Registration is open for Youth Ministry Symposium 2016 — sponsored by LCMS Youth Ministry and set for Jan. 14-16 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in St. Charles, Mo.
Visit lcms.org/YouthSymposium for the event’s agenda and to register.
Hosted by LCMS Youth Ministry, the symposium for professional and lay church workers will have the theme of “Confirming the Faith: What does this mean today?” Planners indicate that the conference aims to equip attendees for youth ministry in a postmodern world.
The symposium will feature facilitated discussion on topics including confirmation, family catechesis, adolescent brain development, the next generation of youth and incorporating new technology into the timeless task of teaching the faith.
Scheduled symposium speakers and their topics are:
- Director of Christian Education (DCE) Mary Stafford, who is DCE at Brookfield Lutheran Church in Brookfield, Wis., presenting on “From the Trenches: Wrestling with Confirmation”;
- Dr. Jan Lohmeyer, Christian apologetics instructor at Lutheran High North in Houston and adjunct professor of Education at Concordia University Texas, Austin, “Faith Formation Is a Lifelong Process”;
- Rev. Dr. Joel Lehenbauer, executive director of the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations and chairman of the drafting committee for revising the Explanation of Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation, St. Louis, “A New Catechism?”;
- Rev. Dr. Terry Dittmer, youth ministry specialist with LCMS Youth Ministry, St. Louis, “A New Generation Entering Our Confirmation and School Classrooms. Who Are These Plurals?”;
- Rev. Dr. John Oberdeck, professor of Theology and director of Lay Ministry at Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, “The Adolescent Brain — What Are They Thinking?”;
- DCE Dr. Dave Reuter, DCE program director at Concordia University, Irvine, Calif., and youth and family facilitator for the LCMS Pacific Southwest District, “Family as Confirmation Agent — Bringing the Family into the Process” and “Family as Confirmation Agent — Bringing the Whole Family of God into the Confirmation Process”; and
- DCE Julianna Shults, program manager of Lutheran Young Adult Corps, which is LCMS Youth Ministry’s long-term service-work program for young adults, St. Louis, “A Whole New World of Resourcing.”
Dr. Debbie Arfsten, director of the DCE program at Concordia University Chicago, in River Forest, Ill., is set to serve as the symposium facilitator.
The Rev. Mark Kiessling, interim director of LCMS Youth Ministry and program director for the 2016 LCMS Youth Gathering, commented on the value of the symposium and its theme.
“As Lutherans,” Kiessling said, “we appreciate the process and celebration of young people confirming their faith in Jesus Christ. The request for an updated catechism and healthy discussion about the confirmation process also shows the Church’s understanding [that] we live in a changing and complex world. We look forward to the symposium and the discussion about teaching the faith in various contexts and to be encouraged in our unifying goal of passing the faith to future generations. All in attendance will contribute to each other’s lifelong endeavor of learning from God’s Word and trusting in Christ in all things.”
Posted Nov. 11, 2015