Convention PowerPoint - 169

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16 // 9:30 AM-3:00 PM

VALUE THE GIFT – Almost everyone calls life “a gift”, but far too often, far too many people (even Christians!), treat that gift as something of little worth, perhaps even to be thrown away. But Scripture teaches us that every human is “fearfully and wonderfully made” by the Lord and that he valued each of us enough to send his Son to redeem us. So we want to be sure to value the gift of life at all times and in every situation – even when it’s costly or inconvenient, even when the world or our feelings tell us to treat it like trash.

Join us, then, for an exciting, informative, and inspiring day of learning again – for our own thoughts and decision-making, and to influence others’ – how to VALUE THE GIFT of life from beginning to end, today and tomorrow.

You can expect:

  • An engaging and informative day either in person among your Christian friends or, for those unable to attend in person, a livestreaming virtual attendance option.
  • The installation of CLR’s Director of Ministry Advancement, Pastor Jeff Samelson.
  • Topics of interest: the future of life issues; embryo adoption; the impact of suicide on the bereaved; stem cell research; and, Christian love and the New Beginnings home-for-mothers ministry.
  • Words to inform and inspire you from our experienced speakers in a concise “TED Talk” format.
  • Continental breakfast and a delicious catered boxed lunch plus snacks and refreshments throughout the day.
  • Opportunities to view displays from a variety of ministries and Christian agencies.
  • A book signing by presenter Thomas Frey. For those attending in person, the opportunity to receive a complimentary copy of his latest book entitled, “Epiphany Z”—limited in number on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • A chance to help our mothers at New Beginnings or clients at our pregnancy care centers (by bringing diapers, baby wipes, non-expired formula, or gift cards from Target, Amazon, or Walmart).

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Psalm 139:14

Schedule of Events

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM  |  Registration & Refreshments

9:30 AM – 10:15 AM  |  Opening Worship & Installation

10:25 AM – 10:55 AM  |  Presentation 1

11:05 AM – 11:45 AM  |  Presentation 2

11:45 AM – 12:50 PM  |  Catered Lunch & Book Signing

12:50 PM – 1:20 PM  |  Presentation 3

1:30 PM – 2:00 PM  |  Presentation 4

2:10 PM – 2:40 PM  |  Presentation 5

2:40 PM – 3:00 PM  |  Closing Devotion

Presentation 1


Value the Gift: Loving as We Have Been Loved

Mrs. Tabitha Schroeder, Executive Director of New Beginnings – A Home for Mothers

When we truly value the gift of life, we reflect the same love that Jesus showered on us. New Beginnings – A Home for Mothers aims to do exactly that for single mothers who have chosen life for their babies.

Tabitha Schroeder is the Executive Director at New Beginnings – A Home for Mothers. She started working with the mothers and babies at New Beginnings this past May and feels so blessed to be a part of such an important ministry. Tabitha graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Wisconsin Lutheran College and a Master of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Edgewood College. Prior to starting with New Beginnings, her experience had been as a psychotherapist primarily working with adults experiencing anxiety disorders, relationship concerns, or struggles with body image. Tabitha and her husband, Noah, are members of Christ the Lord Lutheran Church in Brookfield, and recently celebrated their second wedding anniversary.

Presentation 2


Dangers and Opportunities on the Life Horizon

Mr. Thomas Frey, Founder and Executive Director of the Da Vinci Institute

In 1968, Stanford Professor Paul Ehrlich and his wife wrote a book titled, ”The Population Bomb.” The opening sentence to the book stated, “The battle to feed all of humanity is over, and humanity had lost.” He went on to say that, “Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in the 1970s.”

This book triggered a movement that set the stage for a series of wrong-headed decisions that are permeating society today. The demographics of the world has now shifted so dramatically that half of the world’s population is being born in six countries – 5 in Africa, and 1 in Asia.

We are now moving into an era of designer babies, artificial wombs, and pregnant grandmas. What other dangers and opportunities may await us on the life horizon?

But even in the darkest times of history, people of extraordinary character have lived among us, guiding us on a pathway to a better future. During times of great chaos, comes great opportunities!

