Are Denis and Margie available for speaking engagements? How do we arrange for them to speak at one of our events? Can we assign their topic? What financial arrangements are required?
Yes. Both Denis and Margie are available as their schedule permits.
Contact them via the Contact button on this website or write them at Ransom Fellowship, 5245 132nd Court, Savage, MN 55378. Ask about their availability for specific date(s) and they’ll get back to you. Eventually they’ll want to know about the type of the audience involved, the number of messages or talks, and your goals for the gathering. Although it’s not possible to simply assign their topics, they are happy to discuss what would best fit your conference or seminar and audience.
Keep in mind that their area of expertise is discernment: engaging our pluralistic culture with the gospel and living faithfully in the ordinary of life. Expect that Denis will want to address some aspect of reading the world in light of reading the Word. Margie is limiting her speaking to readings from her memoir, The Exact Place and its sequel, which she is working on, and events in which she will only speak once.
Costs. They do not have a set fee, but Ransom’s Board has set two policies: First, all expenses (travel, housing, materials, etc.) need to be covered (checks payable to Ransom Fellowship). And second, since they make a living through this ministry, an honorarium is requested. For Denis speaking over a full weekend we request a minimum of $1000; if the speaking also includes sessions earlier in the week or on Sunday at a church, we request a minimum of $1500 (check made payable to Ransom). For Margie’s reading or speaking we request a minimum of $250 (check made payable to her).
A few details. For several reasons (including age and health concerns) they need to be housed in a hotel rather than in a home. In most cases they will choose to drive rather than fly, following the advice of physicians. At your conference or seminar, they will also want to set up a literature table where copies of Critique and Letters from The House Between will be available (free), copies of Margie’s The Exact Place and God in the Sink will be for sale, and where people can sign up for Ransom’s mailing list.
Flexibility is possible. If these amounts or conditions are impossible for you, please let the Haacks know when you contact them, since we don’t want finances to be the final issue in determining their speaking.
Can Ransom Fellowship be my church?
Denis and/or Margie is speaking at one of my events. Where can I get images and biographical information of them for brochures and promotional literature?
You can find biographical information on our About as well as high quality, high resolution images.
Does Denis attend church? Does Margie sing in the choir?
Yes, to the first question: Denis and Margie are active members of Church of the Cross (Anglican Church of North America). Ummm, no, to the second. Denis doesn’t sing in the choir, either, which is an even greater blessing.
Where does the name Ransom Fellowship come from?
From the beginning our goal was to help believers live and think Christianly in the world. Or, as we sometimes put it, to help them both read the Word and read the world. So, we wanted a name that resonated with both aspects, with both culture and Scripture. The “Fellowship” part was easy, since we are committed to the notion that discernment is nurtured in community. We need one another’s gifts and callings to make sense of the world, and we need the Church to correctly hear God’s word. We tried various names before we thought of “Ransom,” but once mentioned, it rang true. Ransom is a biblical term, since redemption includes the idea that we have been purchased from our slavery to sin and prideful autonomy from God. “The Son of Man did not come to be served,” Matthew 20:28 says, “but to give his life as a ransom for many.” And, Ransom is also the name of the main character in C. S. Lewis’ remarkable science fiction trilogy. Those three novels—Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, & That Hideous Strength—deeply affected us, and provided the link to culture we were seeking in a name.
Why don’t you have subscription rates for Critique or Letters from The House Between?
They are intended not to be “publications” to compete in the marketplace, but as a natural extension of our speaking and mentoring ministry. Thus, we distribute them freely to all who request them. Once a year or so we send a letter to everyone on the mailing list whom we haven’t heard from to see if they want to remain on the list. All donors to Ransom automatically remain on the list.
Why should we bother to engage the culture?
Because culture is a good gift of God, and because Jesus is Lord not just of souls, but of all created reality. Because we live in and are part of culture, and when the gospel is brought to bear on culture, the result both brings glory to God and transforms lives and society.