Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Meet the New Boss; Not the Same as the Old Boss

President Matthew C. Harrison attended a portion of last week’s Northwest District Convention, in which he spoke and fielded questions from the podium. For a little historical perspective, I dug out the question card that you were required to fill out if you wanted to ask President Kieschnick a question during the 2009 District Convention. Guess I never got around to asking a question. Here it is:

Click on the graphic for a larger view

Unlike 2009, President Harrison fielded questions without them being previously vetted, the questioner asking his or her question directly from the microphones on the floor. This proved to be a rather interesting affair. At times, President Harrison was applauded, such as for his appearance before the House Committee on Government and Oversight last February. At other times, the tone was tense, such as when a pastor questioned President Harrison on his position regarding a pastor in the LCMS who has been communing with his wife at an ELCA congregation. That was followed by the ELCA-communing pastor’s sister questioning President Harrison, an emotional plea that didn’t really need to be asked, since he had already said what he could say, since the case is currently being adjudicated.

Then there was the question that was three questions, presented by a District Vice-President. And the question from one woman wondering about women’s ordination in the LCMS. And the questioning pastor, who when asked by President Harrison whether or not he thought homosexuality was a sin, answered that he didn’t know. At some point I was wondering if I’d walked into the ELCA convention down the hall by mistake. Not that I agreed with every single thing President Harrison said either, but a modest degree of collegiality might be in order.

The point is, he answered every question asked in a forthright manner, and wasn’t being lobbed softball questions that were pre-selected. I think his demeanor and honesty are qualities that will resonate with many of these delegates. I’m glad to have a Synod President who calls a thing what it is.

1 comment:

Dennis Peskey said...

Scott - President Harrison did the same at our Michigan District convention. The one question which gave him pause was "How much has the past two years as President changed you as an individual?" After a few seconds of reflection, he responded, "Every night I pray when I wake-up in the morning I'm still a Christian!" That's our President and for that I thank the Lord.