Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this retreat has been cancelled. Look for information for a 2021 rescheduling coming soon. 



Sometimes, it feels like there’s a civil war going on inside us. The good we want to do we don’t do. The stuff we’re commanded by God not to do, we do (and even enjoy it). But, why does this happen to Christians? It’s because we’re not all good or all bad, totally sinful or one hundred percent saintly. We’re both at the same time. Or, as Dr. Martin Luther explained it, we’re “simul iustus et peccator.” Christians are sinful and justified at the same time. Join Pastor Donavon Riley as he talks about what it means for Christians to embrace being sinful and justified at the same time and why it offers comfort to Christians who are exhausted from running back and forth between fear of God’s judgment and hope in His forgiveness.

Donavon Riley is a Lutheran pastor, conference speaker, author, and contributing writer for 1517, Christ Hold Fast, and LOGIA. He is also a co-host of The Banned Books and Warrior Priest podcasts. He is a contributing author to “The Sinner/Saint Devotional: 60 Days in the Psalms” and “Theology of the Cross”. He is also the author of the book, “Crucifying Religion.”

He currently lives in Minnesota with his wife and five children, a very large-sized Mastiff, and a less large-sized Shepherd.

$60 per person covers all expenses for the retreat at Camp Okoboji, including all classes, food, activities, and lodging. Boys and girls will be housed in separate rooms, and attendees should bring sleeping bags and pillows. There are shower facilities. The retreat will begin at 8pm on Friday and end at 2:30pm on Saturday.

Picture the sanctuary filled with teenagers, eager for the organ to begin the opening lines of the liturgy or their favorite hymns, listening intently as they learn how their Lutheran faith applies to their lives and relationships, and laughing as they horse around playing games and getting to know other youth from the area. This Retreat will give youth and adults a glimpse of what happens at a Higher Things Youth Conference and what a typical conference day looks like.

When: March 20-21, 2020

Where: Camp Okoboji LCMS – Milford, IA

Cost: $60/Person

Izaak Wendorff
(507) 766-0072

or Tana McKenna
Higher Things Retreat Coordinator
retreats@higherthings.org or (888) 482-6630


Register via online registration here.


Click here to download the Registration and Information Packet

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