We’ve put together an amazing panel of speakers. These are experts in their fields and WELS members whose work experience uniquely qualifies them to prepare attendees to serve in the Kingdom of God, to the glory of Jesus Christ.

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Jason Paltzer

Jason Paltzer is an assistant professor of public health at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona and an assistant scientist with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. He holds a PhD in Population Health Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MPH from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. His research focuses on substance use prevention and harm reduction among low-income populations, specifically, behavioral screening and brief intervention program data and its impact on health care utilization. 


Basics of Motivational Interviewing and Behavior Change

The workshop will review the components of behavioral screening using a motivational interviewing approach. Participants will learn and apply the basics of motivational interviewing as an approach for guided conversations around substance use. The Fogg Model for Behavior Change will be explored as a framework for incremental behavior change. 


Phil Merten

Phil Merten is a chaplain with Institutional Ministries, an organization that works to bring hope to those who need it most: hospital patients, prison inmates, and other people far from home in a place they’d rather not be. Most of his work there for the past 29 years has been with people whose alcohol and drug abuse has put them in a world of trouble; through Bible study, listening, prayer, and conversation his goal is to help people live in God’s grace. Phil lives in Wisconsin with his wife Pam, he has two grown children and two grandsons.

PRESENTATION: Recovery-Friendly Church –

There’s an AA slogan that says, “An alcoholic by himself is in bad company”. The thinking of people affected by addictions is distorted by shame and resentments, and those things thrive in isolation and secrecy; healing can only happen in the welcoming company of caring people. Many people have found that kind of company in Christian congregations. Others have felt unsafe and unwelcome in the churches they’ve been in. In this session we’ll talk about your experiences, and discuss ways that congregations can be places that hurting people are drawn to and where healing happens.

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Kent Robinson

Kent Robinson joined Christian Family Solutions in 2016. He earned his BS in Psychology and MA in Professional Counseling from Central Michigan University. He has been a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Michigan since 1998. He is also a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.

In counseling and in life, Kent believes that all Scripture is useful for teaching, training, and equipping God’s people (2 Tim. 3:16-17); that the gospel is the power of God (Romans 1:16); and that it will not return empty, but will accomplish what God desires (Isaiah 55:11).

PRESENTATION: “Pornography Addiction: How it affects us and why there is hope for recovery from it.