Pastors' Conference 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on our country, communities, congregations, and even pastors. The 2020 Professional Church Workers Conference was held as an online conference due to the pandemic. The Conference Committee that planned this year’s pastors conference sought for the event to be a time of encouragement among brother pastors, particularly in response to the challenges of ministry during the pandemic. Rev. Mark Rouland, senior pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in St. Charles, described well the burden that our pastors have borne and the blessing that the conference can provide. He said, “Throughout these years, I’ve tried to tell my congregation hundreds of times that we’re going to get through this, but though I’ve said it often, having time with the brothers helped me hear that message too.”
The theme for this year’s conference was “Joy in Ministry.” The conference presenters included seminary presidents Dr. Thomas Egger and Dr. Lawrence Rast, as well as Lutheran Hour speaker, Dr. Michael Zeigler. This year’s conference also allowed for more time for “mutual consolation and conversation of the brethren.”
Pastor response to the conference was overwhelmingly positive. Rev. Joe Rodriguez, pastor at St. Stephen in Liberty said, “This was the best conference by far. I appreciated the fellowship aspect and the speakers were spot on to what so many of us have been dealing with.” Rev. Greg Truwe, pastor at Trinity in Cole Camp, also had praise for the conference. “This year’s conference was a wonderful time, especially fellowship with the brothers. The camaraderie of the brothers is critical to the health of the brethren. While I am blessed to have this sort of camaraderie in my circuit; it is difficult to get to know brothers across the District without having these gatherings.”
The 2022 pastors conference will be held again at Margaritaville – Lake Resort on October 23-25. We are thankful that the conferences are a blessing to the workers of the District and give thanks to God for the support of the congregations to not only allow their pastors to participate, but to encourage their attendance. As Rev. Mark Rouland said, “I certainly enjoyed hearing from our speakers, but I go to conferences to reconnect with brothers across the state and strengthen the ties with my fellow circuit guys. I’m so thankful that happened. It was worth the drive and time away just to do that for me.” We look forward to next year’s conference and the support that it provides to the pastors of the District.