Day two of the first-ever LCMS Life Conference began with a morning Matins service Saturday, Jan. 26, followed by the first session of the day led by LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison.
About 350 Lutherans are attending the conference, which is being held in conjunction with the national “March for Life.” Hundreds of thousands of people marched from the National Mall to the U.S. Supreme Court building Friday to protest Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion 40 years ago this week.
The conference title is “Lutherans and Pro-Life Advocacy — Good and Acceptable Service,” based on 1 Tim. 2:1-4. Conference sessions are being held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel, Arlington, Va.
Saturday’s conference events began with Matins, in which the Rev. Christopher Esget of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Arlington, Va., preached.
“For God has regarded all life as equal,” Esget said. “To Him every life is precious, in Him every life has value — even us weak sinners, and the vulnerable we wish to protect.”
The first session of the day, “Why and How the Church Engages: Witness, Mercy and our Life Together in View of the Public Square,” featured Harrison.
“Christians have the right and responsibility to participate in government,” Harrison said. “Luther’s two-kingdom dogma gives us the freedom to engage.”
Open to the public, the LCMS Life Conference aims to equip individuals, groups and congregations to conduct pro-life advocacy at the local, state and national levels and to discuss theological motivation, encouragement and practical suggestions for becoming more active in the public arena.
Other speakers scheduled throughout the day Saturday include Dr. Robert Benne, author of Good and Bad Ways to Speak about Religion and Politics; Steve Macias, West Coast regional coordinator for Students for Life; Mollie Hemingway, Lutheran journalist and blogger; Scott Klusendorf, director of the Life Training Institute; Tim Goeglein, vice president of external relations for Focus on the Family; Carol Tobias, executive director of National Right to Life; and other Lutherans involved in pro-life advocacy. A youth track with special breakout sessions for high-school and college students also is being offered.