Michelle Bauman joined the Lutherans for Life team on June 1, 2019, and serves as the Director of Y4Life. She communicates with high school and university students about issues surrounding life, addressing them from a Biblical perspective, and supports the building and maintaining of Y4Life Teams on high school and college campuses across the nation. Michelle earned her Lutheran Teaching Degree in secondary education from Concordia Nebraska (1998) and a Master’s degree in English from the University of Indianapolis (2011). Before joining Lutherans for Life, Michelle taught middle school English at Holy Cross Lutheran School in Fort Wayne, Indiana, (1998-2002) and English, Drama, and Speech at Trinity Lutheran High School in Seymour, Indiana, (2002-2019) where she also served as Trinity’s Recruitment Director (2004-2017). She lives in Columbus, Indiana, with her husband and two sons, Nathaniel and Simeon, and attends St. Paul Lutheran Church, Clifty, where her husband serves as pastor.
Lindsey Keiser currently serves as an Assistant Attorney General in the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General. In this role, she helps defend the legislation passed by Kentucky’s General Assembly, including numerous pro-life laws. Prior to moving to Kentucky, Lindsey worked as Legal Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary where she handled a portfolio that included religious freedom, free speech, and pro-life issues. Lindsey earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and her Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University.
Pro-Life Advocacy in a Post-Dobbs–and Possibly Post-Roe and Casey–World
By July of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court will issue a decision in a case that has the potential of finally overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The case–Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization–involves a challenge to a Mississippi law that bans almost all abortions after the fifteenth week of pregnancy, and Mississippi used this opportunity to ask the Court whether Roe and Casey should be overruled. Whatever the Court’s decision, Dobbs will have a significant impact on pro-life legislation and advocacy going forward and there will be much for advocates of the sanctity of life to do in the post-Dobbs world. This presentation will discuss the key abortion cases that brought us to this point, possible outcomes in Dobbs, and potential next steps for advocates.
Becky Rogness is owner of Rogness Communications, a small business specializing in public relations for pro-life policy makers and non-profit organizations. Becky’s clients have included national and regional pro-life organizations and policy makers including Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch. Becky received her undergraduate degree from Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota, and she holds a Master of Arts in Communication from Johns Hopkins University. A former Capitol Hill staffer, Rogness lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband, an LCMS pastor, and four children.
You Are Their Voice: Be Winsome and Wise
In this session, you’ll learn best practices on speaking positively about life, avoiding messaging pitfalls and best practices for dealing with the media.
Deaconess Chrissie Gillet joined Lutherans For Life to serve as the Word of Hope Director in April of 2017. As a military Veteran staff psychologist and certified deaconess, she has an acute understanding of both the secular worldview and a Christ-centered identity. Her vocations as pastor’s wife and mother of seven further motivate her compassion for life. Chrissie oversees the Word of Hope ministry, which includes writing articles, public speaking along with her service dog, Phoebe, and responding to hotline calls and emails. She listens without personal judgment while responding in Christian truth and love. Through Word of Hope, Chrissie connects those she serves with pastors, local services, and natural supports; her two favorite roles are networking with other life-affirming organizations and participating in the spiritual care of people who are broken-hearted by life issues.
God Chose YOU with Forgiveness: With Forgiveness Comes the Gift of Freedom
Can’t wash away the stain of shame? Weighed down by guilt? Unable to reason your way out? Trying to earn forgiveness is exhaustingly futile. So, stop. Now, come hear how God chose you with forgiveness that Christ already earned for you. The forgiveness that comes with the gift of freedom from guilt, shame, and making excuses. Come hear how you are forgiven in Christ. Be free from bondage to sin. Be free to experience joy now and eternally.
