Last week I attended the Lutheran Services in America Annual Conference ( held in Milwaukee, Wis. It was a good conference, many learning opportunities and lots of fun! I don’t say that just because Milwaukee is my hometown and it was fun to be back in my old stomping ground. It is always good to make new acquaintances and reunite with old friends while learning something new. Attendees included 300+ individuals from the Lutheran social ministry organizations affiliated with the ELCA or recognized by the LCMS. The conference theme, “A Picture of Possibilities”, was intertwined nicely in the worship services, keynotes and breakout sessions. The conference events encouraged us to keep open to possibilities and use our imagination to consider impacts we can make on the future.

They introduced us to the Mingle Stick    ( This little device allowed us to exchange contact information with other conference attendees with one little press of a button. (Handing out business cards will soon be so old school.)  The first mini-conference on volunteerism offered lots of information to those wishing to maximize the benefits of using volunteers, identified ways to reduce risks, and talked about how to engage with congregational volunteers. This mini-conference was a new addition to the LSA Annual Conference and well received by attendees. The entire conference was future focused and energizing.

With “A Picture of Possibilities” as the theme, and confidence in the words of God in scripture, it is hard to return home not being energized and excited for what could be possible. Good job Lutheran Services in America!

-Barbara Below