2020 Annual Gathering Breakout Sessions

Monday, October 5 @ 3:30 P.M.

  • Introduction to Chuch Planting - Dan Clites
  • Churches and Pastors Exploring Call - Christian Huntley
  • People Strategies - Linda Krei
  • LCMC 3.0 - LCMC Board of Trustees
  • LCMC 403(b) - Tom Luing
  • Worship Renewal and Leading Change - Aaron Thompson and Katie Borden
  • Jesus in the Gospel of Mark - Steve Turnbull
  • Keynote Q&A - Gemechis Buba
  • Relational Youth Ministry for the 21st Century  - Jeff Stephenson
  • Thinking Theologically About Technology  - Scott Hawkins

Tuesday, October 6 @ 2:30 P.M.

  • Tips and Tricks for Running a Special Needs Ministry - Caitlyn Ronayne
  • What's District - Randy Freund
  • Marriages Matter, Including Yours - Pam Hulstrand
  • Conflict Resolution - Perry Fruhling
  • John 17: Jesus’ Great Commission Strategy - David Drum
  • LCMC 403(b) - Tom Luing
  • Theology 2 - Julie Smith
  • Keynote Q&A - Jenn Alexander
  • The Life of the Spirit in the Life of a Congregation - Mike Bradley

Tuesday, October 6 @ 4:00 P.M.

  • Pizza & Beyond - Amy Staley
  • Jesus in the Gospel of Mark - Steve Turnbull
  • Building a Children's Minsitry - Andrea Taphorn
  • New Member Orientation - Lee Laaveg
  • Navigating Life with Three Key Questions  - Phillip Lee
  • Spirit-Led Ministry for Spirit-Starved People  - Moe Redding
  • The Good News About Marriage…and the Bad News About Cheap Sex - Paul Owens
  • LCMC 403(b) - Tom Luing
  • Church Security - Karl Williams
  • Seminarians - LCMC Ministry Board

New Member Orientation
|  Lee Laaveg

Are you new to LCMC?  If so, please join with me in this breakout session to answer any questions you might have about us.  This will also be a chance to learn more about the beginnings of LCMC, why we chose this kind of structure, the two boards that govern the association, the DNA that we hope to live by, our benevolence practice, ecumenical relationships, how we are training the next generation of pastors and more!

Pastor Lee’s passion is to help people discover the grace of God in a personal faith relationship with Jesus Christ.  He is a graduate of Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. and Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN.  He was ordained into the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in June, 1984.  He has pastored in a variety of ministry settings – rural congregations in a multiple point parish, single point congregations, and large multi-staffed churches – in North Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois.  He also served as Director of Development and Church Relations for Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camps.  He began serving Faith Lutheran in October 2011. He enjoys the challenge of preaching and teaching the Word of God.   He desires Faith Lutheran to be a powerful blessing to the community of Spencer and the surrounding area.  He also serves as Associate Radio Speaker of Christian Crusader Radio and Internet Ministry based in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  In addition, he serves on the Grand Avenue Community Outreach Board of Directors.  He is married to Denise, who serves as Faith Lutheran's Worship Director.  Together, they have four grown children and eight grandchildren.


Thinking Theologically About Technology 
|  Scott Hawkins

In this workshop we are going to engage the conversation about how our technology impacts our thoughts and attitudes. Technology is not good or bad, but it’s never neutral. Come and discuss how we can be aware of technology's impact on our discipleship and how we, as Lutherans, have wonderful practices to engage our current world.

Scott was born in Southern California and was blessed to have been called into pastoral ministry in middle school. He has served as a youth director, christian education director, associate pastor, and is currently the senior pastor at Ascension Lutheran in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. He has a brilliant wife (Emily) and three children: Grace (9), Hope (5) and Isaac (3). He loves his family, wakeboarding, playing guitar and all the Los Angeles teams, except for USC.


John 17: Jesus’ Great Commission Strategy 
|  David Drum

In this workshop we will take a close look at Jesus’ prayer for the unity of His Church, discovering how specific and strategic it is. We will also discuss practical applications of the prayer that are changing communities around the country, and can change yours too.

