    LCMS Youth Ministry’s research and outside research give us information and trends about retaining young people in the Church.  This is an opportunity for conversation about our research insights, your questions, and sharing success and failure in congregations caring for young people. Bring especially your ideas for transitioning young people from high school into what’s next and how we can best resource you, parents, and other church workers. 

  • L41.1 Strengthening the Family (Including Responding to Domestic Violence)

    Tabletop Session with Deaconess Tiffany Manor, Director, LCMS Life Ministry

    Are you interested in strengthening the family and the Christian response to domestic violence? Log in to this live tabletop discussion to listen, learn about resources, and share how to support families.

  • L45.1 Bringing People Back After COVID

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Steve Schave

    How can we start planning ahead now to welcome the public back to worship with us, once COVID restrictions are lifted or fears of gathering subside?  The world around us is hurting and grieving, we will discuss how we can welcome our neighbors to receive God’s grace and mercy. 

     

  • L48 Q&A About Prison and Jail Ministry

    Q&A with a Panel of Speakers

    Prison ministry is often seen as a specialized ministry for a select few. In reality, the majority of church workers (and many lay leaders) are likely to have some interaction with a jail or prison due to the arrest or incarceration of a church member, a member of someone’s family, or someone without a church home in search of spiritual care. Making visits to jails and prison is not as simple as showing up. Learn about the ins and outs of prison ministry from a panel of seasoned practitioners. (Please view the recorded sessions on prison ministry prior to the live Q&A session.)

  • Session 3  8:00 - 9:00 PM CST

    L10.2 LCMS Grant Opportunities

    Tabletop Session with Deaconness Maryann Hayter

    Grant opportunities are one way the Synod helps congregations and church workers adjust to our “new” normal.  Be the first to learn about the new Esther 4:14 National Grant program – targeted toward projects proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ in new and exciting ways.  Receive updates on Soldiers of the Cross-Amplified; National Development grant program; and Take Heart respite retreats. Bring your own success stories and questions for live discussion.

  • L16.2 Engaging Men in the Congregation Through Mercy Work

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Michael Meyer

    Getting men engaged in church activities can be challenging. Mercy work provides excellent ways to engage men in activities that they find interesting and challenging. Learning early responder skills, helping people recover from disasters, and learning how to use chain saws for emergency clean up are some of the ways that men can get more engaged in the mercy work of your congregation.

  • L09.1 COVID and Worship

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Sean Daenzer

    COVID restrictions vary widely across the country. In some locations, the restrictions have had little impact on gathering for worship. In other places there are strict limits on the number of people who can gather or outright bans on public worship. How do we continue to receive God’s good gifts of Word and Sacrament while honoring the restrictions placed by civil authorities? What are some ways that you have met the challenges of COVID restrictions in your community? What questions do you have about continuing or restarting worship services during and after COVID?

  • L42.1 Ideas for Outreach to Multicultural Neighbors

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Robert Zagore, Executive Director, LCMS Office of National Mission & Rev. Dr. Steve Schave

    Join a discussion about ways that congregations can reach out to multicultural and new immigrant neighbors in their community. While COVID has made connecting harder, the isolation of new folk who are far from home makes this outreach imperative.

     

  • L43 Short Term Missions

    Q&A Session with Erin Alter

    Not everyone is called or equipped to be a career missionary, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities for people to experience mission work in a foreign land. Short-term missions vary in length and include a variety of settings. Learn more about short-term mission’s needs, opportunities, and options.

  • L44 PALS

    Spotlight Session with Rev. Dr. James Baneck

    The LCMS is blessed with excellent seminaries that form students for service as faithful, compassionate servants of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. In the tradition of Martin Luther, the Synod affirms that formation for ministry extends beyond seminary graduation. Education is a life-long process of growth and development. The early years of parish ministry are critical for a pastor as he looks forward to decades of service. PALS provides an excellent source of continuing education and support for new pastors and wives during the first three years of parish life.

  • L46.1 Ideas for Using Every One His Witness After the Workshop

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Mark Wood, Director, LCMS Witness & Outreach Ministry

    Have you conducted the Every One His Witness workshop in your congregation? How are you keeping it going? What are some good ideas for encouraging people to use what they’ve learned about witnessing in today’s context? How can you make better use of the on-line Context Modules? Let’s talk about ways in which you are using or you could be using Every One His Witness beyond the workshop, especially if you are limited on meeting together because of COVID restrictions.

  • L47 Protecting Your Ministry: Ideas and Solutions

    Tabletop Session with Rev. Dr. Mark Kiessling and Dr. Rebecca Schmidt

    The risks are real. Unthinkable and unspeakable things happen in our society. What happens when they find their way into our congregation? How can we mitigate the risks? What can we do to protect ourselves legally and financially? Share what resources and approaches your ministry is making use of to protect yourself if there and unthinkable or unspeakable thing happens in your setting.