The Rev. Ted Erickson, 86

Ted Erickson

The Rev. Theodore H. Erickson Jr. died Jan. 9, 2022, in Ligonier, Pa., after a long illness. He was 86. Ordained in 1962, he served as a local church pastor in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania and as a social justice organizer and advocate. He was on the staff of the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries for 30 years, serving as a planning associate, secretary for mission coordination, executive assistant to the executive vice president, and general secretary of the Division of Health and Welfare. Erickson was the news editor of the Journal for Current Social Issues and the founding editor of New Conversations, and wrote more than 70 papers and published articles. His full obituary is here.

Ted Erickson “brought a prophetic voice to the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries in an encyclopedic array of social justice commitments,” said the Rev. Thomas E. Dipko. He became UCBHM’s executive vice-president in 1992, as Erickson was nearing retirement — but had long been an admirer. “His research was thorough and his voluminous collection of compelling articles kept the church honest about practicing what it preaches,” Dipko said. “The range of subjects included Jewish-Christian relations, health care for all, the right of workers to unionize, and racial justice in church and society. His contributions to all these matters and more, published in journal New Conversations, informed and shaped my personal ministry in indelible ways. I keep dozens of these publications in my home and learn something new each time I open the pages. Ted was a teacher and friend for all seasons. “

Remembering him as “a very kind and gracious colleague,” past UCC General Minister and President John Thomas also noted the breadth of Erickson’s contributions. These ranged — as just two examples — from a conference focusing on the mission implications of the 1997 Formula of Agreement among Lutheran and Reformed churches to his work on the 1989 General Synod pronouncement, “Christian Faith: Economic Life and Justice.” The latter, Thomas said, “is remarkably prescient, not only naming the realities of its day but also anticipating much of what we are struggling against today.”


“In Memoriam” features brief obituaries about prominent United Church of Christ leaders. For a listing of all recent clergy deaths, as reported to The Pension Boards, please visit this link.

Categories: United Church of Christ News

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