Pastor David Drum is a Tucson native, with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Arizona and an M.Div. from Trinity Lutheran Seminary.  He served as the solo/lead pastor of Community of Hope Lutheran Church from 1990-2011.  From 2011-2018, he was the full time Church Domain Director for 4Tucson, helping churches and pastors throughout Tucson work more closely together.  David has been married to his beautiful wife Valerie for 32 years, and they have 4 children and 1 grandchild.  David has served as the president for Tucson Association of Evangelicals and Tucson Ministry Fellowship, on the national Board of Trustees and Board of Ministry for Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, and as the founder/leader for the Evangelical Renewal District of LCMC.  He has authored three books, Jesus’ Surprising Strategy, and If It Was Easy, Jesus Wouldn’t Have Prayed for It, both addressing Jesus’ prayer for citywide Christian unity, and his latest, Peace Talks: The Good News of Jesus in a Donkey Elephant War.  In October, 2018, David founded J17 Ministries to “unite the Body of Christ FOR a divided world”, believing that John 17 is Jesus’ strategy for fulfilling the Great Commission.


Navigating Life with Three Key Questions 
|  Phil Lee

Are you struggling with current circumstances, trying to discern God’s call, or sensing the need for meaningful change in your life?  This breakout/workshop will explore the nuances of navigating life’s variables using three key biblical questions.  These questions apply to our lives holistically – physically, emotionally, and spiritually – as a framework for an honest perspective on where we are and where we want to be, and how to mind the gap between those two conditions.  It may be the “small picture” of today, it may be the “big picture” of a major life change, or something in between.  Join us for a lively exploration and interactive discussion.

I’m a Lutheran “lifer” – born, baptized, raised, and nurtured in the Christian faith and Lutheran Church.  In addition, I’m a husband of forty-three years – married to Carolyn – a father to three sons, and a grandfather of two.  I served five churches for thirty-six years as an ordained pastor (ALC, ELCA, LCMC/NALC), and I currently serve on the boards of East European Missions Network, now SONetwork, and Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat in Arizona, where I also serve as a therapist (LMFT) and as the Counseling Care Director.  Oh, yes, I love photography and fly fishing!


Jesus in the Gospel of Mark
|  Steve Turnbull

Each Gospel writer tells the story of Jesus differently, to help us appreciate in different ways just how good Jesus truly is. Mark’s picture of Jesus is bold and mysterious, profound, complex, and somehow still simple. He is like no other and yet invites us to be like him. This breakout session is an opportunity to appreciate, admire, and learn from Mark’s witness to Jesus. It is designed for anyone who wants to hear the good news about Jesus according to Mark, and it might be of additional interest to those who preaching from Year B (Mark) in the lectionary this year.

Steve is the senior pastor at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church and serves on the Ministry Board for LCMC. He teaches classes in New Testament and Biblical theology. Steve and his wife Amy live with their two children in Columbus, Ohio. He like strong coffee, mountains, and deep dish pizza.


Introduction to Church Planting
|  Dan Clites

Is the Holy Spirit calling you into a missional life-style that leads to church planting?  Discover how to discern such a calling with a 20-20 vision through the sharing of practical planting practices that can impact your city for Christ.  Dan Clites, our LCMC Coordinator for Church Planting Development, will lead a discipling-making discussion with some of our seasoned planters. 

Dan Clites has been serving LCMC as its Coordinator for Church Planting for over seven years.  In that time, we have started over 70 church plants.  In Dan’s 25 years of ordination, he has pastored four congregations, including one where he planted and served for 10 years.


WHAT’S A DISTRICT AND WHY SHOULD OUR CONGREGATION JOIN ONE?
|  Randy Freund and Maureen Bessey

LCMC Districts are a great resource for LCMC congregations.  In addition to providing fellowship opportunities, they can be an avenue to match gifts and interests around specific areas of mission and ministry.  The relationships and connections people often make through district involvement also creates resources for congregations.

Pastor Randy Freund is pastor of New Creation Lutheran Church, Perham, MN.  He is also Service Coordinator for the Augustana District and serves on the LCMC Board of Trustees.


