Registration opens for Disaster Response Conference

Women carry supplies on a road littered with debris caused by last fall’s Hurricane Matthew, in Port-Salut, Haiti. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)

Registration is open for the 2017 International LCMS Disaster Response Conference — set for Sept. 26-28 at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind.

“Our conference theme, ‘Lutherans in the Midst of Disaster,’ is intended to connect us to various Reformation themes, including vocation — that is, our calling to lead lives of mercy in this world, even as it falls apart around us,” said the Rev. Michael Meyer, manager of LCMS Disaster Response.

The conference will focus primarily on disasters that have occurred internationally and what can be learned through these experiences. The international focus will make this “a great opportunity to see disaster and mercy work done around the world,” said the Rev. Dr. Ross Johnson, director of LCMS Disaster Response. “It is a great opportunity to network with like-minded individuals who are doing mercy work — either part time or full time, church work or laity — [for] leaders of Lutheranism from around the world.”

“The opportunities for fellowship and learning from one another will be remarkable,” noted Meyer. He said that disaster coordinators from the U.S. and international partner churches will be at the conference to provide opportunities for both learning from their firsthand experiences and enjoying their fellowship.

“We’ve really enjoyed putting together the agenda and working with our partners to make sure that a wide variety of experiences will be shared and to make sure that each of the topics is timely as well,” Meyer continued. “Many of our domestic partners will be there … giving opportunity for our various district leaders to participate in the process.”

Scheduled speakers include LCMS missionaries and representatives from international Lutheran church bodies in Africa, Latin America, Europe and Asia. In addition, the Rev. Jonathan Fisk, program host and producer with Worldwide KFUO; the Rev. John Pless, professor at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne; and others will lead discussions of pertinent topics.

“This conference is intended for pastors, deaconesses, church workers or any interested layperson who does mercy work or disaster relief in the United States or is interested in supporting the work of our international church partners,” Johnson said.

A registration fee of $30 per person covers all costs during the conference, including lunch and dinner on Sept. 26 and 27, and breakfast, lunch and the evening banquet on Sept. 28.

The Hyatt Place Fort Wayne is offering a nightly rate of $99 per person for conference attendees.

To register or for more information, including a schedule and registration details, visit the conference webpage.

For more information about LCMS Disaster Response, visit its website (, call 888-843-5267 or email

Posted July 7, 2017

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