2017 St. Mark’s Conference

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The Saint Mark’s Conference concerns the confessional, sacramental, and liturgical life of the Church of the Augsburg Confession.

The Rev. Mark P. Braden, Pastor, Zion Church, Detroit, will present a talk on “That We May Obtain this Faith’: A Confessional Look at the Office of the Holy Ministry.” Fr. Braden is an adjunct faculty member of CTS, and has taught at Concordia University Ann Arbor.  He serves as an International Fellow for the Luther Academy, as a Departmental Editor for Gottesdienst: The Journal of Lutheran Liturgy, and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Lutheran Center Association of Detroit. He also is host of the annual St. Michael Liturgical Conference held in Detroit.

The Rev. Joel R. Baseley, Associate Pastor, Emmanuel Church, Dearborn, Michigan, will give a presentation on “Pastoral Absolution in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod: Our Historic Challenge.” Rev. Baseley has translated a number of works including the Festival Sermons of Martin Luther and writings and sermons of C.F.W. Walther. Additionally, he has translated the first four years of Walther’s Der Lutheraner, a key document chronicling the formation of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Rev. Baseley received the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from Concordia Historical Institute, acknowledging his work in translation and his publishing about 20 titles consisting mostly of never before translated works.

The Rev. Roy Axel Coats, Pastor, Redeemer Church, Baltimore, will speak on “What Exactly is Ecclesiastical Power? An Historic Approach.” Pr. Coats attended Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California. He then attended Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana completing his studies in 2010 prior to be called to serve Redeemer Church.

The Rev. Peter Eckardt, Associate Pastor, Immanuel Church, Alexandria, VA, will discuss “Equipping, Witnessing & Discipling: Exegetical Threats to the Office of the Ministry and the Doctrine of Vocation.” Pr. Eckardt graduated from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, (2008) with a degree in Music and German prior to his Studies at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne Indiana, where he received a Master of Divinity in 2014. He hopes to complete his STM thesis in the area of New Testament Exegetical Studies in the coming year, focusing on St. Paul’s Christological hermeneutic of the Old Testament.

The Rev. Paul Gregory Alms, Pastor of Redeemer Church, Catawba, North Carolina, will serve as the conference preacher. Pr. Alms received an Master of Divinity and STM from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Pastor Alms has written for various journals including First Things Online, Touchstone, Concordia Theological Journal, and The Luthernan Witness.

The Rev. Brian Westgate, Pastor, Redeemer Church, Oakmont, PA will serve as the conference organist. Fr. Westgate also serves as circuit visitor for the English District’s Pittsburgh Circuit and formerly served as president of Pittsburgh Area Lutheran Ministries. Fr. Westgate took organ lessons in high school and college at Michigan Lutheran Seminary (Saginaw, MI) and Martin Luther College (New Ulm, MN). His service playing includes the installation of the Rev. Dr. Jamison J. Hardy as bishop of the English District, installations of pastors, a wedding, and last year’s Pittsburgh-area Reformation festival service.

The St. Mark’s Conference is hosted by Our Saviour Lutheran Church and her pastor, the Rev. Charles McClean. Pastor McClean is a graduate of Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis. His Master of Sacred Theology thesis, Theological Issues at the Colloquy of Montbeliard 1586, was prepared under the supervision of the Rev. Dr. Arthur Carl Piepkorn. Pastor McClean is editor of The Conduct of the Services.