Invitation to The Fourth Annual Theological Conference and Plenary Session of the Augustana Ministerium

(Other posts from the Augustana Ministerium can be seen on the BJS Regular Columns page. This conference is listed on our calendar; to see a listing of more confessional conferences click on the Calendar button below the Brother’s Cafe.)

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 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

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


Comments

Invitation to The Fourth Annual Theological Conference and Plenary Session of the Augustana Ministerium — 6 Comments

  1. The repeated use on the Augustana Ministerium website of the phrase, “post-synodical age,” leaves one asking the typical Lutheran question, “What does this mean?”

    If the phrase had been “post-Synodical age,” then it would probably refer to the current time in which many of those pastors of the Augustana Ministerium and their congregations find themselves, having been former members of the Missouri Synod.

    However, “post-synodical age” suggests that we are at a time when TAM sees that not only the Missouri Synod is no longer seen as a viable organization, but that synods themselves are no longer viable or could be made viable organizations of Christians or Christian congregations.

    Yet TAM claims “Members of the Ministerium and Confraternity are free to determine their own synod of membership, involvement in synodical politics, etc., as long as their confession is clear in their words and practices.”

    This would mean that Ministerium and Confraternity members walk together even more loosely than a number of synods, such as the LCMS, WELS, or ELS, which are not walking together with each other.

    Furthermore the concept of a synod applies not only to a voluntary group of congregations and their pastors, but also to a voluntary organization of just pastors or a voluntary organization of just congregations. This would suggest that the Ministerium and Confraternity are types of synods, though ones that allow membership in other synods… allegedly in this “post-synodical age.”

  2. The repeated use on the Augustana Ministerium website of the phrase, “post-synodical age,” leaves one asking the typical Lutheran question, “What does this mean?”

    Indeed, it is a good ‘catchphrase’, then, isn’t it?

    More, the question has been asked and answered here and elsewhere repeatedly…and shall be again, hopefully not for the last time.

    If the phrase had been “post-Synodical age,” then it would probably refer to the current time in which many of those pastors of the Augustana Ministerium and their congregations find themselves, having been former members of the Missouri Synod.

    If it were, it might, but it is not…and not many who are members are former members of the LCMS; there are current members and never members, as well as former members, involved.

    However, “post-synodical age” suggests that we are at a time when TAM sees that not only the Missouri Synod is no longer seen as a viable organization, but that synods themselves are no longer viable or could be made viable organizations of Christians or Christian congregations.

    Rather, as has been explained before, TAM understands that the current synods are no longer actually synods. The endless, mindless blather about ‘walking together’ (instead of, as it should be, ‘walking the same path’) in bodies in which there are wide discrepancies in doctrine and practice shows a deplorable institutionalism that seeks the equality of truth and falsehood. Whether one considers Missouri’s rampant open communion or WELS’s rampant church-growthism and contemporary worthlesship or the ELS’s ‘under the surface’ war over the doctrine of Church and Ministry, at least some segment of each body looks at its own synod as less than trustworthy. Does any Confessional person in these bodies look at their synod the way they did forty-sixty (or, in Missouri, rather, “eighty”) years ago, simply trusting those who produce materials universally to be orthodox, etc.? If so, someone needs to tell all of these bloggers from the various synods to knock it off and tell the ELS guys who agree with the ACLC guys that they should just be open about what they believe because the ELS is at peace after all.

    Yet TAM claims “Members of the Ministerium and Confraternity are free to determine their own synod of membership, involvement in synodical politics, etc., as long as their confession is clear in their words and practices.”

    This would mean that Ministerium and Confraternity members walk together even more loosely than a number of synods, such as the LCMS, WELS, or ELS, which are not walking together with each other.

    Your “yet” is predicated upon the error of your previous assertion. TAM is an association through which aid is dispensed to pastors–including those who are not members of TAM–issues are studied that go beyond single-synod concerns, and resources for pastoral care, etc., are exchanged (such as the use of Vox Visuals videos or Pax Domini VBS and SS materials. We need not walk together in a way that a synod does, because we are not a synod. Of course, you boldly assert:

    Furthermore the concept of a synod applies not only to a voluntary group of congregations and their pastors, but also to a voluntary organization of just pastors or a voluntary organization of just congregations. This would suggest that the Ministerium and Confraternity are types of synods, though ones that allow membership in other synods… allegedly in this “post-synodical age.”

    Technically, a ‘synod’ is a meeting of bishops. If one wants to call our conference and plenary a synod, I guess he could. But in the meaning of that word as it has been corrupted into American Lutheranese, it means an ongoing association of pastors and congregations in which there is altar and pulpit fellowship. No such thing is true wrt TAM/TAC. Pastors are not in fellowship by virtue of their TAM membership, nor are laymen by virtue of their TAC membership.

    This is all really very easy and very clear for anyone who looks at what we do and say without desperately seeking to find something else. Yet, just as Greg Jackson can look at our conference against Eastern Orthodoxy and claim that it is because we are enamored with Eastern Orthodoxy and are a stopping over point for those headed east, etc., I guess anyone can say whatever he wants about what we are doing and what we say–and DO–makes no difference. Through gifts to The Augustana Ministerium, pastors and their families have been kept clothed and fed in at least three church bodies; that’s something that I know (from experience) that the LCMS, at least, has been unwilling to do (rather letting men declare bankruptcy so that they can use that as the excuse for removing them from their clergy roster).

    EJG (now running behind for the noon service)

  3. Thanks Pastor Stefanski for responding so much better than I would’ve. Certainly after reading Mr. Vehse’s comments, I couldn’t recognize the TAM that I belong to.

  4. Wow…too bad this wasn’t advertised about a week ago!

    It’s been advertised on this site (and elsewhere, such as the Ministerium’s own site and blog) since, at least February 22, 2009.

    For your 2010 planning, reckon that it will likely be in the same week, but quite possibly in a different location. The location may be announced in May, but, at any rate, before Christmas.

    EJG

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