I hope that on some level you know how much of an impact you have had on the people you have faithfully served in ministry. When I first started attending Olympic View Friends Church you took me under under your wing and mentored me. I was a brash, abrasive, East-coast transplant in the midst of culture shock, questioning my worth because of being unemployed. You invested your time in me and I grew as a man and as a follower of Christ because of it. One of the things I appreciate most about that time was that you didn’t give me advice, just asked questions and pointed me towards Jesus. Then, as I shared difficult things you showed compassion with my struggles and gently guided me towards grace and mercy with a humorous and compassionate spirit. Through your influence, my immature faith was deepened and I began to confront myself and stop hiding from my brokenness behind pious language and a judgmental spirit. Through your patience I learned to value silence and carving out time to listen for the still small voice and allow the Spirit to minister to me even when I didn’t hear anything. You encouraged me in a discipline I still struggle to live up to: listening for the voice of the Spirit in every conversation I have.
Through your example I learned what the spiritual parenthood of being a Friends pastor looks like, and I felt the way open for me pursue God’s call to minister as a pastor after the manner of Friends. I was afraid and distrusting of authority, and you were the right person God brought into my life to restore my faith that the church really could be the priesthood of ALL believers. You got me started on the recording process, and I am a recorded Friends Pastor because of you.
When I heard that you died, my heart fell. Your voice has been a strong one that spoke words that point to the character of Jesus and the loss of that voice is a blow to the Northwest Yearly Meeting. I hope that I can honor the time, effort, and love you have invested in me in my ministry.
I think I will go eat some toast now.
Your Sorrowful F/friend,