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Conference Schedule

Thursday, November 3, 2022

  • 7:30pm - 8:30pm: Registration
    Grimm Hall Breezeway
  • 8:30pm - 9:30pm: SHOUT! Tailgate
    CU Center Patio
  • 9:30pm - 10:30pm: SHOUT!
    CU Center

Friday, November 4, 2022

  • 7:00am - 8:00am: Sunrise Hike French Hill (optional)
    French Hill
  • 8:00am - 8:30pm: Continental breakfast
    Grimm Hall
  • 8:30am - 9:30am: Presidential Welcome & Keynote
    DeNault or CUC
  • 9:30am - 10:30am: Breakout Session #1
    Various locations
  • 10:30am - 11:00am: Chapel
    CUC
  • 11:00am - 2:00pm: Service Projects-Off Campus (boxed lunch)
    Various locations
  • 2:00pm - end of day: Depart for Free time
    Various choices

Saturday, November 5, 2022

  • Wear your BF t-shirt
  • 7:00am - 8:00am: Sunrise Hike French Hill (optional)
    French Hill
  • 8:00am - 8:30am: Continental breakfast
    CU Center
  • 8:30am - 9:30am: Devotion and Worship
    CU Center
  • 9:30am - 10:30am: Breakout Session #2
    Grimm Classrooms
  • 10:30am - 11:30am: Breakout Session #3
    Grimm Classrooms
  • 11:30am - 12:30pm: Group A, Lunch Caf; Group B, Exhibitors
    Caf/Grimm Hall 302
  • 12:30pm - 1:30pm: Group B, Lunch Caf; Group A, Exhibitors
    Caf/Grimm Hall 302
  • 1:30pm - 2:00pm: Group Photo (Disc Golf Instructions)
    Grass / Grimm Hall
  • 2:00pm - 4:30pm: Disk Golf Tournament (see map)
    Shot Gun Start
  • 4:30pm - 5:30pm: Reception
    BMC Alumni Plaza
  • 5:30pm - 6:30pm: Dinner
    BMC Alumni Plaza
  • 6:30pm - 7:30pm: Worship & Closing Chapel
    Good Shepherd Chapel

Key Note Speakers

Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas, Ph.D.

President, Concordia University Irvine

Dr. Michael A. Thomas, the President of Concordia University Irvine, has served at CUI since 2020. Dr. Thomas brings a passion for higher education to his tenure. His deep commitment to the Lutheran intellectual tradition, along with his extensive experience across multiple disciplines, including curriculum, faculty and staff development, governance, enrollment, and student life, have prepared him to lead Concordia into a new era.

Prior to coming to Concordia University Irvine, Dr. Thomas served as the Executive Director of the Lutheran Institute for Theology and Culture at Concordia University Portland (CUP). The Institute combined three academic departments (Religion, Music, and Art) with Campus Ministry, Church Relations, and the Center for Applied Lutheran Leadership. Previously, Dr. Thomas served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Director of the Honors Program at CUP. As Professor of Religion and Ancient History, his academic interests include the history and literature of early Christianity, early Judaism, and the classical worlds of Greece, Rome, and the Ancient Near East. Dr. Thomas frequently leads tours of Italy, Greece, and Turkey with travelers in the summer.

Michael A. Thomas earned his B.A. at Concordia University Portland in 1993, his M.A. at the University of Washington in 1996, and his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia in 2008. View Curriculum Vitae.

Dr. Thomas and his wife Kim have 2 children. A son who finished his degree and is starting a career in Japan this summer. Along with a daughter who just completed high school in Oregon and is now adjusting to Southern California life style.


Michael Gibson

Reverend Doctor Michael Gibson

Prior to his election as President of the Pacific Southwest District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in June 2018, Mike served as pastor of Christ Lutheran Church and School from August 2006 to August, 2018, leading the congregation’s vision of supporting, equipping, and launching people into mission - locally and globally. He is a 1984 Master of Divinity graduate from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO and was awarded a Doctor of Ministry degree in 1996 from Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, CA, in organizational pathology and leadership. He also served as pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Huntington Beach, CA (1984-1987) and Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Milpitas, CA (1987-2006).

