2014 LFL National Conference - Matters of the Heart

By Lowell Highby

Date: October 30, 2014

Category: Abortion, Bioethics, Sharing the Message of Lutherans For Life, Abortion and the Church, After the Abortion, End of Life, Family Living, Sexual Purity, Fatherhood, Worldview and Culture, Christian Responsibility

Nearly 200 Lutherans gathered October 24-25 at Saint Matthew Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, from across the United States and Canada, for the 2014 Lutherans For Life National Conference. The theme was Matters of the Heart.

In her welcome to the conference, LFL president, Lynette Auch, wrote, “Though the rain and snow of tribulation in this life is allowed to come upon us, God’s Word is profoundly refreshing, life-giving, and powerful enough to accomplish His will for our lives. As we speak words of life in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, to this culture of death, God’s purpose will be achieved. Our days are filled with matters of the heart and God’s Words speak to them. ‘Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path’ Psalm 119:105. God’s Word always accomplishes the purpose for which it was sent and stands as the only certain guide that we have as we journey on the paths of this life.”

Focusing on the conference theme in his opening worship service sermon, Rev. Dr. James I. Lamb, executive director of Lutherans For Life said, “If the life issues are merely political issues, then we need not discuss them in church. But, if they are matters of the heart that touch people’s souls and put our brothers and sisters in need and have what it takes to deal with matters of the heart—the Gospel of Jesus Christ—but close our hearts in doing so, how can God’s love abide in us?”

In comparing political issues vs. matters of the heart, Dr. Lamb reminded those at the service that, “Every day in this country such confusion and fear leads to nearly 3,000 babies being brutally destroyed through abortion. These are babies created by God, babies for whom Jesus died, and babies God wants to call into an eternal relationship with Him … How can we possibly label these [issues] ‘political’ and withhold the only thing that can speak to such matters of the heart? The Gospel is designed to speak to hearts, your heart, my heart, all hearts. The Gospel calls us to repentance. The Gospel cleanses our hearts and forgives the sins that flow from our hearts.”

He continued, “The Gospel speaks to our hearts those wonderful words, our ‘warfare is ended.’ Through Christ we have peace with God. He loves us and nothing can separate us from that love. We can trust Him and turn to Him, not death, as the solution to our problems.”

In a wide-ranging keynote address, Dr. John Patrick, president of Augustine College in Ottawa, Canada, spoke on culture, abortion, personhood, end-of-life issues, and more. Early in his remarks, he said, “Throughout human history, another baby has often looked like another burden we couldn’t handle—so all cultures have killed babies. It’s the norm, if you like. It’s not surprising is it when the first man born to Adam and Eve was a murderer. It’s in our genes in the deepest sense. So, they [the early Christians] starting keeping them. And they discovered, of course, that it is not what they thought it was because if a young woman comes into your church, let’s say a single mom, with a couple of babies, at least, if your church is anything like a church, she’s never going to buy baby clothes again, is she? And you ought to go a lot further than that—and when our hearts are awakened to join our minds, it will go a lot further. But that’s what happened. The Church started to grow at exactly the same time as Rome was declining into decadence—as we are shown by a diminishing fertility rate and a rising rate of sexually-transmitted disease. The normal features of a dying culture.”

“But then they [the early Christians] started picking up other children that were left at the city gates. It was a place to deposit babies that were unwanted. Now you imagine that you were a little girl who been picked up at the city gates—but you didn’t know that. And then you reach the age where mom and dad decide it’s time to tell you the story. And they tell you, ‘You’re our daughter and we love you dearly, but God gave you to us in a very special way. We were walking through the city gates and you had been left on the ground to die. And the love of Jesus so flowed into us that we could not but pick you up and bring you home—and you have been one of the joys of our family.’ Do you need to preach the Gospel to that child? It’s done isn’t it? Signed, sealed, and delivered. That’s the people we were meant to be. We used to be like that and it needs to come back.”

Pre-conference events include a pastors’ luncheon on “Matters of the Heart in Pastoral Ministry” with Dr. Lamb, a prayer vigil at Heritage Clinic, a Chapter and Life Team Summit with Lori Trinche (Mission & Ministry Coordinator for Lutherans For Life), a Christian estate planning workshop with Jim Schroeder; and plenary session with Rev. Jonathan Fisk on What’s a Life Worth? – The Human Soul in the (kind of) Infinite Cosmos.

Other plenary session included, Why It Matters to Me! with Rev. Robert Fleischmann and Matters of the Heart: Ways to Speak to the Heart with Rev. Dr. James I. Lamb.

A number of workshops were offered on Saturday including: Rev. Robert Fleischmann: Matters of the Heart and Issues in the Family – Wearing My Heart on My Sleeve; Rev. Max Phillips: Matters of the Heart – Caring for the Infirm and Elderly; Katie Schuermann: Matters of the Heart – Facing Infertility; Diane Schroeder: Matters of the Heart – Reaching Those Wounded by Abortion; Laura Davis: Relationship Status: Content in Christ (a workshop on singleness); Rev. Dr. Jim Lamb: Matters of the Heart – Stillbirth and Miscarriage; and Rev. Jonathan Fisk: Matters of the Heart – Not Until I Say “I Do” (a sexual purity workshop for youth).

