“I Want to Be in That Number”– Do you?
with Lois M. Wilson
Last summer, when reading my Bible, I noticed that when a friend died, I had noted the date of their death and their name opposite the scriptural text read at their funeral.
Every time I read these texts I was energized and spurred on to continue the work for justice and peace that the gospel requires. These texts were not chosen for their sentimental value, but to reflect the specific Christian experience and spirituality of the deceased.
I didn’t want this rich source of strength and vitality lost to current generations of the ‘great company of believers.’ So I selected forty people; condensed biographies of their lives; set them in their historical context; related the text to the person I had known, and then wrestled with the implications of that scriptural text for us who struggle to create new possibilities for the world we would like to have.
What can we learn from the texts of these contemporary “saints” for our witness today? What “saints” do you know? What is their legacy for us?”
LOIS M. WILSON is an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada (’65) and its first female Moderator (’80-’82).
She has a long and distinguished record with the voluntary sector and the ecumenical community on social and theological issues, human rights, Inter-faith and women’s issues at all levels of church and government.
Lois served as president of both Canadian and World Council of Churches (’76-’90) and as an Independent Senator (’98-2002). As Moderator she wrote, “Apparently I was free to preach the gospel provided I didn’t disturb anyone; free to speak in tongues provided they couldn’t be understood; and free to heal wounds provided they weren’t the wounds of the body politic.” Currently she is Distinguished Minister in Residence, Emmanuel College, Toronto.