Pastor Mike is engaged globally in China, Southeast Asia, and India. His missional passion includes helping the Body of Christ understand the shift of Christianity to the Global South and the beneficial influence that the Global South can bring to the church in the post-Christian Global North. His Personal Purpose Statement reflects this focus: “My purpose is to awaken within the Body of Christ a local and global perspective on the Mission of God and to influence organizational systems so as to free and empower them for mission fulfillment.”

Mike was born and raised in Sacramento, CA. He and Kathy were married in 1979. Kathy works at Concordia University Irvine as Assistant Director of Advancement Services. The Gibson’s have two adult sons, Andrew and Tim.


Ben Helge

Ben Helge

Benjamin and Rebecca Helge serve the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) in the Eurasia region, based in Havířov-Šumbark, Czech Republic. Benjamin works closely with the Silesian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession (SCEAV) and the Evangelical Center M.I.S.E. In cooperation with SCEAV, he reaches out to the community by teaching conversational English to people of all ages. In addition, he works with a Czech team to plant a church, prepares resources and training materials for the church, and helps organize English Bible camps in the Czech Republic and Poland. Benjamin also coordinates the LCMS GEO (Globally Engaged in Outreach) missionaries who serve in the region.

Benjamin is from Albuquerque, N.M., where his home congregation is Christ Lutheran Church. He received his B.A. in music with an emphasis in education and a minor in worship arts from Concordia University Irvine in Irvine, Calif. Benjamin enjoys playing volleyball, drinking good coffee, traveling and cooking. He also sings in a band and writes distinctly Lutheran music for the church.

Breakout Sessions, Speaker Bios

God's Mission Among the Navajo

Rev. Tim Norton, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Navajo, NM

Ministry among Native Americans has many challenges that are unique. A culture within a larger culture, a history of oppression where Christians are often seen as the perpetrators, and cycles of substance abuse and domestic violence. Nevertheless, God loves these people, and wants them also to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4). Come and learn how the Kingdom of God is breaking into this place.


For You 4 Life (and 4 Life through YOU too!)

Michelle Bauman, Director of Y4Life, Lutherans For Life

God is for life. As people called to faith, we know God is for us, yet sometimes we forget that He also works through us. In our baptism, God not only calls us to faith but also invites us to participate in His life-affirming work through our vocations. This session will focus on how to spot a life issue and provide practical ways to uphold the lives of others.


“The Gates of Hades will Not Prevail!” Mission as Spiritual Warfare

Rev. Dr. Jonathan Ruehs, Concordia University Irvine

Satan does not want the good news of the Kingdom of God proclaimed to all the world. He opposed Jesus’ own work and does the same to us as well. Therefore, in this session, we will discuss how mission is spiritual warfare and the myriad ways that Satan seeks to undermine our gospel proclamation.


Reaching the Muslim Community with His Love

Rev. Nadar Hanna, Salam Ministries

We often hear “Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins.” That is only 1 way of expressing the Gospel. The Bible has many others that will connect with people in effective and positive ways. Come and learn 20 more!


The Biblical Fullness of the Gospel

Dr. Mike Middendorf


Grace, Gospel, GO!!!

Pat Fick

God's amazing grace propels us to take the GOOD NEWS of JESUS to all the world! Let's encourage each other to share Jesus in our neighborhoods, and to make Him known throughout the world! Find out more about living on missin with Jesus daily, and connect to opportunities to GO on short-term mission trips!


What if My Family Doesn't Understand?

Emily Belvery, Mission of Christ Network

There are few things as painful as having family members or close friends fail to understand your sense of calling to missions or ministry. How do we respond? How do we honor our families and follow where God is leading? There are no easy answers, but there is Scriptural guidance and the comfort that you are not alone in these hard conversations and that God can use them to both grow these relationships and strengthen you in your calling.


