Anyone with an interest in responding to victims of natural and man-made disasters is welcome to attend the Synod’s Fifth National Disaster Response Conference, Oct. 7-10 in St. Louis.
The four-day event is designed to familiarize participants with the Synod’s disaster-response efforts and resources. Speakers will share their experiences in disaster response, and case studies will be presented and discussed.
Speakers and their topics include:
- Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the LCMS Office of National Mission (ONM), who will give an overview of the ONM.
- Rev. Glenn Merritt, director of LCMS Disaster Response, who will address “Called to Serve.”
- Rev. Dr. David Benke, president of the LCMS Atlantic District, “Natural Disasters — The District’s Role.”
- Rev. Michael Meyer, manager of LCMS Disaster Response, “Mercy as Service.”
- Merritt, “Service as Ministry.”
- Rev. Mark Stillman, pastor of Village Lutheran Church, Lanoka Harbor, N.J., “Super Storm — Super Mercy: Ministry in the Aftermath of Sandy, A Case Study.”
- Tim Hetzner, president of Lutheran Church Charities (LCC), Addison, Ill.; and Rich Martin, co-director of K9 Comfort Dog Ministry with LCC, “Healing the Hurting, Bringing a Touch of Mercy.”
- Rev. Timothy Yeadon, president of the LCMS New England District, “Man-Made Disasters and Tragedies: The Synod’s Role.”
- Rev. Dr. Carlos Hernandez, director of Church and Community Engagement, LCMS Office of National Mission, and Merritt, “Normal Reactions to Tragedy and the Importance of Self-Care.”
- Rev. Mark Bersche, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church and School, Moore, Okla., “Through the Debris: Mercy, then Ministry, A Case Study.”
- Rev. Dr. Dennis Lucero, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, Colo., and an emergency-services chaplain with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, “Emergency-Services Chaplaincy: A Case Study.”
- Rev. Dr. Harold Senkbeil, executive director for Spiritual Care, and Dr. Beverly Yahnke, executive director for Christian Counseling — both with DOXOLOGY, an LCMS Recognized Service Organization that provides spiritual and psychological care for LCMS clergy, “Compassion Fatigue: Self-Care in the Aftermath of Tragedy.”
- Rev. John Fale, associate executive director, LCMS Mercy Operations, and Rev. Dr. Joel Hempel, coordinator for LCMS Specialized Pastoral Ministry, “Emergency-Services Chaplaincy and Critical-Incident Response.”
- Barbara Hoffmann, manager, LCMS Grants, “Grants and Reporting.”
- Mark Hofman, executive director, LCMS Mission Advancement, “Mission Advancement and Fund Development.”
The Rev. Rob Morris, pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Newtown, Conn., will speak at the conference banquet.
Registration is $150 per person, double occupancy, or $200 per person for singles, and includes three nights lodging at the conference hotel, the Crowne Plaza St. Louis Airport, and meals.
A registration form and agenda are available at lcms.org/disaster.
For more information, contact Tracy Quaethem at 314-996-1711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.