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

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of Kessler Park UMC United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. Previously, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas for seventeen years. Eric loves to write on topics of spirituality, social justice, music/art and politics. The entries on this blog reflect that diversity of interests. His passion for social justice goes beyond mere words. He’s been arrested at the White House, defending immigrants and “The Dreamers,” and he’s officiated at same sex weddings in his churches, in defiance of what some believe is Methodist teaching. Eric is an avid blogger and published author, and 2017 recipient of the prestigeous Kuchling Humanitarian Award from Dallas’ Black Tie Dinner. (Human Rights Campaign) 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, and is currently the longest service district judge in that district. She was re-elected for a fourth term in 2018. They have the world’s best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. Find links to Eric’s music-related websites, at the top of this site’s navigation menu.

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