Information concerning the upcoming
Annual Theological Conference and Plenary Sesssion
will be available through the tab above and via our email list and weblog.
For a look at what has been covered in the past, use the Essays and Presentations button, above.
You may wish to read our foundational Statement on the Holy Ministry and our Constitution and Bylaws, by clicking the preceding links;
to apply for membership, visit our Ministerium Membership application or our Confraternity Membership Application.
Annual Theological Conference Announced
18 April 2013
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
The Ninth Annual Theological Conference
Session of The Augustana Ministerium will be held August 20–22, 2013 in Elk Grove Village,
Illinois 60007 (Chicago/O’Hare area; a free shuttle is provided for
hotel guests flying in for the Conference), hosted by St. Phillip
Lutheran Mission of Lake County, Illinois, (served by the Rev. Tony
Oncken of Salem Lutheran Church of Malone, Texas). Lodging details shall be forthcoming presently.
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 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!)
A web form will be available for registrations once our venue is announced, by 10 May 2013.
Rev. Paul Rydecki,
Dean of Education
The Augustana Ministerium
Make checks payable to:
c/o The Rev. Gregory J. Schultz, Bursar
721 Payne Avenue
North Tonawanda, NY 14120