Engaging Across Cultures

Dr. Glenn Fluegge, Concordia Irvine

Drawing from my years living among the Moba people of Togo, West Africa, we'll explore how the "Bunkowski Onion Model" of culture and the "Cultural Values Map" can help us engage people more effectively and fruitfully across cultures for the sake of the Gospel.


God, Who Am I and Why Am I Here?

Pastor Dominic Rivkin, Mission Executive, Pacific Southwest District

Every aspect of our identity and purpose has been given by God. We have been given the gift of the Word, an open line of communication between the Spirit and each dimension of our soul. Through the ancient Christian practices of solitude, stillness, and silence we are trained to hear and to listen to God's Word as it shapes our hearts, minds, actions, and relationships. This session is an introduction to prayer practices that comfort and calm our spirit while inspiring and invigorating mission in our daily life.

Tim N.

Rev. Tim Norton

Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Navajo, NM

Rev. Tim Norton was born in Long Beach, CA. He is married to Heidi, and they have two children, Philip and Leslie. He served as a church planting missionary in Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea, West Africa. He has been in Navajo, NM for 9 years.

Michelle B.

Michelle Bauman

Director of Y4Life, Lutherans For Life

Michelle Bauman joined the Lutherans for Life team on June 1, 2019, to serve as the Director of Y4Life. She communicates with high school and university students about life issues, addressing them from a Biblical perspective, and supports the building and maintaining of Y4Life Teams on high school and college campuses across the nation. When not presenting, writing, or creating social media posts for Y4Life, Michelle loves gardening, taking long walks, traveling, cooking, and spending quality time with her husband and sons.

Jonathan Ruehs

Rev. Dr. Jonathan Ruehs

Concordia University Irvine

Rev. Dr. Jonathan B. Ruehs has been in ministry for over 25 years, serving as both a DCE and an ordained pastor in parish and university settings. Besides his seminary degree, he has an MA in Christian apologetics and a PhD in missiology. His doctoral dissertation explored the “spooky side” of spiritual warfare in North America.

Nadar Hanna

Rev. Nadar Hanna

Salam Ministries

Rev. Nader Hanna, Executive Director of Salam Ministries, lived and served the Lord in Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus, and the USA. Nader is a trainer and a coach of cross-cultural Disciple Making Movements DMMs, and an evangelist to Middle Easterners and Muslims. Nader and his wife, Amy, have a 20 -year-old son, Hadi. Nader and Amy have been full time in ministry for the past 20 years producing and broadcasting Christian TV and radio programs to the Arab/Muslim world and leading outreaches, discipleship programs, and leadership trainings. Faith Lutheran Church in Huntington Beach CA, holds his call as the Associate Pastor for Mission Outreach, sending him to work with churches and communities in Southern California to help edify the Body of Christ and to do the work of mission.

Mike Middendorf

Dr. Mike Middendorf

Mike Middendorf is a Professor of Theology at Concordia, Irvine. He has published a two-volume commentary on Romans and co-authored Called by the Gospel, a New Testament textbook. He has also enjoyed working on an archaeology dig for three summers at Hippos, near the Sea of Galilee.

Pat Fick

Pat Fick

Pat Fick is a servant of Jesus who loves to travel and share Jesus with the world. She grew up on a farm in southern Nebraska, and has lived in MO, CA, and TX! She loves music, mission trips, dogs, exercise, baking, and backpacking. She currently serves on the Campus Ministry Team at Concordia Texas. Her favorite Scripture is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Emily Belvery

Emily was an overseas missionary in Asia for six years and is now an everyday missionary in Omaha, Nebraska. Together with her 1-yr-old, Nora, Emily works for Mission of Christ Network, recruiting new missionaries and building church partnerships.

Dr. Glenn Fluegge

My wife and I (along with our five kids) served as LCMS missionaries in Togo (1998-2009) and in South Africa (2009-2012). We then returned to the States where I currently serve as Director of the Cross-cultural Ministry Center (CMC) at Concordia University Irvine and teach courses on theology, missions, and culture.

