Life, from beginning to natural end — a 360-degree look — is the focus of the Synod’s 2017 Life Conference, Jan. 27-29 at the Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel in Arlington, Va.
“As Christians, we believe that all life is sacred — from the time of conception to the time of natural death,” explains Stephanie Neugebauer, director of LCMS Life and Health Ministries and a planner for the conference. “The 2017 Life Conference will enforce this belief, touching on topics that engage the whole spectrum of human life.
“For Lutherans, especially, life issues are not merely topics for political debates,” Neugebauer says. “Rather, life issues are at the core of our church’s discussion and are fundamental factors in how we love and serve our neighbor.”
Neugebauer encourages those who want to learn more about life issues amid fellowship with fellow LCMS Lutherans to consider attending the conference, held every other year in conjunction with the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.
Following the conference’s opening worship at 9 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 27, participants will travel via the Metro to the march in Washington — the 44th march held to protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s Jan. 22, 1973, decision to legalize abortion in all 50 states, through all nine months of pregnancy, for any reason.
After the march, conference-goers will gather for dinner, followed by Evening Vespers.
Conference sessions — which are offered all day Saturday and a half-day on Sunday — include plenary presentations:
- “It May Not Be Too late: Abortion Pill Reversal,” by Dr. George Delgado, medical director of Culture of Life Family Services in San Diego.
- “The Global Problem of Abortion,” by Obianuju Ekeocha, founder of Culture of Life Africa.
- “The War on Women,” by Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, journalist and senior editor at The Federalist.
Participants also will have opportunities to attend breakout sessions on:
- “Reproductive Choices,” with Dr. Donna Harrison, a board-certified OB-GYN and executive director of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Harrison also will lead a second session, “Prenatal Genetic Testing and Disability as a Life Issue.”
- “Why We Are Pro-Life: A Bible Study,” the Rev. Christopher Esget, sixth vice-president of the LCMS, life coordinator for the LCMS Southeastern District and pastor of Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Va.
- “Pastor Roundtable: The Pro-Life Congregation,” the Rev. Jonathan Lange, chairman of district life coordinators and pastor of Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Evanston, Wyo.
- “End of Life Issues,” the Rev. John Pless, assistant professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.
- “Care for the Post-Abortive Woman,” the Rev. Michael Salemink, executive director of Lutherans For Life.
- “The Demographic Winter and the Church Which Prays for Summer,” the Rev. Jonathan Fisk, pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Oakes, N.D.
- “The Precious Gift of Life and Walking Alongside Families Who Have Children with Disabilities,” the Rev. Jonathan Ruehs, residential coordinator of Spiritual Life at Concordia University Irvine, Irvine, Calif.
Also leading a breakout session will be Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life and a member of the LCMS Life Committee.
A Divine Service with Holy Communion is planned for 9 a.m. on Sunday, and a “sending service” will be held as the conference adjourns at 12:30 p.m. that afternoon.
Registration is $275 for adults and $175 for youth (or $300 and $200, respectively, after Dec. 1), and includes two dinners and all breakfasts.
Lodging at the Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel is available for $119 per day, but conference-goers need to make their own reservations by Jan. 6.
For more information or to register, visit lcms.org/lifeconference.
Posted May 6, 2016