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Southern Illinois District Pastors Conference

Southern Illinois District pastors,

This year’s fall conference is coming up on October 2-3!

Sloth was considered by the early church one of the seven deadly sins.  Yet, is this something of the past?  By all means, no! Not only do we see it in the world around us, but we see it in ourselves and in our congregations.  Sloth is “…a malignant, dangerous plague with which the devil bewitches and deceives the hearts of many so that he may surprise us and secretly take God’s Word from us” (LC I 99).  Join us on Monday, October 2nd and Tuesday, October 3rd at Pere Marquette Lodge and Conference Center (Grafton, IL) as we consider the historicity and practical application in addressing sloth.  Presenting on this topic will be Rev. Dr. Joel Elowsky (Professor of Historical Theology at CSL) and Rev. Dr. Tyler Arnold (Pastor at Village Lutheran Church – Ladue, MO & Collegium Fellow for DOXOLOGY The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care and Counsel).

Please register for the conference at:

Conference Center information:
Pere Marquette Lodge and Conference Center
13653 Lodge Blvd
Grafton, IL 62037

Rooms are available at the lodge.  The cost for a room with 2 queen beds is $119, and reservations can be made by contacting the Pere Marquette Lodge.  There are other accommodation options, and you can learn more by contacting Pere Marquette.

Conference Schedule

Monday, October 2nd
8:00am Registration
9:00am Matins
9:45am Q&A with President Scharr / District Business
10:45am Break
11:00am Speaker (Rev. Dr. Elowsky)
12:30pm Lunch
12:45pm – 1:15pm C/A
1:15pm Divine Service
2:30pm Break
2:45pm Speaker (Rev. Dr. Elowsky)
4:15pm Break
4:30pm Speaker (Rev. Dr. Arnold)
6:00pm Supper
6:30pm – 7:00pm C/A
7:00pm Vespers
8:00pm Gemütlichkeit
Tuesday, October 3rd
8:00am Breakfast/Check-Out
9:00am Matins
9:45am Break
10:00am Speaker (Rev. Dr. Arnold)
11:30am Lunch
12:30pm Panel Discussion (Speakers and President Scharr)
1:30pm Itinerarium

About the Speakers

Dr. Joel Elowsky is professor of Historical Theology, dean of Advanced Studies, and coordinator of International Seminary Exchange Programs at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He also is the director of the Seminary’s Center for the Study of Early Christian Texts and is a researcher for the Center for Early African Christianity at the Oden House in New Haven, Conn. He has been a faculty member at Concordia Seminary since 2014. His interests and areas of expertise include early church studies, the history of exegesis, mission work and African Christianity. After studying at Westfield House in Cambridge, England, and Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, he transferred to Concordia Seminary, where he received a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) (1990, 1992). He later earned a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from Drew University in Madison, N.J. (2008, 2009). He received a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from Concordia College in Ann Arbor, Mich. (now Concordia University, Ann Arbor) (1985). He served as associate professor of theology at Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon (2010–14); as adjunct professor of religion at Drew University (2000–04); and as research director at the Center for Early African Christianity at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pa. (2009–14). Elowsky’s first call was with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) SELC District as a mission developer in Galloway Township, N.J. (1992–2000). He served as operations manager/research director for Thomas Oden’s 29-volume Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (InterVarsity Press) from 2000–10, which has been translated into at least seven languages. He also served vacancies at Trinity Lutheran Church in Morris Plains, N.J.; the Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit in Montville, N.J.; and Our Savior Lutheran Church in Fair Lawn, N.J. Since 2004, he has been part of the ecumenical group Evangelicals and Catholics Together. He has served as a participant in dialogues between evangelicals and the Vatican, delivering a paper in Vatican City on Scripture and tradition in 2010. He also is a board member of the China Academic Consortium and a member of the International Association of Patristic Studies and the Society of Biblical Literature. He serves as president of the Institute for Classical Christian Studies, which has ties with Yale University. He has lectured extensively in Africa on behalf of Concordia Seminary as a researcher and lecturer for the Center for Early African Christianity. He helped initiate two series — the five-volume Ancient Christian Doctrine and the 16-volume Ancient Christian Texts (InterVarsity Press) — as well as Ancient Christian Devotional: A Year of Weekly Readings (InterVarsity Press, 2007).

