WORSHIP – Conferences provide many opportunities for youth and chaperones to participate in our best possible expression of traditional, Christ-centered, Lutheran worship Three times a day, services are conducted from the Lutheran Service Book by LCMS pastors. The preaching and singing at Higher Things conference is an amazing thing to behold. Smaller groups are also invited to pray the service of Compline together each night before lights-out. Youth really come to appreciate the liturgical traditions of our churches when they are taught why we do what we do, so materials and opportunities to learn about our historical worship practices will be provided for groups both before and during the conferences.
WORK –"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young," St. Paul tells Timothy (1 Tim. 4:12). How can young people "Dare to be Lutheran" if they don't know what it means to be a Lutheran in this world? Catechesis (religious instruction) at Higher Things conferences is known for being fairly intense - come prepared to learn! Many people today don't think youth are capable of learning about doctrinal issues, or that they're even interested in doing so. We have found just the opposite to be true! At our conferences, youth have many, many opportunities to learn more about their faith and its uniqueness in the Christian world. Sectional workshops are offered on a variety of subjects of interest to young people to help them understand and express a faithful perspective when talking to their friends, teachers, and families. Catechetical speakers at Higher Things conferences are pastors or laity in the LCMS.
PLAY – One of the reasons youth come to conferences is to meet other Lutherans from around the world. Higher Things conferences incorporate many fun activities as an integral part of the week! Each site we visit offers new and very different ways for youth to enjoy themselves and get to know each other – baseball games, karaoke, laser tag, hiking, square dancing, bowling, and improv comedy have all been some of the ways we've had fun at past conferences. We also schedule some free time so that groups can have an opportunity to have fun together during the week as well.
Higher Things dares to be Lutheran, meaning that we don't hide our uncompromising emphasis on the Gospel and all that Christ has done for us. Youth tell us again and again that they love Higher Things conferences because they get to spend four days immersed in hearing the about their Savior and their Christian faith.
To prepare for attending the 2008 conferences, Higher Things has made resources available for groups to hold Pre-Conference Lock-Ins. These events allow for congregations in a regional area to come together and the youth to get to know each other before they even get to a conference. Groups can then also link up to reduce transportation costs by traveling together to conferences. The 2008 Pre-Conference Lock-Ins will focus on learning about worship and why Lutherans do what we do in our services. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on planning these events in your area!
Higher Things conferences are planned for high school age youth, but registrants may be any youth who has been confirmed before the date of the conference, including college students. Non LCMS youth may attend with the approval of a registered group's pastor and group leader. Unfortunately, spouses, personal assistants, and other adults cannot be accommodated as unregistered conference participants. Higher Things recommends a ratio of 1 adult for every 7 youth in your group, and one male adult if there are male youth and/or one female adult if there are female youth in your group. Each group must be accompanied by at least one chaperone. All adults in a group must also complete the registration process. Chaperones must be at least 21 years old at the time of registration and approved by the group's pastor for their role.
Once again, college students have an opportunity to apply to serve the conferences as Christ on Campus Volunteers (CCVs). Those selected to serve as CCVs will receive a discount on their registration fees and help by assisting the staff and speakers during the conferences. 15 CCVs will be accepted for the Scranton, PA and St. Louis, MO conferences, and 12 CCVs will be accepted for the one in Irvine, CA. Young adults enrolled this academic year in college or graduate school may apply online to be a CCV by clicking here.
Conference Registration fees include all the conference activities, most meals, on-site housing, T-shirt, one-year subscription to Higher Things: Dare to be Lutheran magazine, and more! A $100 non-refundable deposit per person must be paid at the time of registration. Conference registration will be open from November 1, 2007 to March 1, 2008 – or when each conference fills, whichever happens first. All fees must be paid in U.S. funds. Group leaders may register and pay deposits online or download registration forms at www.amen2008.org. If the conference of your choice reaches capacity before your registration is processed, you may opt to be placed on a waiting list for that conference, transfer your group's deposit and registration to one of the other conferences, or receive a refund of your deposit. Preferential registration for the Amen-Irvine conference will be given to congregations located from the Rocky Mountains westward. Other groups will have opportunity to register, but due to very limited capacity, we recommend that groups identify a second-choice conference as well. You may register online here for Amen 2008.