Buckle your seatbelts, it’s going to be a fascinating ride! Join Futurist Thomas Frey as he takes the audience on a journey into the future that few are likely to forget.

As the Executive Director and Senior Futurist at DaVinci Institute, Tom works closely with his Board of Visionaries to develop original research studies, which enable him to speak on unusual topics, translating trends into unique opportunities. As part of the celebrity speaking circuit, Thomas continually pushes the envelope of understanding, creating fascinating images of the world to come. His keynote talks on futurist topics have captivated people ranging from high level government officials to executives in Fortune 500 companies including NASA, Disney, IBM, Federal Reserve Bank, TED, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, Visa, Frito-Lay, Toshiba, Dow Chemical, KPMG, Siemens, Rockwell, Wired Magazine, Caterpillar, PepsiCo, Deloitte & Touche, Hunter Douglas, Amgen, Capital One, National Association of Federal Credit Unions, Korean Broadcast System, Bell Canada, American Chemical Society, Times of India, Leaders in Dubai, and many more.

Presentation 3


An Update on Stem Cell Research

Prof. Robert Balza PhD, Dean of the College of Health Sciences, Wisconsin Lutheran College

This presentation will highlight recent advances in stem cell biology as well as the ethical concerns surrounding such research. Recent attempts to use the gene-editing technology CRISPR/Cas9 to repair mutations in viable human embryos will also be explained.

Dr. Robert O. Balza, Jr. is a 1998 graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran College. Before joining the faculty at WLC in 2005, he earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Medical College of Wisconsin. His primary academic interest is in the cellular and molecular control of cardiovascular development, as well as the mechanisms of coral growth and death. Balza assumed the leadership role of Dean of WLC’s College of Health Sciences in July 2019, having developed numerous dual-degree programs in the health sciences at WLC. Balza and his family live in Germantown, Wisconsin.

Presentation 4


Battling Suicide is Battling Satan

Pastor Kurt Ebert, Wings of Hope and Pastor at Christ Alone Lutheran Church, Thiensville, WI

In recent years, the issue of suicide seems to have gained some respect. While there is still some stigma involved for the survivors, it’s gotten easier to say, “She’s in a better place. He was too good for this world. We can be glad they are no longer suffering.” Physician-assisted suicide is no longer as revolutionary as it sounded in the days of Jack Kevorkian. It’s important for suffering Christians to revisit their theology on this matter and to insist, with compassion and with Scripture, that God still is the author of life as his greatest earthly gift and continues to insist his sovereign authority over its end.

Kurt Ebert has been a WELS pastor for 36 years, serving exploratory and established congregations in Nebraska, Colorado, and Wisconsin. He currently serves at Christ Alone in Mequon, WI, just down the hill from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. His other passions include camping, fishing, hunting, and woodworking, and working on his “happy place” in the northwoods of Wisconsin. He and his wife Connie have been blessed with four children and four granddaughters. Losing their youngest son Nathan to suicide was an agonizing turning point in their lives. Together they have worked to provide encouragement to those who likewise grieve the loss of a loved one to suicide through a local support group called Wings of Hope.

Presentation 5


The Embryo Adoption Experience

Mrs. Leah Bongard, Mukwonago, WI

In Genesis 1:28 God said, “Be fruitful and multiply.” Most married couples desire to do just that… but what if you can’t? The Bongard’s journey through infertility and the desire to honor God and his truth that life begins at conception led them to the wonderful, unique blessing of embryo adoption. Leah will share that experience with you and raise awareness of this pro-life answer to infertility.

Leah Bongard was born in Minnesota and lived in Utah and Colorado. Yet, she’s lived most of her life in Wisconsin, and she and her family call Elkhorn, Wisconsin, home. Bongard was a former travel agent and police officer and is now a legal assistant. Her husband, Matt, is a retired police officer. The Bongards have been married for 20 years. They are blessed with two beautiful children, Madison, 19, and Isaac, 11. Madison, who is deaf, is a sophomore at UW Madison, and Isaac, whom they adopted as an embryo, currently attends the 6th grade at First Lutheran, Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Leah likes reading, running, and relaxing at their cottage near Crivitz, Wisconsin.


