(The Augustana Ministerium is one of many confessional groups that reports regularly here on the Brothers of John the Steadfast website. For a complete list see our Regular Columns page.)

The Fourth Annual Theological Conference and Plenary Session of The Augustana Ministerium will be held May 11-13, 2009, and hosted again by Trinity Lutheran Church, Kearney, MO and her pastor, the Rev. Drew Newman.

This year’s conference will continue a discussion begun at last year’s TAM conference concerning challenges of a confessional Lutheran ministry in a post-synodical age. A timely theological agenda, open to all—pastors and laity—is being planned that will explore several important aspects of pastoral supervision under the general theme:   Pastoral Supervision in a Post-synodical Age.   Some Lutheran bodies in North America are exercising pastoral supervision that is increasingly being shaped by legal considerations, Church Growth thinking, and disregard for the divinely mandated nature of the Pastoral Office. In response to these distressing and challenging conditions, how can Lutheran pastors who serve faithfully in the Office be supported and supervised?   What would such supervision require and how might it be carried out with attention to matters of polity that can best serve the Gospel? Four aspects of these questions will be slated for discussion as follows:   1.) Ecclesiastical Supervision in a Post-Synodical Age, Pr. James Heiser, facilitator; 2.) The Confessional in a Post-synodical Age, Pr. William Weedon, facilitator; 3.) Church Fellowship in a Post-Synodical Age, Pr. Eric Stefanski, facilitator; and 4.) Various Models of Church Polity and How They May Shape Ecclesiastical Supervision in a Post-synodical Age, Pr. Kent Heimbigner, facilitator.

As has well served TAM theological conferences in the past, these topics will not be covered by formal papers per se. Rather, topics will explored by an open general discussion format with a facilitator moderating each session.   Topic facilitators will also be responsible for researching and preparing pertinent background information on each topic, identifying appropriate issues, questions, and additional reading resources. A listing of these materials will be made available via The Augustana Ministerium website well in advance of the conference for individual preparation for the discussions at the conference. Such advance preparation by attendees is strongly encouraged for informative and beneficial discussion at the conference.   This year’s facilitators are very talented and knowledgeable, promising very stimulating and informative consideration of these important issues.

The scheduled theological portion of the program is open to members and non-members, clergy and laity alike. The Plenary Session of the TAM will be open to all attendees, except during an executive session, should one be called. The cost of the conference will be $30. That cost is included in the paid 2009 dues for Ministerium and Confraternity members.

Dr. Steven A. Hein, Dean of Education

The Augustana Ministerium

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