An Urgent Plea

Posted November 15, 2012 by grabauski
Categories: Cross & Comfort, News Release

Tags: , , ,

An Urgent Plea

14 November 2012

[Please distribute this information ‘everywhere’ and please do so with the above date intact.]

 

 

Every sentence I write falls short. I will, therefore, try to be as brief as possible, since all attempted eloquence fails:

The Rev. Dan Chambers was joyfully serving the Lord at this time last year, shepherding the Lambs and Sheep of Christ as the Holy Spirit had set him in place to do. After Christmas, he went to Texas to visit family.

Had he not ended up in the hospital, that would seem like a very ordinary story about a pastor.

Had he, perhaps, broken his leg or had a heart attack and some bypasses, it would seem pretty normal.

Instead, Pr. Chambers ended up in the hospital all year. For a good portion of it, he was minimally responsive. To this day, he cannot stand on his own or walk at all.

The parish he served no longer waits for him; he was ‘let go’ for being unable to perform his duties. Needless to say, with his inability to walk at this point, neither Calls nor other employment will be immediately forthcoming.

His experience with Concordia Health Plan/Blue Cross—Blue Shield has been less than exemplary: they have threatened to kick him out of rehab several times, since he was not progressing ‘fast enough’. Now, there is a hard and fast date of 17 December 2012 fixed when he will have exceeded all the physical therapy his insurance will cover. [Note: This is not saying that he won’t have insurance coverage, but simply that the benefit will have ‘maxed out’ and will no longer cover what he is needing it to cover.] Will that be enough time for him to be able to walk and go home? Only our Lord knows. What if he needs another week or two? What if ten more days would make the difference between recovering and not recovering? The doctors fully expect him to regain this ability, but it’s a matter of when?

At the same time, when will he be able to work again? Again, how will his family’s needs be met in the mean time?

The Augustana Ministerium has disbursed well over $100,000 of funds during its short existence to help pastors in need…but we don’t have the sort of resources necessary to make Pr. Chambers any promises. For that reason, we come imploring all of you for help. If you consider it a good thing to help this pastor who will be cast out of his hospital the week before Christmas whether he can walk or not, much less work or not, we wish to provide you the means for doing so. And PLEASE NOTE: none of us from The Augustana Ministerium get a salary, etc., for doing this and there will be NO administrative fees (other than, perhaps, a stamp to send Pr. Chambers a check…and that will come out of our regular account, not out of your gift; if you donate by credit card, of course, the bank will take its fee…but whatever comes into our account goes directly and ONLY to the aiding of pastors).

Here’s how it works:

1) If you use PayPal, send a donation to TAMBursar@gmail.com and include a memo that it is for Pr. Chambers.

2) If you want to use a debit or credit card, go to http://augustanaministerium.org

and click on a ‘Donate’ button. This will take you to a PayPal page, where they will offer to set up a PayPal

account, etc., but you don’t have to do so: just enter your card info on their secure site, make sure a memo is

there saying it is for Pr. Chambers, and you’re all set.

3) To send a check, put “Pr. Chambers” in the memo line, “TAM” in the pay to line, and send it to:

The Augustana Ministerium

c/o The Rev. Gregory J. Schultz, Bursar

721 Payne Avenue

North Tonawanda, NY 14120

A COUPLE OF THINGS TO CONSIDER

1) Now would also be a great time to make a general contribution to the work of the Ministerium and to add it to your congregation’s budget for 2013; there are many pastors who are in need of assistance, and our funding has been running very tight.

2) Along these same lines, now would be a good time for a pastor to join the Ministerium or for a layman to join The Augustana Confraternity (see the links in the menus above or below this text on our web site), so that we might have the resources to carry out this work of helping faithful Lutheran pastors be able to afford to remain in their parishes and keep their families fed and clothed.

3) Pastor Chambers’s expenses for therapy alone are over $200 per day. That being the case, we would like to provide him with at least another month’s worth of rehab and a gift for other expenses by the time his insurance runs out. Even if our Lord were to grant him to walk on 16 December, it would be a gift well-given: a year in the hospital is expensive even if the hospitalization part were paid for in full. If we are blessed to send him a check next month, we will report to you what the next month’s needs look like, as well.

