(from the Rev., Dr. Steven A. Hein) The Augustana Ministerium is a professional association of pastors, not a fellowship of congregations. Thus, it is not a synod or church body or a ‘church within a church’, and each member may leave or join synods as his conscience determines, being informed by the Word of God. The TAM does strive to provide support where synods fail to uphold a sound confession of faith and good practice. It strives to uphold and support faithful pastors and its work supports and encourages the pure marks of the Church (the purely preached Gospel and the rightly administered sacraments, Augsburg Confession VII) regardless of synods and ‘denominations’. The Augustana Ministerium strives to ensure that faithful pastors and their families will not be abandoned or neglected and that faithful orthodox pastors who are persecuted are defended fairly. Thus, it does not seek to duplicate the functions of a synod or other body, but seeks to pick up where synods cannot or currently will not help.
On May 20–21, 2008, the Augustana Ministerium met at Trinity Lutheran Church in Kearney, Missouri for its Third Annual Theological Conference and Plenary Meeting. Over fifty pastors and lay persons were in attendance and listened to papers with much fruitful discussion on the topics of mission work, education, and other topics relating to the conference theme of meeting the challenges of a confessional Lutheran Ministry in a “post-synodical world.”
It was reiterated and reaffirmed that goal of The Augustana Ministerium is to support the Office of the Holy Ministry by providing support to pastors who are either under attack, in financial need, or serving congregations that are unable to support them sufficiently. It was noted that since its inception, The Augustana Ministerium has provided nearly $25,000 to this end, and it is anticipated that There will be a much greater need for support in the coming months and years. TAM is hopeful that many more laymen and pastors will join us in this effort by joining either the Ministerium or its newly established Lay Confraternity and supporting us with funding as they are able.