Mike Berg

WITH

Rev. Dr. Michael Berg

DESCRIPTION

In this session we will explore the power of water in Scripture, the impact of baptism, and how this precious sacrament connects believers to Christ. The Scriptures are dripping wet. There is water everywhere. This water jumps off the pages of the Bible and into the hands of a pastor on onto a sinner now made a saint. This adoption into the rich family of God is a one-time event, but its ramifications are felt every day. In fact, it ushers in a baptismal life.

 

BIO

Rev. Dr. Michael Berg is an associate professor of theology at Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee, Wis. He is the author of Vocation: The Setting for Human Flourishing (1517), The Baptismal Life (Northwestern Publishing House), On Any Given Sunday (1517), and an upcoming volume entitled Peter: Theologian of the Cross (Northwestern Publishing House). He is also co-host of the podcast Let the Bird Fly! He is married to Amanda and together they have three daughters.

Phil Huebner

WITH

Rev. Dr. Phil Huebner

DESCRIPTION

The pressures, challenges, and real-life problems that teens experience today could not have been foreseen by previous generations. These many problems often overwhelm teens with all kinds of feelings: of being unloved, worthless, guilty, anxious, lonely, and more. To fight this, we will look to establish and root our identity in Christ through the facts of God’s Word instead of personal feelings.

The presentation will offer real-life counseling suggestions to those who work with, teach, pastor, or lead teens. Along with exploring the identity crisis among teens, this session will also offer suggestions for how to encourage teens to activate and involve them in ministry. The information for this session comes from careful research and intimate knowledge of teen life over years of ministry.

 

 

BIO

Rev. Dr. Phil Huebner was assigned from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis., to start a new mission church in Palm Coast, Fla., where he served for nine years. Since 2016 he has served as the campus pastor at Wisconsin Lutheran High School, Milwaukee. He received a second master’s degree from the seminary in 2016 and his doctorate in ministry in Missions and Culture in 2019 from Concordia Theological Seminary. His entire ministry to date has seen emphases in outreach, children, teens, and families. In his free time, he loves to travel and read and research more on the topics of families and teens. He is married to Becky, and they have two children, Noah (17) and Gwen (14).

Amy Weichel, Tracy Siegler, Tania Kopplin & Rachel Halldorson

WITH

Amy Weichel, Tracy Siegler, Tania Kopplin & Rachel Halldorson

DESCRIPTION

How can each of us work to foster faith in the next generation? This breakout aims to offer encouragement and ideas to Christian parents as they endeavor to pass on their faith to the next generation. And whatever our age or life situation, we can all be working to encourage faith in those younger than us. In this interview-style breakout, you’ll hear from real parents in the trenches of discipling their children for a lifetime of spiritual growth and following Jesus. They will speak to the challenges that come with this desire to live counterculture in a world that is so good at keeping us distracted and busy. Are you a grandparent, godparent, Sunday school teacher, or youth group leader? How can you work with families to nurture the faith of their children and help them to fulfill their God-given role in teaching the next generation of Jesus? Come brainstorm ideas with us!

 

BIO

Amy Weichel

Amy is a homeschooling mom of four children and married to Derek. Together, they founded Faithful Parent, a ministry that helps parents develop a Christian parenting plan to keep their families focused on Jesus for this generation and future generations. She’s a Christian mom on a journey to be more intentional with the children God has blessed her with, especially in spiritual matters, and to help other parents do the same.

 

Tracy Siegler

Tracy is the mother of two teenaged boys, the wife of a pilot, a leader of women’s Bible study, a Sunday school teacher, and a part-time researcher for the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her parents, grandparents, and extended family taught her about Jesus and raised her firmly in the Bible. The Lord built on that foundation as she attended a WELS grade school, and by his grace she continues learning to this day. She served on the WELS Women’s Ministry Committee from 2011-2017, and currently lives outside of San Antonio, Texas, with her heart firmly living in the Midwest.

 

Tania Kopplin

Tania KopplinTania Kopplin has been married to Kevin for 28 years. They are currently living in Dallas, Texas. They have 3 children Jacob, 25 married to Carissa. Katie, 23, soon to be married to Zach, and Laura, 20, who is currently a sophomore at MLC in the Early Childhood program. Tania has been in ministry over 30 years, 15 years as an elementary school teacher, and many years volunteering and serving in a variety of roles at several churches in 3 different states. Currently she serves at Divine Peace, Rockwall, TX as the Children and Family Ministry Coordinator and the Personal Member Ministry Coordinator. In May, 2023, she graduated from Bethel Seminary, St. Paul’s MN, with a Master’s Degree in Children and Family Ministry. Tania’s passion is to teach children about Jesus, and to walk alongside parents in discipling their children.

