In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Remembering Robin

When I was part of the traveling youth music ministry team, the VP for Team ministries was this wonderful woman named Robin. She was able to talk about tough subjects with a continual smile on her face. She had a great sense of humor. She could play improv games with the best of them. She was a great leader.

A few months later, when I was getting kicked off this traveling youth music ministry team, Robin was the only person on the executive level who stood up for me. The other VPs and the President all wanted me gone, and she continued to fight for me. After the decision was made, she made sure to tell me that she was the sole dissenter in that meeting.

Some months later, I was at a very pro-gay function, and I saw that Robin was playing the drums for this event. I remarked how interesting that was. Later, I actually saw Robin...AND HER GIRLFRIEND! We had a brief conversation, but I was unaware that Robin was a part of "the family". Well, after that, our relationship grew. We were able to talk about her, and me, and this ministry organization. Eventually, Robin desired to tell more and more people at her work. She was also seeing the organization get more and more polarized about issues of sexuality. So, when the breaking point came, she left.

We continued to keep in touch on occasion. We would have lunch and gossip about the organization. When I coordinated my big conference, Robin was a major volunteer. She sat at a sound board, controlling the microphones. She even helped me prep a band that was going to be playing for the first time in front of a GLBT Christian crowd. I appreciated all the energy she threw into that place.

A few weeks ago, when I was in Phoenix, people started telling me that Robin was having major health problems. The name of her disease is ulcerative colitis. She had had some surgeries, but they weren't helping. She even had her colon removed. That surgery was the hardest for her, and she fell into a coma.

On Monday, I learned that her family was planning to take her off of life support. Robin died on Wednesday, February 22 at about 11:00 AM. Her funeral is scheduled for this Saturday.

I have a mix of emotions concerning this. I really loved Robin. I thought she was always the example of grace personified. I also appreciated what she stood for. She was able to bridge her faith and her sexuality in a great way. She was a part of a Lutheran congregation that is well known for their ministry in the GLBT community.

Her funeral is going to be a strange place for me. It's going to mix the world from this Organization and the very GLBT Congregation. Right now, I don't know if the two can co-exist in the same room...but they were both important parts of who she was. I'm interested to see what the funeral looks like, as they combine both aspects of her life.

I hope that they can honor the whole of who this person was/is. She is so much more than these two aspects of her identity, and I don't want to see any part of her denied. I also want to hear grace at this funeral. I want to know that she's always been a loved child of God, and God has not left her on her own.

Thank you, Robin. We will miss you.


Blogger Bob Bussen said...

Thank you for a beautiful posting on your friend Robin. I wish I'd known her. May she rest in peace.

Fr. B.

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good beginning, my friend. [Carving out the space, that is]

My prayers are with you.

10:02 PM  
Blogger Vic Mansfield said...

Prayers go up for Robin. May she rest in peace. Prayers for her partner, her family, and "our family." and for the whole human family.

Peace, Joe.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Chad K said...

Well, I hope that the funeral was one that caused you to run the gamete of emotions. It brought tears to my eyes, and some of the biggest smiles to my face. I do hope that you felt Robin was honored as the person she was/is. I think it was a bit skewed because I am not sure that she was in a relationship right now, so there was no partner to share at the appropriate time.

What a wonderful woman. She has me reflecting a lot about how I interact with the world and the imprint I leave on peoples hearts. Paz

8:32 PM  
Blogger LutherPunk said...

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Many blessings be with you and all of Robin's friends and loved ones.

7:50 AM  

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