Thursday, January 13, 2011

January 13, 2011

Dixon Carmichael passed away on New Year’s Day. His death was unexpected – complications from surgery – and the shock in the church at his memorial service Saturday was palpable.

You may have known Dixon. We will miss him.

Dixon loved the old hymns. He had friends, some of whom are very old and others are teenagers. He cared deeply about people, about the way things are done, about taking sufficient care for the future as well as the day at hand. He held several responsible positions here at St. Paul’s. I believe his leadership came from the relationships he had with us, and the trust that engendered.

I want you to know that at St. Paul’s we expect there to be many ideas about death and the afterlife. We expect lively conversations and openness to different opinions. And I believe that these days we share are part of an everlasting and ongoing life, a wonder beyond imagining. These words from Revelation 21 give me hope for the present and faith in the future: See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more,  for the first things have passed away.’

It is bitterly sad to lose friends. It is challenging and realistic to consider our own deaths. It is part and parcel of the wonder of living that we can hold these things in our souls. And it is the nature of the church that we can offer a spiritual home to collect and sit with these realities.  

Refreshing blessings to you in this wondrous life,

The Rev. Dr. Catherine Faith MacLean

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