SOAR 2024 Spring Seminar

SPONSORED by the Rocky Mountain District SOAR Adult Ministry Committee
THEME: “Enhancing One’s Quality of Life”

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble – Psalm 46:1

WHEN: Saturday, February 10, 2024
WHERE: Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 2100 Wadsworth Blvd., Lakewood, CO 80214
COST: $40.00 per person, which includes program costs, continental breakfast, lunch, and coffee breaks!

A one day seminar sponsored by the SOAR Committee of the Rocky Mountain District/LCMS will be held at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 2100 Wadsworth Blvd., Lakewood, CO 80214 on Saturday, February 10, 2024. Registration and continental breakfast are at 8:45 am, and the we will begin at 9:00 am. Emily Wilson of Lutheran Bible Translators will provide an update of the Bandi OT Bible translation in our five-year goal of $540k for this language community in Liberia, West Africa at 9:10 am. The full agenda is listed below.

Your registration fee of only $40/person covers continental breakfast, lunch, coffee breaks, and costs for the speakers and facility.

Last year over 100 members registered, and many offered favorable comments about the program, stating that the topics of the presenters were extremely interesting and educational. We encourage you to invite and bring other Christian friends. Register a friend (or couple) who has not previously attended a SOAR event at one-half cost!

Seminar Program Includes:

LT COL (RET) JOSEPH MURPHY: “LCMS MILITARY CHAPLAINCY – THEY SHALL NOT MARCH ALONE” Chaplain Murphy retired as the State Chaplain of the Colorado National Guard. He provided strategic leadership to the chaplain corps, as well as spiritual support and advisement to senior leaders of the Colorado National Guard. He served congregations in Carbondale and Eureka Illinois before moving to Colorado in 2004 to serve Grace Lutheran in Parker. During his military service he deployed to Korea, Germany, and Jordan. He cared for over 2500 casualties of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as serving as Command Chaplain to Operation Patriot South at Camp Shelby, Mississippi in 2020. Pastor and Judy Murphy met while attending Illinois State University and have been married for over 35 years. Judy teaches 3rd grade at Lehman Academy of Excellence in Parker, Colorado. They have seven children between the ages of 16 and 28.

DAN GEHRKE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL: “FAILURE, FAITH, AND FRUIT – HOW GOD IS USING A COLOSSAL FAILURE FOR HIS KINGDOM IN COLORADO” After graduating from Concordia University Wisconsin in 1995, Dan Gehrke served at Denver Lutheran High School as a math and theology teacher for eleven years. During those years, he was the varsity baseball coach and a C/JV basketball coach. He is a member of the Metro League Coaches Hall of Fame. After completing his master’s degree in educational administration in 2005, he became principal at Denver Lutheran prior to the 2006-2007 school year. He oversaw the consolidation of Denver Lutheran and Lutheran Parker in 2011 and has served as Executive Director of Lutheran High School since that time. Dan has extensive administrative training, participating in the Association of Lutheran Secondary Schools Leadership Training and 10 Talent Visionary Leadership programs. He and his wife Kristin have three children: Ellie, Asher, and Emma.

MARLENA R. ROMERO, LCSW, DIRECTOR OF INTEGRATED BEHAVIORAL HEALTH: “HELPING TRAUMA SURVIVORS COPE” It is important that we all know what trauma is and how it affects a person’s development and way of coping. Brief education on the neuroscience of how trauma affects brain development will be discussed with the goal of giving insight as to how trauma can present differently for every person, especially children and adolescents. Specific strategies of coping will be discussed to offer practical guidance in supporting trauma survivors. Marlena has been a social worker for almost 20 years. She earned her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Denver in 2004 and received her license in 2007. Marlena has been engaged in clinical work with youth, families, and adults – providing therapy for those struggling with trauma, depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. Specifically with trauma, she is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT, Level 1). She is passionate about helping trauma survivors, of all ages, through their healing journey.

KRISTINA WILBURN, ASSOCIATE MANAGER OF TRAINING AND EDUCATION, LABORATORY TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING (LCHT): “WHY IT IS IMPORTANT FOR COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO BE AWARE OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING” The crime of human trafficking intersects with many other vulnerabilities and experiences. Those who experience trafficking may also be victims of other crimes like child abuse or domestic violence, they may be experiencing homelessness, or they may suffer from mental illness or substance abuse disorders. Because these populations are often seen throughout the community specifically at various restaurants, hotels, retail stores, and other customer service locations, it is important for the community and business owners to understand the legal definition of human trafficking, red flags/indicators, and the laws protecting victims of human trafficking in Colorado. Kristina holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Denver and Juris Doctorate from Valparaiso School of Law. Previously, Kristina worked with the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel for the state of Colorado and is also a professor at University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. She has held diverse roles focusing on human trafficking, domestic violence, child protection, child custody, forensic social work, elderly law, and criminal law.

ENTERTAINMENT: 4GIVEN AGAIN! Sandy Meske – Accompanist and Musical Conscience, Jim Walker – Bass, Jim Krueger – Baritone, Tony London – Lead, and Daryl Meske – Tenor and Sandy’s (Blessed) Husband. 4Given has been singing together, at many different venues across Eastern Colorado for about 16 years now. We now find ourselves spread across various Lutheran Churches in the North Metro area, but still love to be in fellowship, bringing praise and Glory to God with our music. We never get tired of singing God’s praises and doing our best to use the gifts He’s given us to bring Glory to His name! Should you want to reach out to us regarding future singing engagements, please call or email Daryl Meske at 720-289-8589 or We truly hope you enjoy our music today as much as we always enjoy being in fellowship with the amazing people of SOAR!


8:45 am Registration/Continental Breakfast/Coffee/Getting Acquainted
9:00 am Opening & Prayer and Hymn Sing
9:10 am Emily Wilson, Lutheran Bible Translators, Video & Update of Bandi OT Bible Translation
9:30 am Keynote Speaker: Lt Col (Ret) Joseph Murphy, CO National Guard Chaplain, “LCMS Military Chaplaincy: They Shall Not March Alone”
10:30 am Coffee Break
10:45 am Keynote Speaker: Dan Gehrke, Executive Director, Lutheran High School, “Failure, Faith, and Fruit: How God is Using a Colossal Failure for His Kingdom in Colorado”
11:45 pm Lunch – (Regular and Gluten Free); hymn sing & free-will donation for Bandi OT Bible translation
12:30 pm Marlena Romero, Director of Integrated Behavioral Health, “Helping Trauma Survivors Cope”
1:30 pm Break
1:45 pm Kristina Wilburn, Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking (LCHT), “Why It Is Important for Community Members to be Aware of Human Trafficking.”
2:45 pm Coffee Break
3:00 pm Entertainment: 4Given
3:45 pm Announcements, Closing Hymn & Prayer, Sendoff