Conflict Resolution
|  Perry Fruhling

Conflict is a normal part of our everyday life.  Relationships at home, work, in community and congregations experience conflict regularly.  The question isn’t if, but when, we’ll experience conflict…and how we will deal with it. As we learn about how relationships are influenced by broken systems, we can begin to work together to be restored to one another.  As we learn about how to resolve conflict in God honoring ways, we can bring hope to our families, churches, and communities. The conflict resolution breakout is designed to help you learn about yourself in conflict as well as steps to forgiveness and reconciliation from a Biblical perspective.

Pastor Perry Fruhling is the Coordinator for Pastoral Ministries for LCMC.  Perry administers the certification process for pastors and seminarians who desire to be rostered with LCMC. Along with developing call committee coaching, he leads workshops for call committees across the country. Perry relates to the Ministry Board which develops leadership events, relates to seminaries, and oversees our list of pastors serving in many different capacities. He uses his training in conflict resolution to assist congregations and pastors in creating healthy relationships in leadership and congregational life.

Perry and his wife, Marlys, met in the Wartburg College (Waverly, IA) Choir and have been married since June, 1985. They live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  They have three children: Chantal, 28, in Cedar Rapids; Ashley, 25, in Atlanta, GA; and Caleb, 22, attending the University of Iowa.


Marriages Matter, Including Yours
|  Pam Hulstrand

A large majority of couples in your churches (including YOURS) might be what are called Conventional Couple Types. They are committed to God and their marriages AND they are miserable, unable to communicate and resolve conflict (according to Prepare-Enrich research). This break out will look at resources, programs and strategies to reach these couples and strengthen their (and YOUR) marriages. 


Theology 2
|  Julie Smith

This is a sequel to last year’s blockbuster breakout, “Theology.”  If we believe theology matters (and it does), then why does it matter?  How does it shape our lives and faith?  How does it shape the work of our congregations?  How does it shape the work of our association?  How does it shape our understanding of mission? And how can getting it wrong undermine the true work of the church?

Julie Smith is pastor of St. Johns Lutheran Church in Springfield, MN and Dean of Students and St. Paul Lutheran Seminary.


The Good News About Marriage…and the Bad News About Cheap Sex
|  Paul Owens

Before God created his church, before he established the nation, he established marriage and the family. Marriage is a big deal and has profound impact on our nation and on your congregation. It is the first weapon in God’s array in the battle against the devil, the world, and your sinful self. What is the status of marriage in America? What about serial adultery? What do people in your congregation know, believe, and demonstrate about marriage? How can your congregation help?

Paul Owens is the senior pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in New Braunfels, TX. Ordained in 1989, he has also served congregations in Michigan and Cameroon. He has been married to Sandi since 1987 and they have three adult children. He is currently a student in the DMin program offered by Sioux Falls Seminary and St. Paul Lutheran Seminary. He enjoys fly-fishing, especially for trout.


Spirit-Led Ministry for Spirit-Starved People 
|  Moe Redding

What if God wants to begin a new program in your congregation … and you’re it?!

Join Pastor Moe Redding from Light of Christ Church in Gilbert, Arizona, as he shares how the Holy Spirit gave the congregation a new vision of ministry, a vision that begins with the leadership, and then transformed the entire congregation.  Once that happened, amazing miracles followed.  You will be given a simple process that LOC followed, a process that we believe will allow any ministry to become Holy Spirit led.

You will also be inspired by stories of people from almost every walk of life who surrendered their lives to Christ and were totally transformed.  Jewish folks, muslims, atheists, and even a cage fighter have all become followers of Jesus in this mid-sized congregation.  Pastor Moe will also help you get a vision for men’s ministry that is truly remarkable, as over 60% of the men at Light of Christ are in weekly men’s bible groups.  Talk about miraculous!

Whether you are interested in servant ministry, men’s ministry, women’s ministry or spiritual renewal for your congregation or yourself, this breakout session is for you.  Hope to see you at Spirit-Led Ministry!

