Volunteer, Pastor Marlin Harris

Member Since:  04/01/2014

Why did you choose to become a member of SACK?

As the Pastor of True Vine Lutheran Church in Mora, MN, I appreciate the invitation to serve on the Substance Abuse Committee of Kanabec County.  It’s not a job description requirement, but a personal desire to help make a difference in people’s lives.

 What is one talent or skill that you bring to SACK?

I bring to the table a unique set of skills in Pastoral Care working with all ages having served as an Air Force Chaplain, parish pastor, and hospice chaplain for the past 33 years.   While in the Air Force, I received specialized training in Drug and Alcohol Counseling during a year of Clinical Pastoral Education.

What are you most interested in or passionate about when it comes to preventing youth substance use?

I am interested in mentoring and educating. The decision to abuse substances has current and future negative consequences.  As an adult child of an alcoholic, I know that abusing can be very hard on a family.  When my father quit abusing alcohol and went into an AA recovery program, family life became less hostile and more peaceful.   I am proud to say that my church is hosting a Celebrate Recovery Program.  It is for all ages which include the youth.

What have you gained by being involved with SACK?

Being involved with SACK gives me more hope for our youth.  It is great that we have a vast community involvement, putting great minds together, in dealing with substance abuse issues and problems.  I see that more and more people do care about the future generations of our youth.

What is one hope you have for future generations in this community?

Youth and adults need to know that there is hope and better ways to handle life than substance abuse.  Trusting in God, who cares for them, will make a difference.  Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”