Pastor Dominic Rivkin

Rev. Dominic J. Rivkin serves as the Mission Executive for the Pacific Southwest District of the LCMS and is a trained Spiritual Director. As an urban missionary and church planter, Pastor Dominic focuses on supporting the congregations of our District in creating new ministries. This includes developing strategies and partnerships toward planting new, multi-cultural missions and equipping leaders for our diverse and growing region. His ongoing study has been in Ancient Christian Spirituality and the work of Dallas Willard, with a dissertation on Christian identity and purpose to follow. Dominic and his wife Cassie reside in Los Angeles, enjoying the excitement of the city as much as they love exploring the trails and mountains of Southern California.

Serve Organizations

Lutheran Braille Workers

Lutheran Braille Workers

Assembling books of the Bibles or calendars for the visually impaired

On Campus

Lutheran Braille Workers is the world's largest non-profit producer of braille, specialized large print, and audio Christian materials. LBW has shipped over 14 million volumes and millions of other pamphlets, calendars, and other materials, in almost 40 languages to 164 countries. Millions of people have been reached with the Gospel message. Even more amazingly, thanks to the generosity of volunteers and donors, every single volume of material has been distribured free of charge. Founder Helene Loewe Koehler's vision of people who are blind or visually impaired receiving the Scripture free of charge continues to be realized, even now!

Orange County Rescue Mission

Orange County Rescue Mission

Preparing lunch or working in donation warehouse

Off Campus

The Orange County Rescue Mission exists to minister the love of Jesus Christ to the least, the last and the lost of the Orange County community through the provision of assistance in the areas of guidance, counseling, education, job training, shelter, food, clothing, health care and independent living communities.

Project Giving Light

Project Giving Light

Assembling birthday boxes for foster and homeless children

Off Campus

Project Giving Light's mission is to bring joy and light through birthday celebrations to both Orange County's foster and homeless children. They want every child to know they were made for a purpose, to speak hope, joy and blessings over them, and to infuse whatever space they call home with light and joy so that they begin to dream about more than just surviving. Most importantly, they want every child to know that God loves them, He sees them, they matter to Him, and they are not alone.

Mariner's Church

Mariner's Church

Food Pantry and Thrift Store

Off Campus

Mariner's is a large local church which has a thrift store and food pantry. The thrift store is designed to facilitate radical generosity in order to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the Orange County community. In their food pantry, they distribute bags of shelf stable food, fresh produce, protein, and dairy to families in need while making a personal connection to walk alongside them in their journey towards self-sufficiency. They seek to meet the tangible and physical needs of their recipients while introding them to Jesus, who is the true Bread of Life and Living Water.

Campus Map

Map of Concordia University Irvine

Free Time Options

Friday, November 4th:  2pm through the Evening

Disk Golf Map

Disk Golf Map

Hotel Information

Sonesta Irvine Hotel

17941 Von Karman
Irvine, CA
(949) 863-1999

Offers:

  • Indoor pool
  • Fitness center
  • Complimentary shuttle ride to-and-from John Wayne Airport
  • Complimentary High Speed Internet
  • Full Service Restaurant

Driving directions to Concordia University Irvine from the hotel (5.6 miles/11 minutes)

  • Take the 405 Freeway South
  • Take Jeffrey Rd. exit and turn right
  • Turn left on Ridgeline
  • Turn right on Concordia East

Emergency Information

For smaller issues or general questions, contact your school's faculty/staff member.

The Concordia University Irvine Main Campus Safety Number is (949) 214-3000.

The closest hospital is Hoag Hospital, 16200 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA 92618

The closest pharmacy is CVS, 17625 Harvard Ave., Irvine, CA 92614.

School Debrief

  • How is everyone feeling? It has been a busy weekend.
  • What was it like to worship with students from other Concordias and Valparaiso?
  • How has this conference impacted your viewpoint of mission work and ministry?
  • How can we take what we learned here at Beautiful Feet back to our campus?
  • Do you have new ideas about how we can actively pray and go as laborers into His harvest?
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