The Rev. Ryan Fischer
Faith Community: St. Anne’s, Warsaw
Hometown: Drayton, ND. (birthplace); Crookston, Minn. (grade school); Fargo, ND (high school, college, and beyond)
Who does your immediate family consist of?: I am single, but have a sister, brother-in-law, and niece in suburban Minneapolis-St. Paul, and my parents are in Fargo.
In what ministries do you participate?: I have been serving as Rector since March 15, 2019.
Who is your greatest inspiration?: I suppose if, as I priest, I don’t say “God,” my theology would be called into question! If I were to name a human being, however, I would have to say my Dad. He is retired from positions in technical services and management at a beet sugar cooperative back home, but has been increasingly challenged by Parkinson’s disease since retirement and currently lives in a nursing home – yet his attitude and ability to keep on top of things is truly inspirational.
Favorite sports team?: My high school basketball team (never played for them, but had a distinguished tenure as both student manager and benchwarmer). They’re the Grovers of Oak Grove Lutheran School in Fargo, three-time North Dakota State Class B boys basketball champions.
What’s God been teaching you recently?: How to listen to the people in this new context in which I serve, and to weave their stories into the bigger story of how God works with God’s people wherever they may be.
What was your first job?: Summer work when I was in high school, painting buildings and doing odd jobs on my uncle’s farm. However, between my senior year of high school and freshman year of college, I got my first job with a real paycheck at the post office in Fargo.
What’s your proudest moment?: Three moments, actually, but the same type of event – graduating from Concordia College (B.A.), Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary (M.Div.), and the University of North Dakota (M.P.H.). I really enjoy going to school, so I take pride in the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a degree.
What’s one place you’d like to visit before you die and why?: Alaska. Actually, I’ve been there before, but I was only twelve years old at the time. I’d like to see how much has changed since then, as well as be awe-struck once again by the beauty of God’s creation one can see there.
What’s your favorite TV series?: My all-time favorite is M*A*S*H, but lately I’ve been watching a lot of shows on “nostalgia” channels like Antenna TV and Decades, and I’m really getting into Barney Miller, Mannix, and Johnny Carson-era Tonight Show reruns.
What’s your most memorable experience?: Spending a good chunk of the summer of 1981 at my Aunt Carol and Uncle Winston’s home as my aunt was convalescing after the birth of my cousin Kathryn. I was only seven at the time, but, for some reason, the experience made quite an impression on me.
What’s your favorite book?: The Book of Common Prayer– yeah, I know, that sounds preciously pious, but, as an ex-Lutheran, I find much of it (especially the Thirty-Nine Articles and the Catechism) to be in harmony with what I appreciated in the Lutheran tradition. I also like the way it centers the ritual and spirituality of the Episcopal Church, making it unique, in my opinion, among the broad spectrum of Christian denominations.
What are your hobbies?: Old cars and auto mechanics, music, reading, travel.
What was your childhood ambition?: To be an architect or an engineer – would’ve done it but got scared away by the math!
What’s your favorite food?: Polish cuisine (my paternal grandmother was Polish and was from Warsaw, North Dakota instead of Warsaw, Indiana), and I must’ve inherited my appreciation of it from my Dad. I also enjoy a good steak or “surf ‘n turf,” which was the focal point of dining out many Friday and Saturday nights back in North Dakota.
What’s your most recent purchase?: Sport coats and trousers – I needed to update my wardrobe a bit for my work at St. Anne’s!