Rev. Michael W. Salemink began serving as executive director of Lutherans For Life in January 2016. He received a B.A. in Theology from Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Illinois, in 1999 and a Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 2003. He has served as pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Webster, Minnesota, (2003-2005) and as associate pastor of St. James Lutheran Church and School in Lafayette, Indiana (2005-2015). Pastor Salemink and his wife, Heather, have been married 21 years and reside in St. Louis, Missouri, where they attend Immanuel Lutheran Church, Olivette, with their three sons: Christian, Nathan, and Luke. Pastor Salemink writes regularly and speaks nationwide equipping Lutherans and their neighbors to be Gospel-motivated voices for life.
God Chose You
Choice isn’t just a privilege for abortion supporters. Choice is God’s good gift to humankind, but our sinfulness turns it toward death. Explore how the most important choice is not the one you do but the one you are. God chooses every one of us into existence, chooses each human life with forgiveness, and chooses all members of our race for making a difference. And see how that transforms life issue situations into opportunities for joy and hope!
Rev. Harrison Goodman – Chief of sinners. Child of God. Pastor Harrison Goodman preaches Christ crucified as a light that shines in darkness and a hope for the hopeless at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, San Antonio Texas. As content executive for Higher Things, he helps to make these same gifts known online by employing the many voices and talents of our brothers and sisters in Christ. He believes that while the internet cannot replace word and sacrament ministry, it doesn’t need to try. He shapes Higher Things content to point youth and young adults toward the gifts given in your sanctuary.
Rev. Scott Licht grew up in New Ulm, Minnesota, and was raised in the Wisconsin Synod. He graduated from Martin Luther Preparatory School, Northwestern College (the WELS pastor-training college), and attended Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary for a short time. In 2005, he earned an MBA and a Master of Science in Information Systems from Iowa State University. Scott worked in the corporate world for 30 years before combining his business and theological education and experience at Lutherans For Life beginning in 2012. Scott satisfied the requirements and was ordained in the Lutheran Congregations in Mission to Christ (LCMC) in 2014. In addition to his service at Lutherans For Life, he serves as pastor of Shepherd of the Prairie Lutheran Church in Huxley, Iowa—a congregation rostered with the LCMC and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). Scott has an adult daughter in the Des Moines area and a daughter, son-in-law, and two grandsons near Colfax, Iowa. He and his wife, Sue, live near Huxley, Iowa, with three horses. Sue also has three adult daughters. Scott says, “There is never a lack of things to do, and I give thanks for how richly God has blessed me. I enjoy serving Him through the mission of Lutherans For Life, and I would ask for your prayers as we continue to ‘equip Lutherans and their neighbors to be Gospel-motivated voices For Life.’”
Rev. Jeffrey W. Duncan joined the LFL staff as Mission and Ministry Director in January 2020. He had been appointed to the National Board of Directors in 2017 after over 30-years of volunteer activity in LFL chapters, his parishes, and as District Life Coordinator of the Kansas District LCMS. Pastor Duncan received his Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri in June 2001. From there he was placed into a sole pastorate call at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Sullivan, Missouri (2001-2006). He then accepted a sole pastorate call to St. Andrews Lutheran Church, Wichita, Kansas (2007-2017). Pastor Duncan took Emeritus status in August 2017, retiring to move to Bellevue, Nebraska. There he worked and provided support as Melissa took on the challenge of being full-time caregiver for her father in their home. God released Frank from his earthly burdens in July 2018 and Pastor and Melissa continue to make their home in Bellevue where they enjoy a most fulfilling vocation of grandparenting. Pastor Duncan was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. He met Melissa while attending university in Rolla, Missouri. Married in 1982 and baptized into Christ on his wedding day, they have two daughters: Lauren (and husband Aaron) who also have two daughters, Eloise and Adelaide, and live nearby in Seward, Nebraska; Brianna (and husband John) who live in Austin, Texas. Melissa enjoys being a grandmother most, to go along with degrees in Occupational Therapy Assistance and Computer Science. Pastor Duncan’s prior work experience includes 10-years retail management with Zale’s Jewelers throughout the Midwest, owner/agent of Farmers Insurance Group in Kansas City, agent with State Farm Insurance in Bellevue, and a Cement Mixer Truck driver with Lyman Richey Corporation in Elkhorn, Nebraska. The couple attend Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Omaha, Nebraska.