Moe is the founding pastor and has served at Light of Christ Church in Gilbert, AZ, for 24 years.  For a variety of reasons the church was unable to build for 19 years, which means the congregation needed to set up and tear down every Sunday over all those years.  Although the temptation to quit was present, the congregation decided to dig in and allow the Holy Spirit to refine them.  Moe shares this journey in his book, “Pure Power: Spirit-Led Ministry for Spirit-Starved People”. Moe and his beautiful bride, Linda, have been married for 32 years.  God has blessed them with 4 children.    


Tips and Tricks for Running a Special Needs Ministry in Your Church
|  Caitlyn Ronayne

Hi, I'm Caitlin Ronayne.  I am the Special Needs Coordinator at Shepherd of the Valley Church in Afton, MN.  I am in my 5th year of ministry at Shepherd.  I found myself drawn to ministry because of my church’s commitment to loving and serving all students—especially those with special needs. On Wednesdays and Sundays you will find me busy with the fun of youth group and Sunday School.  My job is to make Sunday School and youth group accessible to all students regardless of their needs or ability level. 

In this session I will offer ideas of how to be a church that welcomes all students into their ministry, and share my own experience of what has worked and what didn't work.  There will be Q & A time for specfic questions regarding their own needs.


Keynote Q & A
|  Gemechis Buba

This session offers participants a chance to further explore the topic that our keynote speaker has offered.


People Strategies: Building Teams – Crucial Tools to Drive Accountability
|  Linda Krei

Calling all leaders: “Ditch the Drama” and Get Results! This workshop is for anyone interested in learning more about effective ways to become a more effective leader, increase self-awareness, understand behavioral styles to enhance relationships, increase communication and build high performing teams, thereby driving accountability to achieve desired results; including how to shift mindsets to remove the drama, address passive/aggressive behaviors, and focus on tools and techniques that can be utilized and implemented in your own congregation.

As a certified Business Coach / Executive Coach / Leadership Coach / Business Coach, Linda Krei currently owns ActionCOACH XL EDGE guiding others to find their personal EDGE (Evaluate | Design | Grow | Excel) to become a better version of self in service to others.  Linda helps leaders “Discover Your Best, Then Make it Better” in your personal life, your professional life, making work environments and businesses stronger. Linda is a results-oriented senior human resource executive with extensive experience including operations management and strategic partnering. Linda serves clients to pursue excellence with strategic and people-focused coaching in addition to executive coaching to develop as individual leaders, as talented teams and broader organizations. Linda received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and her MBA from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota. Linda previously served as the Chief Human Resource Officer and VP of Support Services at MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa for over 20 years.  In addition to her previous leadership roles in healthcare, Linda brings human relations experience from both the utility and transportation industries along with a passion to serve others.  She is a skilled certified Executive Coach and facilitator of various talent development tools with a desire to help others discover and strengthen their natural talents. She has a positive energy to develop relationships at all levels within the organization and is actively involved in the community.  Linda is an active member of Morningside Lutheran Church, Sioux City, Iowa in the Heartland District.


The Life of the Spirit in the Life of a Congregation
|  Mike Bradley

In this breakout, Mike Bradley will help us examine and explore some of the important ways that the life of the Holy Spirit can have a tangible impact on our leadership and life in our congregations. This breakout will include an experiential component and a time for questions, responses, and prayer.

Mike Bradley serves as Director for The Alliance of Renewal Churches (ARC) network, an international network of Christian leaders and congregations. He brings 40 plus years of leadership experience in Christian ministry, having served in a congregational context as youth pastor, worship leader, associate pastor, and senior pastor. Mike also served as the President for The Master’s Institute Seminary and is a pastor in Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC).  His passions include helping leaders and congregations build an atmosphere that is a safe place for Christians and non-Christians alike, grow in greater emotional, relational, and spiritual wholeness, and get connected in a healthy, experiential relationship with Holy Spirit. He is the author of the book, Being a Safe Place for the Dangerous Kind. He and his wife of forty-two years, Debi, have five children and three grandsons. They live in Gilbert, Arizona.


Building a Children's Minsitry
|  Andrea Taphorn

Join in on a discussion about how we can be churches that are preaching the gospel to children.  Our kids live in a performance-driven society, from school to sports to various activities. Your childhood is not the childhood of today. In a results-driven culture, how can we as the church, deliver the message of Christ’s forgiveness so that kids can be set free from the law, and hear the gospel of Christ?

