Loading Events West Pastors’ Conference 2019 - Michigan District, LCMS

West Pastors’ Conference 2019

Unsheathing the Spirit's Sword: Strategies for a Life in the Word

May 13, 2019 - May 14, 2019
Grand Rapids, MI

“Hi, my name is Pastor _______ and I’ve lost my knowledge of Greek and Hebrew.” Given the demands of the ministry, keeping the use of the original languages intact is a definite challenge. Yet as Luther says, “Let us zealously hold to the languages … God caused his Scriptures to be set down [in Hebrew and Greek] … We will not long preserve the gospel without the languages. The languages are the sheath in which this sword of the Spirit is contained” (AE 45:359). This conference will provide an opportunity for pastors to get together—not to be berated but to endeavor to revitalize our use of the biblical languages in the ministry. To lead us through this challenge, Dr. James Voelz and Dr. Paul Raabe will provide us with tips, tools, and strategies for reinvigorating and honing this particular task of the exegete and preacher.

When & Where

Grand Rapids

May 13, 2019 @ 9:00 am - May 14, 2019 @ 12:00 pm

DoubleTree by Hilton – Grand Rapids Airport
4747 28th St SE
Grand Rapids, MI, 49512



Dr. James W. Voelz

Dr. James W. Voelz is the Dr. Jack Dean Kingsbury Professor of New Testament Theology at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. A faculty member since 1989, he is graduate professor of Exegetical Theology. His areas of focus are the Greek language, hermeneutics, and the synoptic Gospels, but he also has taught the Pauline epistles and Acts of the Apostles. Dr. Voelz holds a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. (1971) and a Ph.D. in New Testament studies from Cambridge University in Cambridge, England (1978).


Dr. Paul R. Raabe

Dr. Paul R. Raabe is a professor emeritus at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. He retired in 2018 after 35 years of service as professor of Exegetical Theology. He also served as the chairman of the Department of Exegetical Theology (1998 to 2010). His areas of interest and expertise at the Seminary include the Hebrew prophets and poetry, Old Testament theology, and biblical theology.

He received his M.Div. from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. (1979). He also holds a master’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis (1979) and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (1989).

Raabe and his wife, Dolliene, have one daughter, Sarah.


Monday, May 13, 2019

All sessions and meals will be in the Michigan Grand Ball Room.

Exhibitors and breaks will be held in Wolverine AB.

9:30 - 10 a.m.
Registration/Continental Breakfast
Our Savior Lutheran Church
10 a.m.
Divine Service
Our Savior Lutheran Church
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
12 - 6 p.m.
Exhibit Hall
12:30 - 12:45 p.m.
Rev. Paul M. Doellinger
12:45 - 1:45 p.m.
Session 1 - Greek
Dr. James W. Voelz
1:45 - 2 p.m.
2 - 3 p.m.
President's Report
Rev. Dr. David P. E. Maier
3 - 4:30 p.m.
Session 2 - Greek
Dr. James W. Voelz
4:30 - 4:45 p.m.
4:45 - 4:55 p.m.
Concordia Seminary
Mrs. Laura Thomas
4:55 - 6:25 p.m.
Session 3 - Hebrew
Dr. Paul R. Raabe
6:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Gemutlichkeit - Sponsored by Church Extension Fund
6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

8 - 9 a.m.
9 - 9:15 a.m.
Morning Prayer
9:15 - 10:15 a.m.
Session 4 - Hebrew
Dr. Paul R. Raabe
10:15 - 10:25 a.m.
Wellspring Lutheran Services
Mr. David M. Gehm
10:25 - 10:45 a.m.
Church Extension Fund
Mr. James R. Saalfeld, Mr. John H. Bates, Mr. Andrew O. Sohn
10:45 - 10:55 a.m.
Concordia University
Rev. Dr. Ryan R. Peterson
10:55 - 11:10 a.m.
Noon Prayer
11:10 a.m.
Check Out by 12 Noon/ Lunch on your own


Online Registration is now Closed. Please see Debbie Hughes to register On-Site.
Early Bird Registration is now past. Late registration fee is $100 for everyone.

Registration Cost: $100 per person for pastors, vicars, deacons, and wives.

Note: Hotel Registration is separate. See below for details.

Compassion Ministry

In support of Michigan District Great Compassion Ministry, the conference will partner with Wellspring Lutheran Services, Kentwood office.

Please consider bringing one or more of the items below to donate:


Baby Wipes

Lysol Wipes

Board Games – specifically for older kids

Rocking Chair


Additional Information

Hotel Lodging:
DoubleTree by Hilton, Grand Rapids Airport
4747 28th St SE
Grand Rapids, MI  49512

Group Rate: $95/night (king or double/double)
616.957.0100 (mention Michigan District, LCMS West Pastors’ Conference)
Book online at hilton.com.

Worship Location:
Our Savior Lutheran Church
2900 Burton St SE
Grand Rapids, MI  49546

CEUs are Available:
Complete this form, print, sign and return to CSL.


Goals and Objectives

  • Through worship, prayer, fellowship, and the study of God’s Word, to strengthen pastors in the faith and refresh them in their vocation and ongoing ministry.
  • To enliven the pastor in his desire and commitment to use the original biblical languages in his ministry.
  • To provide the pastor with continuing education and study tools, including tips and strategies for the use of biblical languages, so that he is better equipped to faithfully preach and teach his people in the ongoing instruction in the faith.
  • Introduce and encourage ways for the district, circuits, and their pastors to read and study the Bible together in Greek and Hebrew.