Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

It is with heavy hearts that the board and staff of Higher Things announce that all four Watermarked on-site conferences are canceled due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The administrations at Colorado State University, Northwest Missouri State University, University of Tennessee and Calvin University have closed their doors to July summer events, causing Higher Things, after almost 20 summers of putting on conferences that bring the Gospel to youth and their adult leaders to face a summer where we are unable to have a single in-person conference. 

Should the “Dare to be Lutheran” organization you’ve come to know and love just accept defeat, give up, and do nothing? No way! What kind of example would that set for our youth? So instead, we dared to relocate to a safer location — a virtual one —  so that we can continue to teach the next generation of youth the Gospel of Jesus Christ: that they are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, as revealed in Scripture alone. Virtual attendees will receive over 10 hours of great catechetical instruction, 6 offline worship opportunities with necessary materials, a virtual hymn sing, offline contests and activities, Q & A sessions, and a virtual exhibitor hall where registrants can meet, talk with, and learn about other Lutheran organizations. Registrants will also receive 6 months of myHT (online HT membership) which includes access to all HT’s digital magazine archives, invite-only discussion forums, members-only interactive Bible Studies, discounts and/or access to events, content, and merchandise.

Despite being deprived of the fellowship of worshiping with the youth we serve at on-site conferences this summer, all of us at Higher Things are excited about the opportunity to bring you the Watermarked Virtual Conference on August 6-7. This virtual conference format is extremely adaptable so if you aren’t able to experience the conference live with us on those dates, you’ll be able to utilize the content at a later date that better suits you. General registration opens on June 1 at www.higherthings.org.

See you on-line this summer! 

“Baptism now saves you.” (1 Peter 3:21)

You were born to die. You’re a sinner, and sinners are marked for death. You not only inherited it, but the sins you commit daily earn you death. You won’t just die and be buried. Since you’re born dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1), you’re marked and sentenced to die forever in hell—a child of wrath (Ephesians 2:3).

Yet your sins aren’t yours anymore, neither is your death. Jesus took them as His own. “He became sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21), your sin, and “He died to sin once for all” (Romans 6:10), for you, too. He gives you what is His to you—“righteousness and purity forever”. You are no longer marked and sentenced and left to die. You are marked for life in Jesus.

Jesus marked you with the Water of Life in Holy Baptism. His water and Word splashed over your forehead, washing you with the rosy-red water from His spear-pierced side and clothing you with His own resurrection. In Holy Baptism Jesus re-created you to be what He has forever wanted you to be: His disciple and friend, a child of His Father and His own brother or sister, that is, “an heir, having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7).

At the 2020 Watermarked Conferences we rejoice in and cherish all the promises and blessings Jesus makes and delivers to each of us in Holy Baptism. You really are what He says you are: marked forever as His own.