Breakout Sessions

“Out of your comfort zone: stepping out on a life-changing, faith-building adventure”
Sharing the Gospel with people can be hard; doing it across languages and cultures can be even harder. And yet the Bible is filled with stories and accounts of people going outside of their comfort zone to share God’s love: Jonah and the Ninevites, Daniel in Babylon, Peter and Paul to the Gentiles, Jesus in the incarnation. Learn the truths, myths, joys, and challenges of Cross-Cultural Ministry through stories and training.
Rhonda Kelman is the Executive Director of the BC Mission Boat Society. She grew up in Edmonton Alberta and now lives on Vancouver Island. She had a passion for missions since she was a teen and in University, she got involved with missions. It has been over 15 years full of learning, growing in her faith, and going on adventures to share God’s love!
“The New Outsiders”
Let’s face it: Christianity isn’t popular in the world around us. Every one of us faces challenges in living our lives as Christians, because our culture doesn’t share the beliefs and values we hold from God’s Word. So how do we deal with that? How do we respond to these challenges? What do we say? What do we do? Jesus says that His disciples are “in” the world, but not “of” it. So what does that mean and how do we live in a world that considers Christians to be outsiders? Let’s learn from God’s Word, and from one another, as we tackle some tough questions together.
Pastor Michael Schutz is a husband, father of four, and pastor at Concordia Lutheran Church & School in Penticton, BC. He wants to be a “man of Issachar” (1 Chronicles 12:32) who understands the times we live in and knows what to do with that. He writes at theresonant.org about God, Christianity, culture, and more.
“Movies, Music, and Media”
Does Christ care what we watch on the screen? Do our music choices matter for a Christian? What might God say about our Instagram or Twitter account and our search footprint? Can gaming or binge watching become idolatrous? Pop Culture (the things we encounter in our daily lives) can often compete against our Christian values and mores. What does it mean that a Christian is in the world but not of the world? What can a Christian do to live committed to Christ in the face of things that challenge our Christianity. Is all of it bad? What does the Bible say?
Rev. Dr. Jim Gimbel is a popular, engaging speaker who has been a youth pastor, campus pastor, and university and seminary professor. He loves connecting the Bible with people of all ages, but especially with youth. He currently serves as president of Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton.
“The End of the World as we Know it…“
Zombies, Global Warming, Pandemics, and Paranoia. There are lots of movies and stories and myths about the end of the world. The Bible also has given us ideas of what to expect … and how to live hopeful, meaningful, and joy-filled lives prepared for Christ’s return.
Rev. Dr. Jim Gimbel is a popular, engaging speaker who has been a youth pastor, campus pastor, and university and seminary professor. He loves connecting the Bible with people of all ages, but especially with youth. He currently serves as president of Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton.
“Let’s Talk About ______” with Pastor Eric
Ever struggled with talking about your faith? A look at apologetics in many arenas of faith and how to have a conversation about it with someone else without having it go off into a full-blown argument. Come and ask the tough questions and discuss what’s being asked of us. Or come and ask the ridiculous questions because they’re important too
Pastor Eric Moffett is Associate Pastor at Foothills Lutheran Church in Calgary where he does extensive work on the University of Calgary campus, where he is constantly involved in a lot of fun conversations with students and faculty and looking to share his experiences.
“Living Life on Mission”
“Make disciples of all nations” – That is the calling Christ gives to us… but have you been to my school? Have you met my friends? Have you seen how much of a sinner I am? If most of us are honest, we don’t have a clue as to how Jesus can use our “ordinary lives” to accomplish extraordinary things. We want to see our friends become disciples of Jesus, but through us? In this session, we will see how in God’s word, Jesus gives us a beautiful example of how God can work through ordinary you and I to accomplish beautiful things.
Dean Rostad is a cyclist, skier, and loves joining Jesus in making disciples through his role as the President of the Canadian Lutheran Bible Institute in Camrose Alberta.
“Sex & Dating with Pastor Glenn & Andrea Worcester”
Glenn & Andrea sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage… You may have grown up with this playground song/taunt or you may have never heard of it before. However, when it comes to relationships, the world we live in doesn’t always follow that order: dating, love, marriage, sex, children… Come and hear one couple’s story of their relationship journey from where it began to where it is now.

The first session will cover God’s plan for sex and dating, as found in His Word, and how they relate to our personal experiences. The second session will split the ladies up with Andrea, and the guys with Pastor Glenn to allow for a time for personal discussion and specific questions in connection with the first session.

