I’ve been thinking a lot about the loss of loved ones. This year at Northaven we’ve experienced the deaths of several key leaders. First, there was Charles Delphenis, who was known for welcoming visitors for years and years. There was Mike Pybas, who was “Mr. Volunteer” at several Dallas nonprofits. Bill Warrick, our head usher for 35 years, who never missed a Sunday, died suddenly. And, finally, there was the Rev. Bill McElvaney, our emeritus pastor and my friend and mentor.
That’s a lot of losses in our congregation. And they’ve moved us all into a season of both mourning their passing and giving thanks for their gifts
For the past several months I’ve been reflecting on the important lessons that each of these men taught me. But even more than what I’ve learned from them, I’ve been reflecting on the whole idea of mentors and teachers. No matter who we are, no matter how much we grow or how old we become, we need them.
On the first Sunday of November, many churches celebrate All Saints Sunday. For some, it’s a time to look back at the genuine saints of the Christian tradition. For others, it’s a time to celebrate, give thanks and remember the saints of our personal lives.
None of us are “self-made.” That phrase is perhaps the most unrealistic description of a human being ever penned. Rather, all of us are dependent upon parents, teachers, coaches, clergy, neighbors and others. We begin life as babies — little more than helpless loaves of bread — and we would never make it into adulthood without the constant guidance, help and support of others.
(This is my October worship column for Preston Hollow Advocate. Read the rest here).