Thank you for your consideration of this request and for your prayers and any other aid you are able to provide this pastor and his family!

[Again, please distribute this information ‘everywhere’ and please do so with the above date intact.]

Rev. Eric J. Stefanski, Dean of Communications

The Augustana Ministerium

Make checks payable to:

The Augustana Ministerium

c/o The Rev. Gregory J. Schultz, Bursar

721 Payne Avenue

North Tonawanda, NY 14120

Reading Lists!

Posted April 30, 2010 by revericstefanski
Categories: News Release

5th Annual Theological Conference

The Fifth Annual Theological Conference and Plenary Session of The Augustana Ministerium will be held May 17–19, 2010, hosted by Charity Lutheran Church, 1101 S.W. Wilshire Blvd., Burleson, TX and her pastor, the Rev. Dr. Kent Heimbigner.

This year’s conference theme, “Lives in the Balance,” focuses on how Confessional Lutherans go about equipping people for the world’s fight and the soul’s salvation. From education to citizenship, apologetics to proper use of the Law and the Gospel to steer people away from both boredom and despair, the shape of the enemy’s weapons and our response to them will be brought into view.

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. That cost is included in the paid 2010 dues for Ministerium and Confraternity members.

To prepare yourself for the papers and discussion at this year’s conference, we provide the following set of reading lists:

Reclaiming the Old Lutheran Axiom: We Teach Our Own—To Keep our Baptized Children Alive; Rev. J. Richard Sawyer

Luther, Martin, “To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation,” Luther’s Works, American Edition, vol. 44, section 25, and the Prefaces to the Large and Small Catechisms
Sayers, Dorothy L., “The Lost Tools of Learning” (available in Wilson’s book or for free on the web, along with other resources at The Well-Trained Mind)
Wilson, Douglas, Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: An Approach to Distinctively Christian Education
Hicks, David V., Norms and Nobility: A Treatise on Education
Spitz, Lewis W., and Tinsley, Barbara, Johann Sturm on Education

Nurturing the Foundations of Faith: Equipping God’s People to Defend Against the Reasoned Arguments of Unbelief; Rev. Anthony Oncken

James W. Sire, The Universe Next Door (Intervarsity Press), Chapters 3-6, 9

The Balanced Spiritual Diet of Full-Strength Law and Gospel, and the Deadly Signs of Imbalance (Boredom and Despair); Rev. Michael Henson

Walther, C.F.W, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel (especially Thesis XXVI)
Forde, Gerhard, On Being a Theologian of the Cross

Instilling Christian Citizenship: The Freedom of Grace and the Bondage of the Neighbor; Rev. Dr. Steven Hein

Luther, Martin, “Freedom of the Christian,” Luther’s Works, American Edition, vol. 31

The Seven Deadly Values of Contemporary Culture: The Shape of the Enemy’s Weapons against Our People Today; Rt. Rev. James Heiser

In descending order of priotrity:

Michael Allen Gillespie, The Theological Origins of Modernity (Chicago, 2008)
Douglas V. Porpora, Landscapes of the Soul—The Loss of Moral Meaning in American Life (Oxford, 2001)
A. J. Conyers, The Long Truce—How Toleration Made the World Safe for Power and Profit (Spence, 2001)
John Lukacs, Democracy and Populism—Fear and Hatred (Yale, 2005)
Loren J. Samons II, What’s Wrong with Democracy?—From Athenian Practice to American Worship (California, 2004)
Mark Bauerlein, The Dumbest Generation (Tarcher, 2008)
Barry Alan Shain, The Myth of American Individualism—The Protestant Origins of American Political Thought (Princeton, 1994)

We have a fine slate of speakers for this conference and we are certain that you will find these presentations a blessing regardless of your vocation(s). Please plan on joining us in Burleson! Register at http://augustanaministerium.org/conference

2010 Theological Conference

Posted April 30, 2010 by revericstefanski
Categories: News Release

The Fifth Annual Theological Conference and Plenary Session of The Augustana Ministerium will be held May 17-19, 2010, hosted by Charity Lutheran Church, 1101 S.W. Wilshire Blvd., Burleson, TX and her pastor, the Rev. Dr. Kent Heimbigner.