“Q&A with Pastor Glenn”
You have the questions, he has the answers. In case you haven’t heard Pastor Glenn talking enough, come and hear him some more! Ask any question about any topic, gathering related or not, and he will do his best to answer your question from and Biblical perspective and with all 36 years of limited knowledge he has!
You may have never heard of Pastor Glenn unless you are from Peace Lutheran Church in Winnipeg, or you’ve attended one of the last two National Youth Gatherings. Even so, you may not remember him. He was supposed to be the Chaplain at the 2016 NYG, but stayed back in Winnipeg, with his wife Andrea, to welcome their first son, Micah, who was born on the first day of the NYG. He is excited to speak and spend time with youth from all over Canada in 2019.
Since you probably don’t know much about him, let’s fill you in. Pastor Glenn (or PG to others, Glenn to his wife, Dadadadada to Micah, Ah-Boom to his nephews, and Jake Gyllenhaal to many strangers), has been serving Peace Lutheran Church since March of 2012. Before then he was serving as pastor in Grand Rapids, MI. He is originally from Detroit, MI and graduated from Concordia University, Ann Arbor, MI in 2004 then went on to receive his Masters of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2008. He served his Vicarage at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lethbridge, AB. He is very active in youth ministry, and National Youth Gatherings have always held a special place in his heart, from when he attended them as a youth (1998 Atlanta), to where he would meet his future wife (2007 Ottawa), to serving on his first committee (2013 Winnipeg), leading all the way here.
He thinks he’s pretty funny, but his wife has other opinions (some might call it dad humor). He is never short on words when speaking about his passions, but understands you may have already stopped reading at this point, so he’ll wrap it up by saying this: He is praying for you, for each and every single person that is considering attending the 2019 NYG. And he asks that you would pray for him and the words he is going to bring to you, the message or your worth and value, and ultimately the message of what God says you’re worth. He looks forward to seeing you in BC, if not sooner.
“Song writing for Worship” Part one and Part two.
Together we will compose a worship song during this two-session workshop that we will then perform and teach to everyone at the Gathering. We will explore key components of writing music that is appropriate for Divine service, and apply it to our ideas. Musical proficiency will be helpful, but not necessary. Come make a joyful noise to the Lord!
“Created with Purpose—How God values people with disabilities”
We are all created in God’s image, including those with different abilities. Come hear how having children with special needs has changed my life and my perspective on the worth of people with disabilities in the world, and in God’s kingdom.
Tara Lyn Hart is a Canadian singer/songwriter who loves music almost as much as she loves being a mom!
At 18 years old her childhood dreams came true when she signed a record deal with Sony Music Canada, but after a few years of recording and touring she realized that God’s plans are always the best plans, even if they aren’t quite what you had in mind (and even if they don’t include being a recording artist).
God’s plan for Tara has included a lot of exciting twists, including teaching voice and drama, writing music, fostering and adopting, moving to Australia for almost 4 years, and the blessing of a child with Down syndrome!

If you would have told Tara 21 years ago that she would be married to a Pastor and have 5 kids she would have laughed really hard, but she thinks it’s pretty amazing how God has blessed her with exactly what she needed in her life, even if it wasn’t what she had planned.

Music is still a big part of Tara’s life, and she is so excited to share her love of music at the 2019 NYG!!

“What’s a Youth Leader Worth?”
Families in North America are undergoing profound challenges that affect us all. Confronted with the culture’s confusion even over what it means to be male and female, adult youth leaders’ value as models of faith in Jesus Christ has never been greater. What does the Christian woman and man provide maturing teens as the teens see them up close? How do adult examples help adolescents understand themselves? Explore these questions with Dr. Oberdeck and be affirmed of your value as an adult youth leader!
“Welcome to the Lutheran Youth Room!”
Mutual support and encouragement of one another in youth ministry is essential. But how do we accomplish this important task? Especially in the context of a small congregation with limited resources and few youths? Dr. Oberdeck shares the story of the Lutheran Youth Room, a website and Facebook Page/Group that’s learning how to meet this need. Could the Lutheran Youth Room be of help to you? Either through its own programs or as a model of you might do? Share your thoughts and wisdom in this media-centered session.
Retired from serving as Director for Lay Ministry, and Professor of Theology at Concordia University Wisconsin in July 2017. He attended Concordia High School in Milwaukee, and graduated from Concordia College, Milwaukee, in 1972, and from Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, in 1974. He received a Masters of Science in Education degree from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 1976. In 1979 he graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis with the Master of Divinity Degree. In 1999 Oberdeck received the Ph.D. degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia in the field of educational psychology.
From 1979 to 1982, Oberdeck served the dual parish of Trinity Lutheran Church and School, Stewardson, IL, and St. Paul Lutheran Church, Sigel, IL. From 1982 to 1989, he was pastor of Zion Lutheran Church and School in Litchfield, IL. From 1989 to 2002 Oberdeck served on the faculty of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, first as Director of Resident Field Education (1989-1995), and later as Director of the Doctor of Ministry Degree (1995-1997) and Director of Continuing Education (1995-2002). In July of 2002 Oberdeck accepted the call to Concordia University Wisconsin.

