A Sadness Beyond Words

Many of you will have already heard the news posted below from Bill Ball, about Kathleen. But I got two Facebook messages today from folks who were “out of the loop,” and so I thought I’d post this to my blog.

Anybody who is a Methodist in North Texas will be heartbroken by this news. For those of us who love Kathleen and Bill like family, it’s beyond words. I hope some of the old Pursuits Class friends will also perhaps see this, and I invite you to support Bill and Skyler in this time too.

More to say in a few days. But Bill’s email is below the jump…and there’s not much more to say now…

Rev. Kathleen Baskin-Ball Update

Kathleen had a PET Scan on Wednesday morning. They found that the cancer remained fairly small in her liver. However, the scan found some cancer in her brain near her cerebellum. An MRI on Wednesday evening, confirmed the cancer near the cerebellum and noted three other locations in the brain where there are very small areas of cancer. Kathleen has decided to not have any form of brain surgery or radiation treatment for the cancer in her brain. Those efforts would likely cause much more suffering than healing. She will begin receiving hospice care at home.

We are all very sad. We want to make the most of the time that she has left. Kathleen has fought this cancer with great might. She has only missed two Sundays when she was scheduled to preach over the past two years. She preached last Sunday despite many physical challenges. Many times, she has miraculously found the strength to keep moving forward in her ministry at Suncreek and in leadership positions beyond the local church. She is grateful to all of those who have permitted her to continue to be so active in ministry.

She has now reached a point where her body needs rest. Her spirit remains strong. She wants to spend what time remains saying goodbye.

She is trying to balance her need for rest with her need to remain very connected with others. The plan for now is to setup times each day when persons can stop by to visit.

Early in Kathleen’s illness, a group from Suncreek hung symbols of love and hope on the tree in our front yard. We loved this. We welcome anyone do so now.

Kathleen wants to express her deep gratitude to all of those who keep offering her their prayers, love, and support. She wants you to know that she loves you.

Bill D. Ball, Jr


Posted by

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...)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s