Augustana Ministerium 2013 Theological Conference

This is an event that has been placed on the Lutheran Calendar.


Register Online at The Augustana Ministerium web site TODAY!

Please forward this message to anyone who might be interested in supporting pastors who are hurting!

Augustana Ministerium

Why do we consider this conference one “not to be missed”?

It is neither due to the vanity of the Administrative Council, nor of any of the presenters, nor even because we believe it will be another good conference in our history of solid Lutheran conferences (although we do believe it will be!), but because of what The Augustana Ministerium does beside the conference: helping pastors in financial straits (and whatever other difficulty it is able). Helping how much? Well over $150,000; in fact, in the past twelve months, God has blessed us to provide another $40,000.00 in aid.

This aid is coupled with the education and resources we offer for pastors and laity alike, so that there may continue to be a “distinctively Lutheran Ministry of Word and Sacrament to Lutheran congregations.” We want you both to benefit from what we do and to be of benefit to others through The Augustana Ministerium, so we invite you to join the Ministerium if you are a pastor, or its Confraternity if you are not a pastor, and to donate to further our aid efforts, as well as to join us for our

2013 Theological Conference and Plenary

August 20–22, 2013

Register Online at The Augustana Ministerium web site TODAY!
The Ninth Annual Theological Conference and Plenary Session of The Augustana Ministerium will be held August 20–22, 2013 at the Super 8 Conference Center in Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007 (Chicago/O’Hare area; a free shuttle is provided 24 hours per day for hotel guests flying in for the Conference), hosted by St. Philip Lutheran Mission of Lake County, Illinois, (served by the Rev. Tony Oncken of Salem Lutheran Church of Malone, Texas). Lodging details are available on our Conference Lodging page.

This year’s conference will focus on practical aspects in the doctrine of the Church and Her Ministry, especially with regard to the role of pastors and laity in local and fellowship-wide church governance. Topics and speakers include:

Congregational or Episcopal Polity: You’re Free to Do it My Way – Pastor John Rutowicz, Niles, Michigan
Most confessional Lutherans agree that how churches decide to govern themselves is not a matter of divine right, but of human right, and thus falls within the realm of adiaphora. Yet it is not unheard of for those who choose an episcopal arrangement to be labeled as Romanists, or for those who choose a congregational arrangement to be labeled as Baptists. This paper will demonstrate the extent to which church polity is, in fact, a matter of adiaphora.

Lessons from Old World Polity – Pastor Jeffrey A. Ahonen, Ladysmith, Wisconsin
Pr. Ahonen will explore the history of how the Lutheran Church has governed itself in Europe since the days of the Reformation, and present some insights as to how the European model(s) may or may not be helpful for Lutheranism in America.

Pastoral Authority in the Governance of the Parish – Pastor Joshua Scheer, Cheyenne, Wyoming
What tasks in the life of a parish are unique to the Office of the Holy Ministry and how does pastoral authority interact with the general governance of a parish?

The Proper and Godly Role of the Laity in the Governance of a Parish – Pastor Eric Lange, Gresham, Oregon
Assuming a proper understanding of the Office of the Holy Ministry, the pastor of the local parish still does not make all the governing decisions in a parish singlehandedly, but can benefit from the counsel and advice of experienced, mature laymen as he carries out his God-given ministry. What are the proper functions of, for example, congregational “elders” (in the modern sense of the word), church councils, voters’ assemblies? Pr. Lange will discuss a Biblical and godly model for the role of laymen in the governance and life of a parish.

A Constitution that Serves the Saints – Pastor Eric Stefanski, Harrison, Arkansas
While the Scriptures do not prescribe such things as “church constitutions,” most, if not all, parishes have one that they follow more or less religiously. But a poorly conceived constitution can end up endorsing or even promoting practices that are at variance with the Scriptures and the Book of Concord, especially in areas like church discipline, the office of the pastor, and the governance of the parish. Pr. Stefanski will identify some areas of concern that may be prevalent in American Lutheran constitutions and present a model that is as free of pitfalls as possible.

Topic facilitators may provide pertinent background information on each topic for your conference preparation. A listing of such materials, if any, will be made available via this website in advance of the conference. Such advance preparation by attendees is strongly encouraged for informative and beneficial discussion at the conference.

The theological portion of the program is open to members and non-members, clergy and laity alike. The Plenary Session of the Ministerium will be open to all attendees, except during an executive session, should one be called. The cost of the conference will be $30. (For members of The Augustana Ministerium or The Augustana Confraternity, having paid your 2013 dues—$50 for Ministerium members, $40 for Confraternity members—will cause this $30 fee to be considered already paid. Thus, membership in the Ministerium or Confraternity is an amazing value for those who are able to attend the conference…and still a very good value for those who cannot attend!)

Make checks payable to:

The Augustana Ministerium
c/o The Rev. Gregory J. Schultz, Bursar
721 Payne Avenue
North Tonawanda, NY 14120

Administrative Council:
Rev. Kurt Hering, Superintendent;
Rev. Dr. Kent Heimbigner, Legate;
Rev. Joshua Sullivan, Recording Secretary; Rev. Gregory Schultz, Bursar;
Rev. Eric Stefanski, Dean of Communications; Rev. Paul Rydecki, Dean of Education;
Rt. Rev. James Heiser, Dean of Missions; Rev. Andrew Eckert, Dean of Pastoral Care;
Rev. Anthony Oncken, Dean of Pastoral Recruitment

Please forward this message to anyone who might be interested in supporting pastors who are hurting!

Register Online at The Augustana Ministerium

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