His particular interests are in youth ministry, family ministry, and adult education. Articles by Dr. Oberdeck have appeared in Lutheran Education, Teacher Interaction, The Lutheran Witness, Concordia Journal, and theSource (LCMS Youth Ministry on-line magazine). He is the author of the 2010 book Eutychus Youth: Applied Theology for Youth Ministry published by Concordia Publishing House. Dr. Oberdeck has presented at numerous district and circuit conferences.

He and his wife Ginny live in Brown Deer, Wisconsin and have been blessed with three children and seven grandchildren.

“I WISH I COULD TAKE THAT BACK”- Micah Steiner (the These Guys)
We all have regrets. Things we wish we never did or said, but for some of us, those regrets are deeply personal and have left lasting effects on our relationships with family, friends, and in some cases, maybe even God. In this session, Micah will unpack why we feel the way we do, and more importantly, what God was willing to do on our behalf, so that those regrets, both big and small, are things we can confidently trust Jesus to forever forgive.
REFUELED! – Leon Jameson (the These Guys)
Thank you for loving kids and teenagers. Thank you for living out the Gospel. Thank you! Do you hear that enough? Do you hear that all? Come be encouraged and refueled with 5 reminders that will help keep you going as you serve teenagers!
“PUTTIN ON THE SKITS” (the These Guys)
Leon Jameson, Jeffrey Kunze, and Micah Steiner are the THESE GUYS, a skit trio that brings comedy and insight to the day-to-day experiences of teenagers and adults. They’ve been teaching God’s word using comedy, drama, wigs, and fake mustaches for over 15 years. Their improvisational, and hilarious, sometimes dramatic response to the Christian life makes them a must see for all ages. Laugh along, don’t take them too seriously and consider how you might use skits to make complex concepts easier to understand.
Leon Jameson, Jeffrey Kunze, and Micah Steiner are the THESE GUYS, a skit trio that brings comedy and insight to the day-to-day experiences of teenagers and adults. They’ve been teaching God’s word using comedy, drama, wigs, and fake mustaches for almost twenty years. Their improvisational, and hilarious, sometimes dramatic response to the Christian life makes them a must see for all ages. Laugh along, don’t take them too seriously and perhaps see just a bit of yourself in their sketches.
“In the Beginning: Finding Answers to Questions about Early Human History”
Doesn’t the Bible actually have a lot of errors and contradictions, so how can we rely on it? Does “day” in the first chapter of Genesis really mean a literal day? How do we reconcile that with modern science that says the earth is billions of years old? Who did Adam and Eve’s sons marry? If we’re all descended from Adam and Eve, where did the different “races” come from? Did Noah really get all the animals on the ark? But what about the dinosaurs? Why doesn’t the Bible talk about them?
If you have questions like these about the historical account in Genesis, I can help you find the answers! And I’ll show you online resources you can use later when someone asks you a question you don’t know how to answer. Come ready to take notes!
Michelle Heumann is the co-chair of the ABC District Youth Gathering and a youth leader at Foothills Lutheran Church in Calgary. She’s a freelance editor specializing in science fiction and fantasy, and she’s working on a MA in history. She majored in English and history in her undergrad, and while taking geology for her science option she encountered a particularly hostile professor who inspired her quest for knowledge about how to defend the history we find in Genesis. He’d probably be dismayed that his scorn for Christians who believe in a Creator led to her passion for equipping youth to have these answers BEFORE they encounter a Prof like him!
“Spiritual Conversations in the Digital Age:”
Technology and rapid cultural shifts have altered the face of evangelism, yet the great commission remains. Based on the research done by and in partnership with The Barna Group, Lutheran Hour Ministries has put together the findings about the changes to faith sharing and how you can apply those insights to spiritual conversations in your everyday life. Be prepared to talk and share as we discuss the key characteristics of those people who are EAGER to share their faith with others.
Lisa Jackson is the Managing Director- Lutheran Laymen’s League of Canada/Lutheran Hour Ministries- Canada
Lisa joined the organization in May of 2018, bringing with her over 20 years of experience working in the insurance world in Canada and abroad. In this position, Lisa acts as marketer, leader and director of operations for Lutheran Laymen’s League in Canada as well as the advocate for Lutheran Hour Ministries in Canada.
Ms. Jackson is a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Waterloo Ontario, where she has organized returning LCC mission response trips to Nicaragua since 2011.