This year’s conference theme, “Lives in the Balance,” focuses on how Confessional Lutherans go about equipping people for the world’s fight and the soul’s salvation. From education to citizenship, apologetics to the proper use of the Law and the Gospel to steer people away from both boredom and despair, the shape of the enemy’s weapons and our response to them will be brought into view.

Topic facilitators will provide pertinent background information on each topic for your conference preparation. A listing of these materials will be made available via both this website and our blog well 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 TAM 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 2010 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!)

Details are at:

http://augustanaministerium.org/Conference

Rev. Dr. Steven A. Hein, Dean of Education
The Augustana Ministerium

“Theses on Communion Fellowship with Those Who Believe Differently”

Posted June 21, 2009 by revericstefanski
Categories: News Release

C.F.W. Walther’s “Theses on Communion Fellowship with Those Who Believe Differently” is now available for download as a searchable .pdf.

Through the generosity of the translator, we are able to offer this work *free of charge.*

(If you wish to express thanks for this publication, the editor of the electronic edition suggests the Holy Trinity Sri Lanka Fund or the Confessional Lutheran Education Foundation’s Sri Lanka Project; information is available at <http://holytrinitylc.com/HTLC/Sri%20Lanka.html>.)

You may access this (50 page, 828 Kb) book directly at

<http://HolyTrinityLC.com/WaltherCommunionTheses.pdf>

BUT, it might be easier for you to download it by going to our website,

<http://AugustanaMinisterium.org>

and clicking on the “Reading Lists” item in the “Annual Conference Information” menu. When that page loads, you can right-click and get ‘Save Target As…’ (or some such thing). (Mac users, if you still have a one-button mouse, use control-click to bring up a contextual menu; if you have a two-, three-, or zero-button mouse, click with the right side. But, of course, you already knew that.)

Rev. Eric Stefanski

Dean of Communications

Conference Audio/Video Available

Posted June 21, 2009 by revericstefanski
Categories: News Release

Audio and Video from the recently held Fourth Annual Theological Conference of The Augustana Ministerium can now be accessed through TAM’s website. Please visit http://augustanaministerium.org/Essays/

Post-Synodical?

Posted April 29, 2009 by revericstefanski
Categories: News Release, Uncategorized

The Augustana Ministerium will hold its annual Theological Conference and Plenary at Trinity Lutheran Church 1715 S. Jefferson, Kearney, Missouri, from 1:00 Monday, May 11 through 12:00 Wednesday, May 13. Registration information, etc., and a housing offer follow the next three paragraphs.

Lately, some have tried to gainsay the topic for the conference, which covers issues of Confession and Absolution, Church Polity, Ecclesiastical Oversight, and the Practice of Communion Fellowship in a “Post-Synodical Age.” These folks try to argue that since synods still exist (and they’re still in them—as are most of ‘we’ in The Augustana Ministerium), the term “Post-Synodical” is somehow evil and threatening.

In all, their complaints remind me of the LCMS Council of Presidents and their great fear that LCMS pastors and laymen filling out the survey that some laymen put up at <http://BlueRibbonSurvey.com&gt; will somehow ‘corrupt the process’ of moving the LCMS into the future.

“Post-Synodical” simply refers to the FACT that no existing ‘synod’ has proven itself either completely trustworthy in all the materials it produces, nor able to produce what its parishes and pastors want and need. Because of that fact, we find independent publishing houses, etc., doing quite well (Repristination Press, Luther Press, Pax-Domini, Vox Visuals, and others), as well as pastors and laymen from several church bodies recognizing that they are in fellowship with those they’d probably ought not be and *not* in fellowship with those they’d ought to be. Our conference deals with these realities, helping those who attend to act faithfully within their context and to encourage others to do the same. In other words, as with all activities of The Augustana Ministerium, it is designed to preserve and promote Lutheran pastors and a distinctively Lutheran Ministry of Word and Sacraments to Lutheran congregations.

For basic information about the conference, please see:
   <http://augustanaministerium.org/conference/&gt;

To register, go to: <http://augustanaministerium.org/conference/registration.html&gt;

A schedule for the Conference is posted at:
   <http://augustanaministerium.org/conference/schedule.html&gt;

To prepare for the conference, our Reading Lists are found at:
   <http://augustanaministerium.org/conference/readinglists.html&gt;

Lodging Information and Directions are given here:
   <http://augustanaministerium.org/conference/lodging.html&gt;

There is also limited free housing available with members of Trinity Lutheran. If you would be interested in this, please contact Trinity’s pastor, the Rev. Drew Newman, who is also the Recording Secretary of the Ministerium, by using the Ministerium’s ‘Contact’ form.

