In his keynote at the 92nd International Convention of the International Lutheran Laymen’s League, Ned Jarrett advised convention-goers to “build respect in your fellow man” — a motto he lived by, first as a racecar driver, and later as a broadcaster.
Jarrett, whose father let him drive the family car to church on Sunday when the youngster was just 9 years old, recalled how he was the first to wear a tie to a local “champions banquet” and made an effort to answer interviewers’ questions fully and politely, earning him the nickname “Gentleman Ned Jarrett.”
When he got the chance to go into broadcasting when he retired from driving in 1966, he took it. “God was the one leading,” he told the convention. “He kept putting me in positions to do things that were out of the ordinary.”
As a broadcaster, Jarrett says, “I realized God had given me a platform.” As he began to speak at public events, Jarrett often was invited to offer the invocation, which he “was always happy to do because I recognized it was another opportunity to witness and to build respect in others,” he said.
Jarrett competed in 352 races in 13 years and was Grand National Champion in 1961 and 1965.
Some 740 people attended the convention, held July 16-19 in Greensboro, N.C., under the theme “Share His Story,” from Psalm 66:16. The gathering included motivational speakers, faith-sharing workshops, worship, and fellowship activities.
During the convention, new officers were elected to two-year terms:
- Lou Marting of Mission Viejo, Calif., vice president.
- Ed Tiefenbach, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, treasurer.
- Paul Walther, Belleville, Ill., secretary.
- David Muck, North Tonawanda, N.Y., governor of Region 1.
- W. Michael MacDowell, Hopkinsville, Ky., governor of Region 3.
- John Raffel, Greenville, Mich., governor of Region 5.
- Michael Brown, Westminster, Colo., governor of Region 11.
- Dale Bentley, Meridian, Idaho, governor of Region 13.
Re-elected to new terms were:
- Charles Groth, Fairmont, Minn., governor of Region 7.
- Lorris Haarberg, Arapahoe, Neb., governor of Region 9.
- Bob Felstead, Canmore, Alberta, Canada, governor of Region 15.
Delegates also voted to hold the convention every two years instead of annually. After the next convention, July 22-25, 2010, in Omaha, Neb., the convention will be held in even-numbered years.
In his report to the convention, Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) Executive Director Larry Lumpe provided updates on the ministry:
- expansion of “The Lutheran Hour,” which is airing on more than 900 stations and is now available in a Spanish version called “Para el Camino.”
- launching of the LHM “Men’s NetWork,” which is now serving more than 2,000 congregations.
- production of new episodes of “Woman to Woman” and distribution of the program into new markets.
- continuing support for LHM’s international ministry centers in more than 30 countries worldwide.
“How blessed we are,” Lumpe said.
Int’l LLL President Mick Onnen noted that although many volunteer organizations today — including the Int’l LLL — are experiencing a decline in membership, he remains optimistic and enthused about the future.
He assured attendees that “the Board of Governors is working toward needed changes while examining other options that will be of value to the League down the road.”
Bruce Wurdeman, who will succeed Lumpe as LHM executive director Aug. 1, shared a little of his vision for the coming days. “I know God has opened and will continue to open more doors for ministry than we can walk through — and He will expect us to choose wisely those that we can best handle and where we can have the most impact,” Wurdeman said. “I know that it is better to do a few things with excellence than a lot of things with mediocrity. We will focus on excellence.”
Also addressing the convention were LCMS President Gerald B. Kieschnick, Lutheran Church–Canada President Robert Bugbee, and Lutheran Women’s Missionary League President Janice Wendorf.
During a “Ladies Luncheon,” Phyllis Wallace, host of LHM’s “Woman to Woman” radio program, interviewed Pattie Petty, wife of racing legend Kyle Petty, while more than 200 men from the convention visited the Petty family’s Adaumont Farm to enjoy a barbecue and learn about LHM’s “Men’s NetWork.”
The convention’s LHM Celebration event featured music, dance, a multimedia presentation on LHM’s heritage, and a message from Dr. Ken Klaus, speaker of “The Lutheran Hour,” under the theme “A Word from Our Sponsor.”
“Today, ‘The Lutheran Hour,’ as it has done for almost 80 years, is glad to share a true Word from our Divine Sponsor,” Klaus told convention-goers. “Today the Lord of Life is our Sponsor, and the Word from Him, the Word which we need to hear from Him, is this: Jesus Christ has redeemed us, not with gold or silver, but with His holy precious blood and His innocent suffering and death. The word from our Sponsor is Savior.”
For more information about the Int’l LLL, LHM, or the convention, visit www.lhm.org on the Web or call 800-876-9880.
Posted July 23, 2009