 

Rachel Halldorson

Rachel is wife to Wayne (her favorite pastor) and mom to two amazing kids, William and Hosanna. She lives in East Texas where she serves as church secretary and works at the local public school. She also serves on the WELS Women’s Ministry Executive Board as the Congregational Ministries team leader (aka the CONGO team). This team connects women of our synod to resources, offers ministry encouragement to groups and individuals, and provides a platform for women to hear biblical conversation on relevant topics. They do this primarily through Connection Calls and women’s ministry webinars. Meeting fellow sisters in Christ and connecting them with each other by sharing their ideas and gifts is one of Rachel’s favorite things to do!

Dr. Kristi Meyer & Pastor Eric Schroeder

WITH

Dr. Kristi Meyer & Rev. Eric Schroeder

DESCRIPTION

Many congregations have vibrant and thriving women’s ministries: natural places for female congregation members to volunteer and get involved. However, it can be difficult for women to participate in and contribute to other aspects of a church’s ministry, especially if the congregation’s governance model follows a typical male-only board structure. In these situations, partnerships are key—partnerships among all congregation members but especially partnerships between female members and their pastors.

In this session, we’ll detail the real-life partnership that exists between the presenters and how this partnership naturally grew and developed over time. We’ll look at how similar partnerships might be cultivated at other congregations, and we’ll give some practical suggestions and tips for how session participants can get more involved at their local congregations.

 

BIO

Dr. Kristi Meyer

Dr. Kristi Meyer has served as a mathematics professor at Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee, since August 2006. Since July 2019, Kristi has also served as the part-time Communications Coordinator at St. John’s, Wauwatosa, Wis. She earned her Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree from Martin Luther College in May 2022, writing her thesis on headship and the roles of men and women. Kristi is a member of the WELS Women’s Ministry Executive Committee and an adjunct instructor for Martin Luther College. In her spare time, she enjoys running, camping, and directing the St. John’s handbell choir.

Rev. Eric Schroeder

Rev. Eric Schroeder has served at St. John’s, Wauwatosa, Wis., since August 2013. Until last summer, he primarily oversaw discipleship and Christian education, especially working with Sunday school, catechism class, and adult Bible studies. In July 2023, Eric transitioned into the role of lead pastor, taking on responsibilities in the areas of administration and leadership development. He is also a trained facilitator in the Prepare/Enrich premarital and marriage counseling program. In his spare time, Eric enjoys spending time with family and getting outdoors into nature by hunting and fishing.

Mark Paustian

WITH

Rev. Mark Paustian

DESCRIPTION

As participants learn to link the stories of Jesus in the four gospels with the skeptical challenges they regularly encounter in our world, they will tap into an inexhaustible supply of witnessing material and hone a style of Christian apologetics that keeps Jesus himself on center stage. This presentation will include a window into narrative scholarship to understand why the story form is the most powerful communication form available to us.

BIO

Mark graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis., in 1988 and went on to launch an exploratory mission in Rockford, Ill. He has been teaching at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minn., since 2001, specializing in the areas of interpersonal communication, Old Testament Hebrew, apologetics, and homiletics. Mark holds a Ph.D. in communication from Regent University. He is a frequent presenter and has written books on witnessing and worship. He and his wife, Connie (Kroll), have two daughters, Abby and Hannah, and two sons-in-law, Keenan Smark and Joe Rodewald.

Amber Swenson

WITH

Amber Albee Swenson

DESCRIPTION

Are you longing for a relationship with God that is more than surface deep? Do you get frustrated when reading the Bible because it seems so hard to understand? Do you want to teach, but wonder if you know enough? Amber Albee Swenson will give you the tools to get into the Word in deeper, manageable, and meaningful ways with the goal to know and love God more and to help others do the same.

 

 

BIO

Amber is an author, blogger, and podcaster for the media ministry Time of Grace. Her podcast Little Things helps women look at little, everyday issues from a biblical perspective with the goal of knowing and loving God more. For more information on her books and ministry, go to timeofgrace.org or amberalbeeswenson.org.

Kathie Wendland

WITH

Kathie Wendland

DESCRIPTION

This study of Acts will be an interactive overview of Luke’s letter to his friend Theophilus with a focus on “empowered” by the Holy Spirit “to proclaim” the message of Jesus the Christ in settings and circumstances among brothers and sisters in Christ, friends, neighbors, and strangers.

