Matters of the Heart – 2014 Lutherans for Life Conference Recap4 min read

Approximately 200 people gathered at St. Matthew, Grand Rapids for the annual Lutherans for Life (LFL) conference. People came from all over the United States and Canada for a time of learning and fellowship, and brought in-gathering offerings of baby clothes, diapers, and other necessities. The theme for this year’s conference was “Matters of the Heart.” Earl Iseler, treasurer of LFL of Michigan and president of the Greater Grand Rapids Chapter, explained:

“The Hebrews thought of ‘heart’ not in a romantic way, not in an emotional way, but the heart is the center of our being that is either struck by sin or is joyful with forgiveness of Christ.”

Lutherans for Life is a non-political organization. Laura Davis, director of Y4Life, which is the youth and young adult program of LFL, explains:

“Our mission is to equip Gospel-motivated Lutherans for life to be able to speak about life issues in a way that’s not angry or belligerent, but to speak in a way that’s focused on the Gospel – sharing that message of life, that message of love that Christ has given to all of us through these issues.”

The 2014 Lutherans for Life Conference
The 2014 Lutherans for Life Conference


Conference attendees participated in plenary sessions and in a variety of breakout sessions as well. One of the presenters was Rev. Jonathan Fisk, pastor at Bethany, Naperville, IL, and broadcaster of Worldview Everlasting ( He stated:

“The fight for the value of the individual human being, which includes not only the unborn but the aged and the special-needs children, is the second biggest fight of our era. The first is the proclamation of the cross of Jesus – nothing is more important than that – but the devaluation of the individual human being under what is ultimately Marxist and Fascist ideology is damaging to the Gospel as well as to individual lives.” Rev. Fisk explains: “[This devaluation] makes the idea of individual salvation – Christ’s purchase of you personally on the cross – something that is harder and harder to understand or believe. People are going back to sort of a pagan tribalism, a view of transient existence, that there is no afterlife…. Even if people don’t espouse those ideas directly, they’re living as if that’s the way life is. And all these things are interconnected … so this is a fight we need to be a part of.”

Rev. Jon Fisk
Rev. Jonathan Fisk


LFL encompasses Lutherans of several different denominations. Their work, however, is not directly supported by any synod, so they depend on sponsorships, memberships, grants, endowments, and fundraising. Davis explained that they have a fundraising event at every conference. They set a goal for the day and, if the goal is reached, the audience is rewarded with an appearance by Olie and Lina, which are characters created by LFL Executive Director, Dr. James Lamb, and his wife. Davis adds: “In the last two years we’ve added another activity. Last year, in Iowa, Dr. Lamb and I had to kiss a pig. And this year we’re doing a Motown karaoke contest in honor of being in Michigan. It’s just a way to lighten things up a little bit; sometimes our topics can get pretty heavy and it’s a way to have a little bit of fun and remember that fellowship is important, and growing together is important too. And of course it’s a way to support the ongoing ministry of LFL.”

LFL 2014 Conf.-028 karaoke
Motown Karaoke Fun-Raising at the Conference

Jean Amundson, Regional Director of Texas, explained that the fundraising helps support initiatives such as the creation of Life Teams in every congregation and every Concordia University campus, as well as the Y4Life work. She adds: “We have some resources and DVDs and all our stuff is available online too; all of that takes money, so we need the financial support from people.”

LFL conferences are held yearly, each time at a different location. Next year’s conference will take place at the Creation Museum in Kentucky. To learn more about LFL and their programs, visit To get connected locally, visit

View Facebook Photo Album from the 2014 Conference

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About the Author

Elisa is a staff writer, copy editor, and photographer for the Michigan District, LCMS.

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