Sheron Patterson

sheronpattersonIncredibly, another clergy friend has cancer. This time, it’s my old friend, Sheron Patterson. Sheron is probably known to some of you. She occasionally writes op-eds for the Morning News, and appears in other media settings. So, if you think you recognize her, you probably do.
Sometime after my friend Kathleen Baskin announced her cancer, Sheron also went public with her breast cancer diagnosis too. I was watching the news just night to discover that she had surgery just today. I knew she had cancer. What I didn’t know until I watched the news just a couple of minutes ago was that her surgery was today.

So, I am writing this quick blog tonight, and asking for your prayers for her as well. Sheron and I were at Perkins School of Theology at the same time. We shared several classes together, but there’s been way too much time pass for either of us to remember what they were now. What brought us together is that we’d both been journalism majors in college. Sheron also later became good friends with one of my residence hall bosses (Jennifer). Sheron, her husband Robert, Jennifer and I went out to dinner a couple of times back in those days.

Sheron and I were ordained around the same time. That’s not significant. But her’s was on its own, because she was the first African American woman ever ordained in the North Texas Conference. That seems hard to imagine. Then again, given other “firsts” I’ve seen even more recently, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

Like most of my other friends, I don’t see her as much as I should these days. (Frankly, I am beginning to seriously contemplate just how troubling that is. How do we let friends just slip away and not keep up?)

Here’s her website, where you can find all sorts of info. into the many great facets of her life. And here’s an essay into today’s DMN that talks about today’s surgery. Here’s the story FOX4 did tonight.

I am thinking and praying for Sheron tonight, and I hope you will too.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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