This year’s National Convention is being held at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School (KML), 3399 Division Road, Jackson, WI. Jackson is located about 30 miles northwest of Milwaukee and can be accessed easily via U.S. Highway 41. KML has plenty of parking in their parking lots. We will use the school’s Performing Arts Center (PAC) as well as various classrooms for the sessions. The facility is accessible for those with disabilities.

Kettle Moraine Lutheran
Diaper Drive graphic for Convention

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the CLR National Convention?
Saturday, October 16, 2021, from 9:30 A.M. until 3:00 P.M.

When will registration take place?
On-site registration will take place from 8:30-9:30 A.M. and will include a continental breakfast and time to view various ministry displays before the opening devotion. All in-person attendees must pick up a name badge at the registration table along with their materials upon arrival. You are encouraged to pay the registration fee in advance (although you can pay at the door). Persons using the livestream option to view on your computer must register in advance.

Where will the event be held?
At Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School (KML), 3399 Division Road, Jackson, WI. It is located about 30 miles northwest of Milwaukee and can be accessed easily via U.S. Highway 41. Click here to view map.

Is KLM’s facility handicap-accessible?
Yes, the facility is accessible for those with disabilities.

Is parking available?
KML has plenty of parking in their parking lots.

Where will the presentations take place?
All presentations and worship opportunities will be held in the school’s Performing Arts Center (PAC). The lunch will take place outside the PAC.

Who is invited to attend?
Teens and adults are encouraged to attend the CLR National Convention – either in person or via livestreaming. The sessions are designed for all attendees in a concise “TED Talk” format style (see below for a description of this type of presentation).

Is child care available?

What is the format for the day?
The agenda includes opening and closing devotions, and 5 presentations throughout the day. The agenda is posted above. All presentations will be delivered in a concise “TED Talk” format: meaning, a series of shorter, prepared talks on a wide array of life-related subjects given by a single presenter. The theme of this year’s convention is, “Value the Gift.”

What is the recommended dress attire?
We encourage “business casual” – it is important to be comfortable during the event. Remember that this location tends to be cool, so bring a sweater or jacket.

Will the convention be livestreamed?
Yes! We will provide a livestream of the convention this year. Using this technology, the convention can be broadcast over the Internet in real-time. Think of it as watching live TV. See below for the fee to livestream the convention on your computer.

What is the cost to attend?
The in-person registration fee is $45 per person. The livestream fee is $35. Those attending in person will enjoy all sessions and materials as well as a continental breakfast, a catered boxed lunch, and other snacks throughout the day. Registration is available online here.

Can I attend part of the day rather than the entire day?
Attendees can attend any portion of the event, but there is no reduced registration fee for partial attendance. As an option, you can experience the event on your computer through livestreaming if you are unable to attend in person.

Is there an evening activity?
There will be no formal event in the evening.

What methods of payment do you accept?
We accept payment by credit card (Visa, MasterCard and Discover; call the office if you plan to use American Express), check, or money order.

Is there a registration deadline?
If you plan to attend in person, you can register in advance (preferred) or on the day of the event. If you plan to livestream the convention, please register by Wednesday, October 13.

Is lodging available?
Contact the Comfort Inn and Suites (262-677-1133) in Jackson, WI, directly for availability.

How can I register for the National Convention?
Registration is available by mail, phone, or online.

What is the refund policy?
Refunds are available until Oct. 1. After that date, a $5 service fee will be deducted.

How do I contact you with additional questions?
You are invited to call the office at 414-376-0594 weekdays from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. (CST). You can also send an email:

What is CLR’s mailing address?
Christian Life Resources
Box 56
Richfield, WI 53076-0056

How can I stay updated and follow the event? 
You can keep updated on our Facebook event page where we announce event details and you can directly invite your friends.

Sponsors & Vendors

New Beginnings logo
Life Challenges Podcast logo
Thrivent logo
Institutional Ministries
Christian Family Solutions
WELS Church Extension Fund logo
Love in Action logo
Kingdom Workers logo
WELS Foundations
Wings of Hope logo
Lutheran Girl Pioneers

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