2021 St. Marks Conference

The 2021 St. Mark’s Conference:
“The Life and Works of Hermann Sasse”
April 19-20, 2021

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

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 St. Mark’s Conference had to be cancelled. Fortunately, all the speakers who were scheduled for the 2020 conference have agreed to speak at the 2021 conference. Further details are below.  Keep checking back at this page for updates at the conference approaches.

Student, pastor, scholar, teacher, and confessor, Hermann Sasse (1895-1976) is recognized as one of the leading voices of confessional Lutheranism in the 20th century…For him, to be a loyal Lutheran was to be a catholic Christian, heir to all the treasures of the church. His historical perspective blended with his confessional integrity won him the respect of Lutheran, Catholic, and Reformed alike. Hermann Sasse wrote in times of theological turmoil and political upheaval. In the midst of great adversity he brought a message that would strengthen and hold. Many and varied were the situations he addressed, and yet through them all it is the same message, the only message which finally holds, the message about Jesus Christ, our crucified and risen Lord. – Norman E. Nagel (1925-2019)

The Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, President of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, will present the talk “Hermann Sasse’s View of the Office of the Ministry Up to World War II” in two parts. Up to World War II, Hermann Sasse’s theology was born from the trenches of World War I and shaped in the crucible of life under Hitler’s Third Reich. Using primary sources, Pastor Harrison, will explore what Sasse had to say during this critical period regarding the theological substance of the Faith, the Gospel, and the Sacraments as they pertain to the Holy Office of the Ministry. Pastor Harrison is the 13th President of the LCMS, having served in that position since 2010. Prior to that, he served as executive director of the LCMS’ former World Relief and Human Care ministry and as a parish Pastor Westgate, Iowa, and Fort Wayne, Indiana. Pastor Harrison is a prolific writer and translator of the writings of a wide range of Lutheran church fathers.

The Rev. Dr. John T. Pless, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, will present two talks, “Hermann Sasse on Law and Gospel,” and “Hermann Sasse on the Holy Spirit,” which Prof. Pless will address looking forward to Pentecost. Prof. Pless has served at Concordia Theological Seminary since 2000. Prior to being called to CTS, he served as campus pastor at the University Lutheran Chapel in Minneapolis. Prof. Pless is a founding editor of Logia: A Lutheran Journal of Theology, which he served as book review editor until 2017. He is the author or editor of twelve books, as well as many articles and chapters in theological journals and books. He has served on several LCMS boards, committees, and task forces and is currently chairman of the Synod’s Commission on Doctrinal Review.

Additionally, we will have:

The Rev. Kevin W. Martin
Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church, Raleigh, North Carolina
Preacher at Divine Service

The Rev. Stefan Gramenz
Pastor of The Lutheran Church Of Christ The King, Pawling, NY
Preacher at Vespers

The Rev. Brian Westgate
Pastor of Redeemer Church. Oakmont, Pennsylvania
Conference Organist

The conference will begin with Divine Service at 11:00 A.M. on Monday, April 19 and end with Prayer for Travelers the afternoon of Tuesday, April 20. A detailed conference agenda will be available soon.


The Saint Mark’s Conference concerns the confessional, sacramental, and liturgical life of the Church of the Augsburg Confession. It is hosted annually by Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Baltimore, Maryland 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.