The three national officers of the United Church of Christ issued the following statement today, paying tribute to former UCC President Avery D. Post, who died Sept. 7. A complete obituary may be found by clicking here.
As officers of the United Church of Christ, we extend both to the surviving family members of the Rev. Dr. Avery Post and to the Church he loved and served so well our deepest sympathy upon his death.
We have a deep appreciation for the kind of self-sacrifice one makes when responding to the call to serve in the Wider Church. Avery made those sacrifices with joy. He gave freely of his time, his energy, his vision, and his heart to serve as an Officer of the United Church of Christ.
As a former Ecumenical Officer, Karen Georgia Thompson shares this reflection:
The UCC and the ecumenical movement in the United States and globally have lost a great leader and ecumenist with the passing of Avery Post. His commitment to ecumenism saw him present at tables around the world witnessing to the UCC’s priority to be ecumenically and theologically engaged in a world that was fast globalizing. His commitment to ecumenism was recognized in the naming of the Avery Post Award for Ecumenism which is presented at each General Synod to a recognized ecumenist in the UCC.
Traci Blackmon shares this:
Earlier this year the national setting responded to the International Day of Prayer by posting individual prayers from global leaders every 30 minutes for 24 hours. From his sick bed, Rev. Dr. Avery Post gratefully added his prophetic and pastoral voice in spite of the challenges in doing so. I know no greater way to honor his ministry than to share that final prayer here:
Oh God, we think of you now, our God, in terms of science.
You are God of light and of scientific knowledge.
You are God of all eternity,
You are God of all time.
Just as you go with us into the future, so also,
You are God of the present, the God we know now.
Therefore we pray to you at all times as people of grateful hearts. Amen.
His memory will always be a blessing to the church, all who know and love him, and generations to come.
We are all proud to now serve in the footsteps of this humble servant. His poetic language, his prophetic courage, his compassion for the vulnerable, and his insistence on excellence challenge each of us to uphold standards and traditions he and those who served with him established.
We call upon the Church to lift up his name in an upcoming service of worship. We ask you to give thanks to God for what he did to maintain the United Church of Christ’s commitments to love, to justice, and to the call of Christ on our hearts and minds. Remind new worshipers and young family members that we walk in the footsteps of countless generations of faithful leaders like Avery who, as the beloved hymn states, were “faithful their whole lives through,” and who “lived not only in ages past.”
For all who serve the Church; for all who are called to the Wider Church; for those to whom we entrust the work as Officers we give thanks for their lives of faithful service. And may the eternal soul of our beloved Avery Post not rest in the arms of his creator. May he know the peace of the life everlasting given by the crucified and risen Jesus. And may the Holy Spirit of the living God and the risen Christ give comfort to all whom mourn his passing and celebrate his life and ministry.
The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer, General Minister and President
The Rev. Traci Blackmon, Associate General Minister, Justice and Local Church Ministries
The Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson, Associate General Minister, Wider Church Ministries and Operations; Co-Executive, Global Ministries