Friday, November 24, 2017
Godspeed, Pastor Dave...
And I have posted about working with our children's pastors many times over the years; sewing costumes and set pieces. You might remember the costuming ....the gold dress with the white oversleeves and both of the boys' tunics in the above flyer, for instance. Pastor Dave added the studs to the tunics, making them more ruggedly squire-looking.
That was just a bit of the awesome eye for detail that Pastor Dave would exhibit. I never failed to be amazed and inspired by his vision and genius, all with the goal of using that creativity to share the gospel in a way that even little kids could understand that they are loved.
Today, I woke up to a text message that our beloved Pastor Dave had had a massive heart attack in the early morning hours. Of course, being a person of faith, I believe he's currently walking around heaven enthusiastically reacting to the beauty and the creativity in abundance. But also being a person who loved him and his family, enjoyed working and creating with him and just plain liking him as a warm, kind-hearted, caring person....well, I had to read the text three times before I comprehended that it said what it looked like it said. I can't fathom the effect on his wife and three kids (all pictured in that flyer, but the kids are now grown). They have been in my heart and prayers all day.
He was a colleague on church staff; that meant that, as the DBA, I was involved with the Kids Quest team for registration for the big summer theme events as well as volunteer costuming. But above and beyond that, he was a pastor to my kids. He pastored them when they were young, educated them in ministry as teens and mentored them as young adults. My two youngest are now lay adult staff members of the children's ministry team. We've seen the ministry up close and personal, from the backstage, and I can tell you that it is authentic. The pastors lived what they taught. They set high standards and challenged the kids to...for those in leadership, insisted that the kids... meet those standards.
He created all the puppets himself; designed the stage for our children's sanctuary, designed the sets for the children's theme every summer...ranging from medieval castles to steampunk labs to dinosaur enclosures, pirate ships and more. He even did some sets for local high school productions and community theater groups.
But, also, in times of crisis, both national (think 9/11) or local, it was Pastor Dave that the church turned to for guidance in helping our kids process and deal with the harsher side of life. He had the ability to break something down to a kids' level and help them understand. He truly loved the kids...and they loved him.
He was also a huge Captain America fan; his office is FILLED with figurines, posters, and other memorabilia. Facebook profile pictures have been converting to Captain America references all day long in honor of Pastor Dave; my older son actually stopped at Target to pick up a Captain America t-shirt and found a nearly empty display. The clerk commented that she'd filled that to absolute capacity just yesterday. I expect to see a sea of Captain America T-shirts at church Sunday.
There's no way to estimate the number of lives he has impacted. He will be sorely and deeply missed.