Session 1 will discuss the kingdom of God and the work of the Holy Spirit and what that means to us as 21st-century witnesses.

Session 2 will then consider many of the witnesses who testified as recorded by Luke and the application to us today as Jesus’ witnesses in various situations for which the Lord has prepared us.

Note:  The Bible will be the “textbook” for this study. Be sure to bring one with you to both breakouts. Also, there will be recommended sections of Acts that will be very helpful to read prior to the breakouts. Taking advantage of the opportunity to read those sections ahead of time will enhance the discussion for everyone in the group.

BIO

Kathie grew up among six siblings on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Her Christian parents modeled and taught their children to keep focused on the one thing needful and to proclaim the message of Jesus formally and informally in whatever situation in which the Lord placed them. Kathie has been privileged to serve in three U.S. states and four countries of the world, putting her nursing skills to work in a wide variety of settings. In the course of her journey, she encountered countless souls of all ages who knew nothing of God’s love for them and what Jesus did for them, in addition to Christians who needed to hear again what they already knew well.

A goal in her life came to be to know Jesus and Scripture so well she’d always be prepared to give an answer, with gentleness and respect, for the hope she has had her entire life to anyone who needs to hear it.

Hannah Schermerhorn

WITH

Hannah Schermerhorn

DESCRIPTION

Singleness is full of difficulties: the loneliness, the uncertain future, and the question of “Why do I have to be single when everyone else has someone?” In this breakout session, Hannah will share the lessons she learned that transformed her struggle with singleness to joy and confidence in God’s special purpose in singleness. This session will encourage both singles and people who want to support the single people in their lives to see how singleness can truly be a gift.

 

BIO

Hannah is the author of A Single Life to Live: Stop Waiting for Your Life to Begin and Thrive Where God Has You Today. After breaking off an engagement and struggling with singleness for many years, Hannah slowly began to see God’s overwhelming goodness in singleness. As her heart began to change, she made it her mission to uplift and encourage singles in the truth of God’s love through her writing and speaking. Hannah lives in Milwaukee, Wis., with her husband (Josh), puppy (Shasta), cat (Fritz), and turtles (Scoops and Bacon). Learn more at HannahSchermerhorn.com or @onlyasinglelife.

Linda Gumm & Paula Sulzle

WITH

Linda Gumm & Paula Sulzle

DESCRIPTION

Are you interested in gathering women around the Word? Perhaps you are offering or would like to offer a women’s Bible study or host a women’s retreat. Doing either has both blessings and challenges! This workshop is packed full of guidance and vital considerations when hosting studies and retreats that point to Jesus.

 

BIO

Linda Gumm

Linda GummLinda currently resides with her husband, Tim, in Watertown, Wis. Linda has been involved in numerous ministries in her home congregations and WELS Women’s Ministry, and she has also worked in the secular field for 21 years. She and Tim have been blessed with 4 adult married children and 17 grandchildren. “It’s all about grace.”

 

Paula Sulzle

Paula SulzlePaula has served on the WELS Women’s Ministry Committee for 12 years and on the Executive Board for 8 of those years. She lives in Redwood Falls, Minn., and is married to her college love, Peter, who serves as a pastor of a large church and school ministry. Together they are guiding six young adults and children through life, ranging in ages from 14 to 22.

Paula finds joy in helping others see their God-given potential and purpose. She currently serves in a number of roles—small business owner, substitute teacher, Bible study leader, and blog writer; however, the roles she holds most dear are wife and mom.

Karen Fisher

WITH

Karen Fischer

DESCRIPTION

The challenges of this time in history come at us fast and furious: social media concerns, climate change, sexual identity, and financial uncertainty, not to mention our personal worries. But the anxieties of this generation are not unprecedented, and they are not insurmountable. As Jesus ascended and left the disciples, he said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). As Jesus’ disciples of today, we have that same promise to keep us resilient and to help us carry on as his witnesses. Rooted in his timeless promises, this session will provide nine specific, evidence-based social science strategies to increase resilience. The goal: to bolster our ability to weather life’s challenges in order to better be the witnesses Jesus promises to empower.

 

 

BIO

“Living in grace, working with wisdom, transcending through humor.” Karen is a licensed professional counselor passionate about mental wellness. She serves people in outpatient settings, groups, mentorship, and education. Her mode of operating is to look for the “what to do” over “Why do I feel like this?” in helping people. Karen’s passion surrounds marrying the grace and truth of the gospel with understanding psychological stewardship.