The conference in-gathering helped attendees put "love in action" by bringing baby items to assist the outreach ministries of Cradles of Grace (serving single women in unplanned pregnancies) and the Pregnancy Resource Center of Grand Rapids. A special offering was also collected and given to these ministries.

The 2015 Lutherans For Life National Conference is set for October 30-31 at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. The theme is Created – Redeemed – Called.

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LFL national conference addresses "Matters of the Heart" - Reporter Online

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THANK YOU! to everyone who joined us at and helped with the 2014 Lutherans For Life National Conference! We pray that those who attended were blessed--and challenged--by the speakers and workshops. 

We say a special thanks to the staff and members of Saint Matthew Lutheran Church for their help and hospitality!

To order audio CDs/flash drives of the conference, you can download an order form here or contact Dicobe Media at 800.999.3381 or  . Conference audio is also available at the links below.

2014 Lutherans For Life National Conference Photo Gallery - Facebook (Be sure and "Like" us if you don't already!)

2014 Lutherans For Life National Conference Photo Gallery - Google

2014 Lutherans For Life National Conference Booklet

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Go to our conference page for more on Lutherans For Life National Conferences.

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2014 LFL National Conference Keynote, Plenary Sessions, Workshops, and Pastors' Luncheon

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Thank You to the Conference Committees …

  • Audio/Visuals: Saint Matthew Grand Rapids; Laura Riojas (Conference Photographer)

  • Conference Committee Co-Chair: Connie Davis

  • Exhibits: Earl Iseler

  • Facilities: Rose Mill

  • Hospitality: Grand Rapids LFL chapter (Earl & Joanne Iseler, Debra Rieddle, Doris Frobel, Doris Kayser); Heart to Heart LFL chapter of Livingston County (gift bags); Barry Wangelin (bottled water from Culligan in Romeo, Michigan)

  • Publicity: Connie Davis, Debbie Fall (from LCMS Michigan District)

  • Registration: Pastor John & Marcia Diener, Carolyn Burns, Norma Carey, Lauren Schaidt, Chris Schultz, Dorothy Zink, Katrina Brundage

  • Sponsorships: Pastor Terry Hoese; Susan Hill (CEF grant); Loving Arms LFL chapter of Macomb County (student scholarships)

  • Student Housing: Kim Myer

  • Workshop Moderators: Connie Davis, Chris Schultz, Pastor Paul Clark, Susan Hill, Earl Iseler, Renita Wollberg, Diane Albers, Pastor John Diener, Carolyn Burns, Stephanie Hovland, Lori Trinche, Norma Carey, Pastor Bruce LaKamp. Karen Dierking

  • Worship Committee: Pastor Robert Appold, Shirley Hoese

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Thank You to Our Conference Exhibitors …

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Thank You to the Conference Sponsors …

Platinum Level

  • Grace Lutheran Church & Grace Beginnings Pre-school, Wyoming, Michigan

  • Michigan District LCMS - Meal Sponsor

  • Lutherans For Life of Illinois

  • Lutherans For Life of Michigan - For Student Scholarships 

  • Linn Area (IA) LFL Chapter #072

  • Our Savior Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan

  • Saint Michael Lutheran Church, Portage, Michigan

  • David Tews - In Memory of Karen Tews

  • David Voss

Gold Level

  • Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan LFL Chapter #061

  • Earl & JoAnne Iseler

  • Lutherans For Life of Indiana     

  • Lutherans For Life of Michigan  -  In Memory of Jon Jenkins

Silver Level

  • Mike & Diane Albers

  • Carver Lifelines (MN) LFL Chapter #096 - In Honor of 30 years serving Carver County

  • Columbus Area (NE) LFL Chapter #095 - In Recognition of Owen’s Mission

  • Terry & Connie Davis - In Honor of our sons and their families

  • DuPage County (IL) LFL Chapter #083

  • Rich & Laura Greiner

  • Richard Hildebrand

  • Terry & Shirley Hoese - In Honor of Deelan Roeder

  • Lutherans For Life of South Dakota

  • Lincoln Area (NE) LFL Chapter #184

  • Peoria Area (IL) LFL Chapter #268 - In Honor of Lou Carr

  • Ozaukee County (WI) LFL Chapter #026

  • Peace Lutheran Church, Columbus, Nebraska - In Recognition of Owen’s Mission

  • Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Fowler, Michigan - In Honor of Mrs. Connie Davis

  • Salem Lutheran Church, Florissant, Missouri - In Memory of Ruth Koenig, founder of LFL Chapter #246

  • Shawano Area (WI) LFL Chapter #093

  • Lori Trinche

Bronze Level

  • Darwin & Donna Anderson - In Recognition of Owen’s Mission

  • Black Hawk (IA) LFL Chapter #114

  • Four-S (IL) LFL Chapter #034 - In Memory of Pastor David Frey

  • Robert Geaschel

  • Edward Grube

  • Peggy Grunow

  • Debra Herman - In Honor of the National Association of Pro-Life Nurses

  • Jefferson County (MO) LFL Chapter #180

  • Richard Juritsch

  • North Central Indiana LFL Chapter #186

  • Peace Lutheran Church Women’s Guild, Columbus, Nebraska

  • Saint Mark Women’s Ministry, Kentwood, Michigan

  • Seward Area (NE) LFL Chapter #041

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