I’ve been married to Brodie Taphorn for 23 years. I am a mom to Abby, Carolyn and Silas. I love Jesus. I love reading and being reflective, particularly if I have a great cup of dark roast coffee in my hand. I listen to too many podcasts for my own good. I love collaborating with others in my work and feel more creative with more minds bringing their best to the table as well. Being around kids helps ground my faith in the wonder of being a beloved creature of God, who just needs a good belly laugh and a chat with the Father, so that He can deliver to me the promised love and forgiveness of Christ. 


Worship Renewal and Leading Change: Join the Conversation
|  Aaron Thompson and Katie Borden

We’ve spent the last year leading our large, multi-venue congregation through a deeply transformative culture-change process as we seek greater health and unity in our worshiping community. From embracing conflict and communicating effectively to caring for people as they experience the full range of emotions that change elicits, we have learned a few things along the way. Come join in the conversation as together we seek to learn how to lead God’s people faithfully in an ever-changing context.


Pizza & Beyond: Reaching College Students Today
|  Amy Staley

There are close to 20 million college students in the US today, and statistics show that 70% of the ones who grew up in church will leave it by the time they are in college. So what can we do? In this breakout, you’ll hear stories of college students and faculty taking courageous steps to reach and bless their campuses, and you’ll be equipped with practical tools for how your church can play an active role in connecting with and blessing college students and campuses in your community.

Amy Staley is the Area Ministry Director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Minnesota’s Twin Cities Metro. In her work with college students and faculty, she lives out her passion for developing the next generation of Christian leaders for the common good of the local church as well as communities across the world. She and her husband Neal live in New Brighton, MN, where they enjoy home renovation projects and cooking experiments.


LCMC 403(b)
|  Tom Luing

Attend one of the breakout sessions with Tom Luing, Capital Management Associates. Tom works with the LCMC Investment Committee of the LCMC 403(b) Retirement Plan.

  • Breakout Session 1:  Q&A Panel Discussion:  This is a great session for Lay Leaders, Pastors and Church Employees. Hear frequently asked questions about the LCMC 403(b) Retirement Plan and learn about various topic including income streams in retirement, rollovers into the plan, and housing allowance.
  • Breakout Session 2: Seven Years of Plenty, Seven Years of Famine:   Genesis 41 describes how Joseph recommended a plan for a future time when resource would be scarce. You need to plan for the future as well. Where will your income come from over the years that you will not be working?  Joins us in this session and learn how to save for retirement.

Churches and Pastors Exploring Call
|  Christian Huntley

Conversation beats words on a page. Face-to-face beats phone. This breakout is designed for real questions to be answered and relationships to be formed as churches seeking to call a new pastor have the chance to engage pastors, or seminarians, exploring opportunities for a new call. There are a wide variety of churches within the LCMC that go through transition each year and this allows pastors to learn more about the ministry contexts available within the association. Bring a description of the church and the role to be called. Bring a resume. Be ready for conversation. 

Christian Huntley is the Pastor of Formation at Shepherd of the Valley Church in Afton, MN. If one word could sum up life and ministry, it is connection. Called to ministry out of a passion for God's community, he will listen to tales of faith over a brewed drink at any time of the day. He enjoys seeing people connect and utilize their gifts. When not focused on ministry, he spends time with family and friends.  


Relational Youth Ministry for the 21st Century 
|  Jeff Stephenson

We live in a fast paced, ever changing, socially complex world and reaching teenagers with the Good News of Jesus is important (or maybe even more so) than ever before.  However, the challenges that this world presents are equally complex and fluid.  Join Jeff Stephenson for this youth ministry workshop and journey together into the realm of Relational Youth Ministry for the 21st Century.

Jeff has been been serving in youth ministry for 22+ years and has a heart to see teenagers transformed by the Gospel.


Keynote Q & A
|  Jenn Alexander

This session offers participants a chance to further explore the topic that our keynote speaker has offered.


Church Security
|  Karl Williams

Join us during this session for a presentation on security for your congregations and members in this ever changing world.  We will share ideas and information on best practices for well-being of both your staff as well as members and participants.