2011 National Conference

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Audio File: Dr. Russell D. Moore - Orphan Care and the Gospel

IRVING, TEXAS – Adopted in Christ was the theme as nearly 200 Lutherans gathered, August 5-6, from across the United States—with special guests from Australia—for the national conference of Lutherans For Life (LFL).

In her welcoming address to conference attendees, President Diane Schroeder said, “Our job as the Church and For Life Christians is to make sure that our Lutheran men and women never need to walk into CareNet [pregnancy center]. Not that they will never make mistakes because we all do, but because they know that for them abortion is never an option … Our people need to know that there is a way to handle these difficult situations that is pleasing to God. It is so important that the Church talk about these issues. If our people do not hear this message of truth and compassion from their church, they are vulnerable to the voice of the culture that says death is the answer to life’s unpleasant situations.”

Dr. Russell D. Moore, author of Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families, said in his Friday night keynote address, “If we as pro-life people can understand that the issue of orphan care—whether that’s advocating for unborn orphans, or advocating for born orphans in the United States or around the world—is not simply stopping bad things from happening to children … Instead, there is also a deeper issue here, which is that our advocacy for women and children who are under assault by forces so dark and evil that we cannot even contemplate it, can teach us and show us how to be the Church, how to embrace the Gospel, how to live in the unity of the Spirit—and we see something of what this looks like by what the Spirit is doing in the life of Joseph …

“The Scripture says that when someone is adopted into the family of God, he or she is not some other kind of child. This person is now seated at the table with all the relationship to the Father … with all of the inheritance that is received in Jesus Christ. We see that first in the life of our Lord Himself when Joseph really and truly becomes His father through adoption. When we care for orphans, through adoption and foster care, and through other kinds of ministries to orphans, when we advocate for children whose lives are in jeopardy through abortion and through other ways, what we are recognizing is that we are doing so as ex-orphans ourselves who have been rescued through the Gospel. And we are also recognizing that when a child is adopted into a family there is a real family formed there. Our entire Gospel is at stake in that recognition because there is no such thing as an ‘adopted child,’ only children who were adopted. 'Adopted' in the New Testament is a past-tense verb, not an adjective.”

Friday also featured a concert by singer/songwriter Heather Ruesch. Heather’s “Bella” story can found here

Saturday morning included the showing of the award-winning film, Bella, followed by a plenary session with Dr. Kurt Senske on The Lessons of “Bella” – Affirming Life Via Our Own Personal Calling

Workshops, led by Jean Amundson with a panel of family members, and Jeannette Clausen, on Adoption: Not First Choice, but a Choice of Love, focused on different aspects of adoption. Col. John Eidsmoe discussed Preachers and Politics: What Does the IRS Allow? Rev. Dr. James I. Lamb explored In Vitro Fertilization—Promise or Peril? And Dr. Kurt Senske lead a workshop on A Picture of Possibilities—Strategies to Live Out Our Calling.

Rev. Dr. James I. Lamb, LFL executive director, in his opening worship sermon, focused on the conference theme, based on Galatians 4:4-5. “Adopted in Christ—it is this relationship of having a God we can call Father, that moves us to be obedient to our Father who is God. Adopted in Christ—it is this relationship of having a God we can call Father that moves us not to just be against what our culture of death is for, but to be for what our Father who is God is for. That’s what is being expressed in LFL’s mission statement, ‘Equipping Lutherans to be Gospel-motivated voices For Life’ … The relationship that God, who is our Father, established in Christ through adoption motivates us to be bold voices in the life arena.  Neither our successes nor failures as His voices For Life have anything to do with attaining or maintaining our relationship with God as His children. He has taken care of that. We live in the midst of our victories in the For Life arena, in the midst of our defeats, in the midst of our frustrations assured of His love, His forgiveness, and eternal life … God adopted you in Christ. You have a God who is your father. That is the assurance of His love for you.”

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“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).

Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Russell Moore, author of Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches

Issues, Etc. interview with Dr. Moore: Stream or Download

Heather Ruesch, author of My Real Life Bella (LifeDate - Spring 2009)

Issues, Etc. interview with Heather Ruesch: Stream or Download