What is The Augustana Ministerium? A full description can be found at <http://augustanaministerium.org/faq/index.html&gt;, but, in brief, we are a pastoral association formed to preserve and promote Lutheran pastors and a distinctively Lutheran Ministry of Word and Sacrament to Lutheran congregations. We accomplish this through providing emergency relief for pastors in crisis and need; helping small congregations keep their faithful pastors, even though they are unable to pay a pastor a full-time livable wage, helping plant new confessional mission congregations and preaching stations; helping put ordained pastors who are without a call to serve in a particular place or are on CRM status back into ministry as pastors and teachers in the church; and establishing, publishing, and promoting such theological conferences, educational resources, and other materials and events as appear helpful for the meeting of our purpose. For 2009, it is our desire to provide over $50,000.00 in aid to pastors.

Please note that this conference is free for members of The Augustana Ministerium or The Augustana Confraternity. For others, the cost is $30. For membership information, please visit our website, <http://AugustanaMinisterium.org&gt;.

Rev. Eric Stefanski
Dean of Communications
The Augustana Ministerium

Reading Lists for 2009 TAM Conference

Posted April 22, 2009 by revericstefanski
Categories: News Release

 

Ecclesiastical Supervision in a Post-Synodical Age

J.A.O. Preus, The Second Martin (CPH, 1994), Chapter 6, “Chemnitz’ Superintendency”

The Epistles of St. Ignatius of Antioch (Kleist translation)

Hans von Campenhausen, “Ecclesiastical Authority and Spiritual Power in
the Church of the First Three  Centuries” (Hendrickson, 1997)

Episcopacy—Lutheran-United Methodist Diologue II (Augsburg, 1991), esp. Todd Nichol, “Bishops in the Lutheran Tradition: The Book of Concord and Later Lutheranism” and George Bornemann, “The Role of the Lutheran Bishop”

Various Models of Church Polity and How They May/May Not Shape
 Ecclesiastical Supervision in a Post-synodical Age

Marquart, Kurt, The Church and Her Fellowship, Ministry, and Governance (Luther Academy [current publisher], 1990), esp. pp. 195–219

The Visitation Articles for the Electorate and Provinces of Upper Saxony” (1592). Available online at http://bookofconcord.org/visitation.php

Akin, Daniel, Perspectives on Church Government: Five Views of Church Polity (B&H Academic, 2004)

Church Fellowship in a Post-Synodical Age

Essential Readings for the Discussion (freely available online):
Preus, Rolf, “Church Fellowship and Closed Communion” (parish Bible study outline, taught January and February, 2007)

Preus, Rolf, “Making a Clear Confession in Muddy Waters” (Burnsville, MN, free conference presentation, January, 2009)

Stefanski, Eric, “Fellowship: What It Is and What It Implies” (chiefly for the section “My Sin in Kansas City”; presentation at St. Luke Ev. Luth. Ch., Richland Center, WI)

Stefanski, Eric, “Guilt by Association” (Burnsville, MN, free conference presentation, January, 2009)

Stefanski, Eric, “A Brief and Bluesy Response to ‘Muddy Waters’,” (a reaction to some assertions in Rolf Preus’s paper)
    not yet posted
The bases for the arguments in the Stefanski papers, above, can be studied in more depth by reading:
Marquart, Kurt, The Church and Her Fellowship, Ministry, and Governance (Luther Academy [current publisher], 1990), esp. pp. 39–77

Walther, C.F.W., Theses on Communion Fellowship with Those Who Believe Differently (CTS, Fort Wayne, 1990)

Elert, Werner, Eucharist and Fellowship in the First Four Centuries (CPH, 1966), esp. pp. 23–184

The Confessional for Pastors in a Post-synodical Age

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, Life Together (Harper, 1976; Harper Collins, 2008), section on Confession and the Lord’s Supper (may be readable via Google Books)

Confession and Absolution Readings” (free file, .pdf format)


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