First, a disclaimer that these views are MINE and Ram does not necessarily agree with everything I write here. I thought I would start with my memories and perspective of Rev. Harrison.
Rev. Harrison was my pastor from 1996-2001 and his oldest son was in my first grade class at Zion Lutheran Academy, Fort Wayne. When you are a teacher at a dayschool, you see the pastor in all kinds of settings, maybe even more than the the other members of the congregation. He was truly concerned about our Academy not only surviving in inner city Fort Wayne, but also that it would succeed beyond expectations. He (along with our headmaster) made daily chapel a priority-how many Lutheran schools do you know that have chapel daily? The students learned about the church year, hymns and liturgy and much more in this daily chapel. Rev. Harrison could have easily given responsibility for the teachers and Academy to our headmaster. But Rev. Harrison found time in his busy schedule to often participate in faculty meetings and do other things at the school.
Rev. Harrison started a group at my request for singles older than college. We had Bible study, played volleyball, and had treats at this. It never really took off because everyone is so busy, but at least Pastor Harrison tried.
Ram had his vicarage in the New Orleans area for a year and he came back once during that year and we tried to schedule wedding plans during that one time he came home. I was disappointed that Rev. Harrison was visiting and deciding if he would go to St. Louis for his current job now when Ram was home. We never met with him about our wedding. He was in St. Louis by the time we had our wedding.
Pastor Harrison had excellent sermons and Bible studies. I remember once during a Bible study about Lazarus, he actually laid down on the table and "acted out" the Bible study. How many of you have a pastor that has done that before? It stuck with me and that was probably 13 years ago!
Along with the Catholic priest in the neighborhood, they had a neighborhood renewal project. The area around the church was run down and not nice any more. He got it going to get the abandoned houses torn down. I will always remember one house in particular where he wanted us to go march around the house 7 times and shout like Joshua fought the battle of Jericho. (He teased about it, but we didn't actually do that!) He was so happy to see each part of the slow progress they were making to better the neighborhood. He had left when much of the project was finished, including a public library was built there.
He went to St. Louis before I left Fort Wayne and now I moved away too. I find it hard to believe that Rev. Harrison has been at LCMS World Relief for 10 years already, but he has. Much has happened in those 10 years both for Rev. Harrison and his family and for my family. He has done a fantastic job at LCMS World Relief both for running the "every day" and disasters. He has done an excellent job speaking at the many events and conventions that he was invited to. I have not finished reading A Little Book on Joy, but Ram has and he said it was excellent.
Rev. Harrison and some of the other vicars and pastors at our church and in the area played their banjos and some other instruments in a band. They would play for our annual church picnic and for the Symposium banquet etc. They sure had a good time playing!
Rev. Harrison and his wife have had a lot of different experiences in their lives and lived a lot of different places. I would love to hear his wife, Kathy, speak to pastor's wives!
Cross Focused Leadership for Missouri sent Ram a copy of the paper It's Time by Rev. Harrison. If you haven't read this yet, I would recommend it. (Click on Rev. Harrison's photo on my sidebar to get to the link.)
That is why Rev. Harrison's photo has been on my sidebar over a year.
Recently I started paying a little closer attention to the mailings that Ram is receiving. It is almost overwhelming for Ram as a first time delegate. When you don't know any of the candidates running for a particular position, you can look at some of the lists of recommended ones. The problem is 2 conservative groups don't always have the same people listed. Ram and I sat down together and read through the whole list of everyone running. It's amazing the small Lutheran world that I went to college with him or her husband was at the Seminary when Ram was etc. But there are many that neither Ram nor I had ever heard of. So, if you read this blog, and you have any recommendations for people Ram should vote for (obviously after the big positions like president and the vice presidents-I'm talking about the positions like the board of regents for the universities) then please leave a comment and I'll pass the info on to Ram. (So far MY list includes P.Magness, J. Hardy, M.Thoelke, & G.Roberts.)
And this note is especially for my friends from college-Rev. Jamison Hardy is running for board of regents for Concordia Austin.
This year's convention has many more political issues than just who is elected for the different positions. The delegates need our prayers and the LCMS does too. I pray that no matter who wins the election, that they are able to have a successful convention and accomplish a lot during the week with peace and harmony for the sake of our church.