June 28, 2012

Good works and the suffering of Christ and the Christian go hand in hand. To live in Christ is to suffer for the sake of serving one’s neighbor and brother.


7 … it is God’s will, order, and command that believers should walk in good works. Truly good works are not those that everyone does himself from a good intention, or which are done according to human traditions, but those that God Himself has prescribed and commanded in His Word. Also, truly good works are done not by our own natural powers, but in this way: when a person is reconciled with God through faith and renewed by the Holy Spirit.…

8 … the good works of believers are pleasing and acceptable to God (although in this flesh they are impure and incomplete). They are acceptable for the sake of the Lord Christ, through faith, because the person is acceptable to God. …

9 Faith must be the mother and source of works that are truly good and well pleasing to God, which God will reward in this world and in the world to come. This is why St. Paul calls them true fruit of faith, also fruit of the Spirit [Galatians 5:22–23]. For, as Dr. Luther writes in the Preface to St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans:

Faith, however, is a divine work in us that changes us and makes us to be born anew of God, John 1[:12–13]. It kills the old Adam and makes us altogether different men, in heart and spirit and mind and powers; it brings with it the Holy Spirit. O, it is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith. It is impossible for it not to be doing good works incessantly. 11 It does not ask whether good works are to be done, but before the question is asked, it has already done them, and is constantly doing them. Whoever does not do such works, however, is an unbeliever. He gropes and looks around for faith and good works, but knows neither what faith is nor what good works are. Yet he talks and talks, with many words, about faith and good works.

12Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that the believer would stake his life on it a thousand times. This knowledge of and confidence in God’s grace makes men glad and bold and happy in dealing with God and all creatures. And this is the work that the Holy Spirit performs in faith. Because of it, without compulsion, a person is ready and glad to do good to everyone, to serve everyone, to suffer everything, out of love and praise to God, who has shown him this grace. Thus it is impossible to separate works from faith, quite as impossible as to separate heat and light from fire.

Condensed quotations from the Lutheran Confessions from Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, copyright 2005, 2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


“Fellowship As the Body of Christ”–The Seventh Annual Theological Conference of The Augustana Ministerium & Confraternity

June 12, 2012

Surprisingly, in a time when the pendulum seems to have swung to the “right,” faithful Lutheran pastors who take their call and ordination vows seriously continue to be disposed of precisely for being faithful. This assault on the Office of the Holy Ministry–which we confess was instituted by Christ Himself according to AC V “That we may obtain this faith” of the Chief Article, AC IV–if anything, has intensified of late.

The faithful exercise of this office in regard to the public administration of the Sacrament of the Altar is almost always a primary bone of contention when a pastor is wrongfully deposed.

The Augustana Ministerium & Confraternity is a pastoral association and supportingconfraternity of laymen formed to preserve and promote Lutheran pastors and adistinctively Lutheran Ministry of Word and Sacrament to Lutheran congregations in the face of such assaults. As such it exists to defend, encourage, and admonish its members; to upholdthe Office of the Holy Ministry, to foster missionary activity; and to promotethe raising up of qualified men into this holy office.

This year’sSeventh Annual Theological Conference of The Augustana Ministerium & Confraternity seeks to confront thisabominable situation in our Lutheran churches by examining “Fellowship As theBody of Christ” August 7-9, 2012 @ Quality Inn & Suites, Elk Grove Village,IL. Registration details as well as the slate of presenters and topics follows my signature. This promises to be a vigorous and enlightening three days of theological study, fraternal discussion, and good old Lutheran Gemütlichkeit.

You can find out more about The Augustana Ministerium & Confraternity, make donations, and register for the Conference at our website, http://augustanaministerium.org/.

The Rev. Kurt M. Hering, Dean of Pastoral Care
The Augustana Mnisterium

Presenters and topics include:

Rev. Robin Fish Jr.
(Former Pastor and organist, LC-MS)
“Fellowship and the Office of the Holy Ministry: Suffering and Honor in the Body of Christ”

Rev. Bruce Ley
(Pastor, Holy Cross Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod of Albany, OR; BoD-Association of Confessing Evangelical Lutheran Congregations)
“When Fellowship Isn’t Fellowship:
What Are Pastors and Congregations to Do?
An Alphabet Soup from ACELC [intraSynod] to TAM [intraLutheran]and beyond [ACLC/ELDoNA fellowship agreement].”

Rev. Brian Saunders (President, LC-MS Iowa East District)–“Communion Casuistry”

Rev. Gregory Schultz (Pastor, LC-MS, Eastern District)–“Authority and Discipline: Their Roles in Fellowship As the Body ofChrist.”

Rev. Terry Small (Pastor, Saint John Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod of Homestead, IA)–“Closed Communion: Where are the Boundaries”

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 2012 dues—$50 for Ministerium members, $40 for Confraternity members—this $30 fee is covered by said dues. 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

Discounted rooms are available at the Quality Inn & Suites for those attending the Conference and Plenary. Rates of $69.99 per night for a room with one king bed, or $74.99 per night for a room with two double beds are available when reservations are made before July 1st.

Conference and Lodging location:

Quality Inn & Suites, Elk Grove Village, IL (Chicago/O’Hare area)
100 Busse Road
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
(847) 593-8600

Please be sure to mention the Augustana Ministerium for the group rates, before July 1st.

For further information or questions, please call Rev. Anthony Oncken at (847) 548-0448, or e-mail at onckenar@hotmail.com.

Our New Communion Rail

June 12, 2012

Trinity has received and installed this beautiful communion rail. It was dedicated prior to The Feast of The Holy Trinity on Sunday, June 3.

Hand crafted by Robert Oehlert, the father of Rev. Conrad Oehlert, pastor of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Miami, OK.  it is their gift to the saints at Trinity for letting your pastor exercise the office of Dean of Pastoral Care with The Augustana Ministerium.

Notice the natural red sap, blood-like streak running through the grain of the Box Elder wood in the plain panel, which is why this is Mr. Oehlert’s wood of choice for sacramental furnishings.

Thanks to our gracious Father in heaven and to these generous men for this magnificent gift of love that is sure to be a blessing to the saints at Layton and all those who feast thereat to receive the body and blood of our Lord.