Early Childhood Director's Virtual Conference

Thursday, January 21, 2021


"For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you - that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine."  
Romans 1:11-12

All directors are encouraged to participate in this one day, FREE, virtual event!  This highly valuable conference will be offered at NO COST because we deeply desire all of our early childhood directors to attend to receive support, encouragement, practical tools and tips for leading and communicating, and spiritual nurture. Please use the money you would have spent on the conference to pay for a sub (if applicable) so that you can attend. You will still need to register to attend so we can send you the link to login, but there are no costs or fees. The District is absorbing the cost because we want to support and strengthen YOU!   

Schedule and speaker information is below.  Please complete the registration form linked below to receive links to view the conference.

PSD Gradient


CA & NV                           9:00 - 9:45 am            9:45 am                            10:00 - 11:00 am       


11:00 - 11:15 am        11:15 - 11:45 am


11:45 - 12:00 noon    Noon - 1:00 pm 

1:00 pm                                                        


10:00 - 10:45 am 

10:45 am 

11:00 - 12 noon


12:00 - 12:15 pm 

12:15 - 12:45 pm


12:45 - 1:00 pm

1:00 - 2:00 pm

2:00 pm

Welcome and Bible Study

Short Break (get a snack!)

Session One - Dr. John Eckrich,
   "Spiritual Wellness 
and Self-Care"

Break (grab a cool glass of water or other beverage)

Session Two - Dr. John Eckrich,
   "Spiritual Wellness and Self-Care"

Grab your lunch or snack

Sara Marko, "Connect & Be Present"

Closing - Rachel Klitzing

Speakers and Program

Dr. John Eckrich, Grace Place Ministries

Spiritual Wellness & Self-Care

God has gifted each of us with our bodies, minds, spirits and all things including our fellow saints and sinners to allow us to glorify and serve Him. The Word has created all this from the beginning, and therefore we are not the owners of these gifts, but rather the stewards, until He returns again to restore all things to perfection. In the meantime, we are broken vessels, in need of Christ’s constant, active, grace-filled presence in our lives and in the life of the world. Grace Place Wellness Ministries was founded over 20 years ago to equip and encourage the workers in Lutheran faith communities (pastors, teachers, deaconesses, musicians, DCE’s, etc) to lead healthy lives of stewardship—physically, emotionally, intellectually, relationally, vocationally, financially, spiritually and baptismally. The Lutheran Wellness Wheel enclosed has been developed within our faith community and by Grace Place as a valuable instructional tool to examine and encourage your health and wellness in your service to God’s people, especially Jesus precious little lambs. We are in volatile, rapidly changing days with enormously competing messages about wellbeing. In our time together, we are going to look at what the Bible and current practical, medical and scientific knowledge offers us to care for ourselves—not selfishly, but selflessly—as we love and serve Him and those He has placed in our care..

Dr. John Eckrich is a life-long Lutheran and Board Certified Internist and Gastroenterologist serving St. Louis, MO for over 50 years. The last 20 years, he has founded and directed Grace Place Wellness Ministries, an RSO of the LCMS, established to inspire and encourage Lutheran pastors and teachers and their families to lead healthy lives. Over 10,000 LCMS clergy and educators have received health and wellness training through Grace Place retreats and learning resources. Dr. Eckrich is the author of four books on wellness, including the recently released book from CPH, “Family Wellness: Raising Resilient, Christ-Purposed Children.” He resides both in St. Louis and Aspen, CO with his wife of nearly 50 years, three children and their spouses and two wonderful grandchildren.

Sara Marko, St. JOhn's, Orange

Connect & Be Present 

In order to truly “Connect and Be Present” with those around you, your own health and well-being must come first. As educators, we tend to put others before our self, and sometimes we even feel selfish for asking for some alone time or even asking for help. During our session together, we will not only dive into how we can “Connect and Be Present” with ourselves, but also those around us. We will look at questions we can ask our self to check-in, questions we can ask our students, their families, and more. 

Mrs. Marko has been a member of the St. John’s team for 9 years – first as a middle school language arts teacher and most recently as the K-8 school counselor.  She is pleased to serve St. John’s in such an impactful role – providing behavioral and educational counseling to individual and small groups of students.  She works with students, families, teachers and the administration to find solutions to social, emotional, and academic problems and issues.  Mrs. Marko was born in St. Louis, MO and came to Southern California at the age of 5.  She holds both a Bachelors and a Masters Degree in Education (specifically in School Counseling) from Concordia University, Irvine. Of St. John’s she says, “St. John’s feels like home to me.  My coworkers aren’t just colleagues, they are family.”

Bible Study will be led by Pastor Glenn Lucas, Senior Pastor at Abiding Savior Lutheran Church and School in Lake Forest, CA.

I am a Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod pastor serving Jesus Christ as Senior Pastor at Abiding Savior Lutheran Church and School in Lake Forest, California. I have the privilege and challenge of sharing the good news about Jesus Christ in one of the greatest mission fields in the world. I have a beautiful wife, Donna, and three children. I am originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin where most of my family still resides. Having spent my formative years in Milwaukee I am both a Green Bay Packers fan and a Milwaukee Brewers fan but as a recent resident of Los Angeles I also cheer for the Angels and the Dodgers. Having spent six years serving a parish in Cincinnati I still have a little Bengals and Reds blood in my veins as well.

I am also a pretty decent cook and enjoy spending time creating delicious dishes as well as trying recipes that I come across.