Tag Archives: resurrection

Until we meet again, Ted Hickman

14316837_10209909925482586_6630254089391490747_nOnly 17 short days ago they gathered to bid me farewell. My colleagues and friends from the community of nongovernmental organizations at the United Nations; my friends and colleagues from the Presbytery of New York City.

Ted was there. And after the words were spoken and the time came for people to leave, Ted and I looked at each other across the room.

We smiled. We moved toward one another. And as we had done before, threw open our arms and walked into an embrace, two bears seeking to engulf each other.

He whispered into my ear. Words of thanks. Assurances of prayers. Best wishes for what lay ahead.

I whispered back. Words of thanks. Assurances of prayers. Best wishes for what lay ahead.

As we disengaged, I said my final words. I refused to say goodbye as I left New York. And so I said to Ted, “Until we meet again.”

Only two short hours ago I received the email from the office of the Presbytery of New York City.

“In Memoriam” read the subject line. I had received enough emails with that subject to know what it meant. Someone had died.

I was prepared to learn of a death. I was not prepared to see Ted’s gracious, smiling face. Nor did I expect to read these words:

It is with deep sadness and grief for his family and this presbytery that I tell you that Theodore (Ted) Hickman, the Moderator of our Presbytery of New York City, died last night in his sleep.

Ted was 51.

My initial shock has given way to deep sadness and grief.

I grieve for his family … for Duryea Presbyterian Church where he served as the Commissioned Ruling Elder (pastor) … for his colleagues at NYU-Langone Medical Center … for the Presbytery of New York City … for all who knew and loved this good man.

I grieve for a song and life ended too soon. Too soon.

I grieve for what might have been.

I grieve for myself.

I grieve, knowing that, in life and in death, Ted, and all of us belong to God.

I grieve, knowing that love never ends, even death can never sever the cords of love that bind us together.

I grieve, believing in the resurrection.

I grieve and proclaim “Alleluia.”

I grieve and remember those final words I said:

Until we meet again,
my friend, my brother.
Until we meet again.

Note: the photo of Ted Hickman is the one that appeared in the message from the Presbytery of New York that announced his death. 

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Easter, 2015

The world looks much the same;
horror, hatred, evil still remain.
Yet somehow, somehow all has changed.
Christ is risen!
May we experience and live
the Easter message
today and all days.

5 April 2015
Louisville, Kentucky

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New creation

The facade cracks,
slowly falls away.
The truth,
only the truth,
painful, wrenching truth
remains.
Naked, vulnerable,
do we
retreat to old pretenses,
erect new falsehoods,
renew delusions?
Or do we dare
open ourselves to
resurrection,
new creation?

28 August 2014
Cleveland Heights, Ohio

 

 

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Rise: 21 May 2014

IMG_0172

The sun rises.
and through the trees
we witness.

We rise,
though beset with trouble,
though battered,
though wounded,
we rise again.

Our awareness may falter,
our understanding may be through a thicket dimly
but surely, surely
Resurrection.

22 January 2009
General Butler State Park
Carrollton, Kentucky

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Advent 12: Hope

Toasting Cindy

I have resisted including explanations with my posts in the Advent-photo-a-day. This one is different. It calls for some words.

One year ago, December 12, 2012, Cindy Bolbach, moderator of the 219th General Assembly (2010) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), died.

In the sure and certain hope of the resurrection, I posted an invitation to my friends to pause wherever they were and lift a toast in thanks for the life and witness of Cindy Bolbach at 20:10 that evening. Many people participated. My son Sean joined me at a spot off Times Square where we took this photo.

The hope we celebrated one year ago holds Cindy and all of us still. Thanks be to God. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

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Missing Clint, giving thanks

I clicked on the Facebook link to the birthdays of my friends. Usually I discover a surprise on the list as I have very few of those days memorized. Heck, I have to stop and think about the birthdays of my family. Often the surprise proves pleasant as it affords me the opportunity to remember someone.

Today’s surprise brought a Communion of Saints moment.

Clint McCoy’s name appeared. Executive for partnerships of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Synod of the Northeast, Clint died suddenly on September 12, 2010 of a massive heart attack. His family has not closed his Facebook account.

A pang of grief pricked my heart. I followed the link to his page and found a number of comments by family members and friends. I remembered conversations and interactions. I smiled. And I gave thanks, grateful to have been Clint’s friend and colleague in ministry. Thanks be to God.

See you along the Trail.

 

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Purple flowers, Greeley Centennial Village Museum

The 2011 Colorado trek had elements of
sadness mixed with joy.
Our friend Steve died before we arrived,
but we gave thanks with his family and friends
as we witnessed to the Resurrection
and celebrated his life.

Steve lived in Greeley:
some among his friends called him
the Bishop of Greeley.

There in his domain,
we found the
Greeley Centennial Village Museum
and many gardens
and many purple flowers.

These are the first.
Others will follow in weeks to come.

8 July 2011
Greeley Centennial Village Museum
Greeley, CO

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