Dr. Richard “Rick” Marrs is professor of Practical Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Called to the faculty in the fall of 2006, he served previously as the dean of faculty (2010–13), director of Continuing Education and Parish Services (2007–09) and director of the Master of Divinity (M.div.) and Residential Alternate Route (RAR) Programs (2013-21). His areas of interest and expertise include pastoral care and counseling, Christian counseling and Christian reconciliation. Before coming to the Seminary, Marrs served at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Junction City, Kansas. (2000–06). He was a professor of psychology and a counselor at St. John’s College in Winfield, Kansas. and at Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Illinois. (1986–98). He also has done counseling, clinical and consulting work with wide variety of other counseling agencies. Marrs earned his Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary. He also holds an Associate of Arts (A.A.) from St. John’s College; a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from Concordia College, River Forest, Illinois. (now Concordia University Chicago); a Master of Science (M.S.) in counseling from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.; and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in counseling psychology from Loyola University Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. (1994). He has been licensed as a psychologist since 1996. In 2019, Marrs published the book Making Christian Counseling More Christ Centered, which focuses on the relevance of Luther’s soul-care theology in Christian counseling (WestBow Press). He continues and expands that discussion in a blog series on Concordia Theology. Marrs is married to Laura, who operates her own professional organizing business. They have two adult daughters, two sons-in-law, and four grandchildren. Marrs coached the seminary’s varsity tennis team from 2007–16 and still enjoys playing tennis. He also competes nationally in stair-climb races and is usually ranked about sixth in the nation for his age group.
Heather Ruesch, national speaker, author, and founder of the You Matter Tour, has over 20 years of experience working in pro-life ministry. Her background is in child development and psychology, and she has served as both an educator and executive director of pregnancy centers. Currently seeking a master’s degree in counseling and mentoring students through the social-emotional challenges of the pandemic, Heather believes in a “whole body awareness” method of teaching: you are more than a physical body with physical worth; you are social, emotional, mental, and spiritually made.
Reverend Brian Barlow has invested over 20 years in ministry to those who struggle with relational and sexual brokenness. Having been reconciled out of gender broken past, Reverend Barlow offers a life-giving testimony of God’s healing grace. He has held leadership positions for local and international para ministries specifically focused in providing pastoral care to individuals and families impacted by gender dysphoria. Rev. Barlow offers a voice of hope individuals, pastors, church leaders, and parents of gay and transgender children. He and his family reside in Southern California and serve at Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church, Quartz Hill, California. Reverend Barlow continues to serve with many local and national ministry partners including Lutherans For Life, Y4Life, LINC, Help4Families in addition to traveling and speaking at various youth events.
When God Acts He Leads them Home
The pressure to comply with the message, “God loves you just the way you are” has distorted the Gospel in America. It implies the Good News is a kind of love that leaves one to accept they will never change. In 2012, God in His mercy uncovered my poor theology and revealed a pure Gospel. He loved me so much He was unwilling to leave me where He found me. When a penitent person, brought to faith in Christ, responds to God’s invitation for life, they want to go home. The church in American is rapidly changing to accommodate an LGBTQ narrative that says, change is not possible or necessary. This session combines a personal testimony with tangible ways the church can provide a safe place for those leaving the LGBTQ culture.
His message to the church is unique having experienced first hand the journey home to Christ. Specific to his message is that “God is able to do immeasurably more” (Ephesians 3:20). With the cultural message that love should be more compassionate than truthful many once-gay men and women find church to be confusing. Brian has spent over 20 years ministering to those with un-wanted same-sex attraction, youth and families impacted by homosexuality. While his story is not everyone’s story it is one example of how God is able to redeem and reorient even the most disfigured lives.