Friday, December 05, 2008

two lives

I have been moved by the witnesses to two lives that have been communicated via the web this week; the first, by Ben Witherington III, is the eulogy that he gave at the memorial service for his father, Ben Witherington, Jr.; the second, by Amy Forbus, is found on her blog Dog and God, and also on the United Methodist Portal, and is in response to the death of Kathleen Baskin-Ball; a second piece about Kathleen is by Eric Folkerth, a third is by Bishop Robert Schnase. I know Amy mostly in her role as an editor with the United Methodist Reporter. I do not know Eric, but his blog is powerfully written; I do know Robert Schnase well, and give thanks for his ministry at both denominational and personal levels (see his piece at the Five Practices site to the right).

Ben is a close friend, a prominent New Testament scholar, and a frequent teacher in our congregation. His parents live a mile or so away, so we would see each other on occasion. You can find his blog to the right, and I commend his words, spoken as a family witness, to you.

Kathleen was a leading pastor (and woman pastor) in our denomination. We served together five years ago on the Faith and Order Committee at the 2004 General Conference, which meant that we sat side by side for about ten hours a day, for five consecutive days, and then had a number of conversations in the days following. She struck me as a very gifted, compassionate, bright and engaged leader in our church. Our paths would not cross again until a year ago, in Fort Worth, at the 2008 General Conference. I learned that she had a form of terminal cancer. We spoke only briefly (North Texas sat just behind Western North Carolina, but she was surrounded by many friends and supporters), and I told her that I would pray for her, which I did at times.

I was taken aback to learn that she had died on Tuesday. Her witness, in life and death, was compelling, and I would commend again the reflections of Amy and Eric, and Robert Schnase.

See especially this reflection by Amy.

Two compelling lives, now completed, at least on earth; two deaths, but, as both communities and families would quickly say, two experiences of resurrection.


Blogger DogBlogger said...

Thank you for the link, Ken. I keep finding more and more written about her, a testament to the lives she touched.

3:04 PM  

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