He has edited or authored numerous books and articles, including: John 1–10: New Testament Volume IVa in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (ACCS) series (InterVarsity Press, 2007); John 11–21: New Testament Volume IVb in the ACCS series (InterVarsity Press, 2007); We Believe in the Holy Spirit: Vol. 4 in the Ancient Christian Doctrine series (InterVarsity Press, 2009); The three-volume Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity, eds. Angelo Di Berardino, Thomas C. Oden, Joel C. Elowsky and James Hoover (InterVarsity Press, 2014); Cyril of Alexandria: Commentary on John, Vols. I and II in the Ancient Christian Texts series, trans. David R. Maxwell, ed. Joel C. Elowsky (InterVarsity Press, 2013 and 2015); “Exodus in the Fathers” in The Book of Exodus: Composition, Reception, and Interpretation, Vol. 164 in the Supplements to Vetus Testamentum series, eds. Thomas B. Dozeman, Craig A. Evans and Joel N. Lohr (Brill, 2014); “Alexandrian Theology and Contemporary African Christian Thought” in A New History of African Christian Thought: From Cape to Cairo, ed. David Tonghou Ngong (Routledge, 2016); and Letter to Marcellinus on the Psalms: Spiritual Wisdom for Today. (New Haven, CT: ICCSPress, 2017). He also has been invited to be co-editor with Brian Brewer for a new series with T&T Clark on historical theology. Elowsky’s translation of Athanasius’ Letter to Marcellinus, was used in the Africa Study Bible. He published the article “Libya” in Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online (Brill, 2020) and has completed an article on Moses for the same publication. He was a consultant for the “60 Minutes” segment on the churches of Lalibela, which aired in November 2019. He edited Dr. David Maxwell’s translation of fragments of Cyril’s Commentary on Romans and 1 & 2 Corinthians for the Ancient Christian Text series, published by InterVarsity Press in the spring of 2022. He lectured in the summer of 2022 at the Patristics Center at the University of Cluj in Romania and helped to secure a grant from the Vatican for the ACCS series to be translated into Romanian and Hungarian. He edited an English translation of Angelo DiBerardino’s lectures on the Institutions of the Early Church (ICCSPress, 2021) and is working on other volumes with DiBerardino for future publication. Elowsky’s wife, Joy, has played organ for chapel services at Concordia Seminary. She also is the full-time director of music at Holy Cross Lutheran Church and School in Collinsville, Ill. The Elowskys have two sons: Christian, a software developer in Wisconsin, and Luke, a graduate student at Concordia Seminary pursuing a Ph.D. in the area of early church history and exegesis, who is married to Julianna (Pfeiffer). When not traveling or teaching, Elowsky likes to spend time sailing in northern Michigan.

Tyler C. Arnold was born August 23, 1973 in Alton, Illinois. He graduated from Roxana High School in 1991 and Concordia University, River Forest in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. He attended Concordia Seminary in St. Louis and graduated in 1999 with a Master of Divinity degree. In 2019, Pastor Arnold received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN in the area of Pastoral Care.

Pastor Arnold has served as a parish pastor since 1999. He was the Assistant Pastor at Christ Lutheran, Platte Woods, MO from 1999-2004. In 2004 he accepted a Divine Call to serve as Pastor of Trinity Lutheran in Millstadt, IL. He later returned to Christ Lutheran in Platte Woods in 2006 to serve as Sr. Pastor where he served until 2022. He is currently Pastor at Village Lutheran Church, Ladue, MO. Pastor Arnold has served on the Board of Congregational Support for the Southern Illinois District, as the Chairman for the Committee on Structure and Administration for the Missouri District as well as the District’s Structure and Administration Task Force. He has also served on the Board of Directors at Unity Lutheran School in East St. Louis, IL as well as Pastoral Advisor to the Executive Council of the Northland Lutheran School Association in Kansas City. He served for nine years as a Circuit Visitor and on various District program and conference committees. Currently, he serves as vice-chairman of the Board of Regents for Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and is a Collegium Fellow for DOXOLOGY – The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care and Counsel. Pastor Arnold is the author of the book, Pastoral Visitation: For the Care of Souls published by Lexham Press. He has written articles published in by the LCMS blog, The Lutheran Witness, SEELSORGER – A Journal for the Contemporary Cure of Souls, LOGIA and Christianity Today. He also wrote a Bible study called, Finding Balance and Perspective in Ministry published by the LCMS. He has been a speaker at District Pastors Conferences and various retreats on the topic of the care of souls.

He was joined in Holy Matrimony to Andrea (nee Thur) in 1995 at Holy Cross Lutheran in Ste. Genevieve, MO where her father served as pastor. They are blessed with two sons: Jacob, 25, a graduate of Missouri State University who works for Roeslein and Associates in St. Louis and Benjamin, 22, who is a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps stationed in Hawaii.