Thursday, July 14, 2016
An honorable man and a fine churchman. . .
Since 1998, the Rev. Dr. Ray Hartwig has served as the Secretary of Synod. Prior to his election as Synod secretary, Hartwig had served as president of the LCMS South Dakota District for 10 years and as a parish pastor in South Dakota prior to his election as District President. He has served long, ably, and with great integrity in an office few of us count as important as it truly is. Now he plans to retire back to Sioux Falls as soon as the transition is complete. It will be very difficult for me to think of Synod without Ray Hartwig as Secretary. No one is really indispensable but Ray Hartwig has come close and leaves some very large shoes to fill. His wisdom, his gracious demeanor, his humility, his experience, and his mastery of the often arcane details of Synod's rules will be sorely missed no matter how wonderful his successor proves to be.
I cannot do much to reward Ray for his faithful and honorable service to the Church but I cannot let this moment pass without singing the praises of someone who has been content to be in the background but whose stewardship of this office has been exemplary. Thank you. Thanks to your family who has been your support and strength even as you have been theirs -- following you from South Dakota to St. Louis! Thank you and God bless you for your selfless and noble service to the Lord, to the Church, and to those of us who belong to the LCMS. Your faithfulness will long be remembered and a grateful church rejoices before the Lord for your leadership!