2018 Lutherans For Life National Conference

2018 LFL National Conference – From Age to Age the Same 

Over 240 people from the United States and Canada gathered October 12-13 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Olivette (St. Louis), Missouri, at the 2018 Lutherans For Life National Conference. The theme, “From Age to Age the Same” based on Isaiah 46:3b-4, was the guide for this special conference commemorating LFL’s 40 years of ministry. The words to this theme verse from Isaiah provided a special understanding of the Lord’s plan For Life: You “have been born by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.”

Several LFL pioneers came back to share their memories and bring encouragement as they have seen the Lord’s work through LFL for these 40 years. Rev. Dr. Samuel Nafzger, a highly regarded theologian who spent 30 years working on the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR), gave the keynote address. He worked closely with Dr. Jean Garton, LFL’s first president, and was instrumental in the development of Lutherans For Life. His knowledge of the history of LFL was amazing, and his presentation was uplifting.

Rev. David Wende, one of the early national board members, served as the conference MC. He brought his creative wit and sense of humor to the job, adding a lighter side to an event that often covers serious life-and-death topics.

Two former LFL Executive Directors, Rev. Edward Fehskens III and Rev. Dr. James I. Lamb, came to share their special gifts of communication and passion For Life.  Their messages were inspirational, reflecting the past but also pointing to the future of LFL. Topping off the day was a presentation from Rev. Dr. Dale Meyer, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, President, and former speaker on “The Lutheran Hour.” Dr. Meyer closed the conference in dynamic fashion.

Workshop topics ranged from sexuality and gender identity to dying naturally with hospice care, showing the complexity of life issues we face today—at all phases of life. Also discussed were abortion pill reversal, suicide, youth struggles with life, Creation, sin and grace, as well as hope when your heart breaks after the loss of a loved one. An additional highlight was the onsite Semisaurus Mobile Creation Museum.

Conference attendees were a mix of experienced conference participants and those who were there for the first time. The conference quickly became a wonderful blending of people—from as far away as California, Pennsylvania, Washington, Texas, and Canada—with the same heart to affirm life and support Lutherans For Life.

As prayers for this life-affirming organization continue to be given, there is unfailing confidence that the Lord will sustain—From Age to Age the Same.

2018 LFL National Conference – Conference Quotes:

“What a timely theme for the 2018 National Conference of Lutherans For Life as it celebrates its 40th anniversary. Our God is the only God that exists—and He is the great I AM … His Word endures into eternity, and this Word teaches us that human life in all of its stages is a gift from God. The great I AM who never changes is the One who formed our inward parts and knitted each one of us together, one by one, in our mothers’ wombs (Psalm 139:13-17). Because He is the One who gives us, His creatures, life, matters of life and death belong to Him and not to us. No one has the right to extinguish a human life by a decision of his own apart from the will of God. He became one of us in His mother’s womb so that we might live with him eternally (John 3:16). He is the One who made us. He is the One who has carried us and who bears us, even as He created the house of Jacob, carried it from the womb, and saves it. And He is the One who saves us, in time and for eternity … Today Lutherans For Life is 40 years old, and look what has been accomplished … . From a handful of women and men with a conviction that more can be done in support of all human life when Lutherans work together in support of all human life in all of its stages and conditions, Lutherans for Life embraces 11 State Federations, 96 Life Chapters (some of which have celebrated 30 years of service), 105 Life Teams, 103 Life Ministry Coordinators, and it has representatives in 33 states … It has contacts in all 50 states and in Canada, India, Latvia, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and it is developing contacts in the Dominican Republic, in Latin America, and in Australia. It receives support from seven Lutheran church bodies, including the LCMS, LCMC, NALC, CLBA, AFLC, AALC, and Lutheran CORE. Only God knows how many lives the efforts of Lutherans For Life have saved, how many hearts it has consoled with the good news proclaimed by the prophet Isaiah that our God, the great I Am, is “From Age to Age the Same.” On this the 40th anniversary of the birth of Lutherans For Life, it is fitting that we should pause to remember and to give thanks and praise to God.” Rev. Dr. Samuel Nafzger

“You can speak this truth. You get to show this love. You share this Gospel, and Jesus Himself shines through your courage and compassion. We have the privilege to give it voice. We have the delight of putting it in practice … By acts of service and sharing—opening your hands, your hearts, and your homes—you’ll take hold of heaven’s treasures. With words of warning or winning over, encouragements and assurances, you’ll cradle the Lord’s own little ones. While noticing, visiting, and listening, you’ll collect them into His own album and household. Wonder what to say? Worried about how to think? Wanna know when to get involved? Let Lutherans For Life show and tell. For 40 years, two generations, LFL has found the words and done the work, connecting life issues to Scripture and doctrine. Why not use their free resources and ample materials? Come join their network! Fund their activities and make this ministry’s rewards yours. Enlist in the purpose. Participate in the hope. Experience the joy. Watch the tears wipe away. Walk together into new creation. This paradise life is neverending—From Age to Age the Same. Amen.” Rev. Michael W. Salemink

2018 LFL National Conference Videos (YouTube)

2018 LFL National Conference Photo Album (Facebook)

2018 LFL National Conference Packet Booklet (PDF)

2018 LFL National Conference Worship Service (PDF)

Grace Kern: 2018 Dominus Vitae Award Recipient

Audio: 2018 LFL National Conference Opening Worship Service Sermon

Workshop Handout: What Should I Ask? – Looking for a Life-Centered Hospice (Formatted for printing)