Yesterday we received the sad news that Reverend Ed Beck had passed away. Reverend Ed was the pastor at my church as I grew up. His position alone made him influential, but it was his personality and his faith, not his position, which garnered my utmost respect. It will be said many times over the next few days, but I don't think it could ever be said enough - he was a great man.
Here are a few things that come to mind when I think of Rev. Ed. I'll probably think of more later, and I'm sure some of you could add many more great memories.
- He was one of the most intelligent men I've ever met.
- Hanging out at the Beck household for 2nd and 3rd grade Sunday School parties
- Pastor Penguin
- The Old Violin poem
- The story of the boy in the Christmas pageant who offered his room to Mary and Joseph
- The way he laughed it off when a few punk kids (Kurt, Tony and I) made fun of him at a church talent show. He also assured us that we could still (barely) make it into heaven.
- The way he could sing all the verses of hymns without even glancing at a hymnal.
- The way he tapped his fingers before the benediction
- The time he spent working with us to organize the contemporary services
- a very genuine faith that was evident as he preached or in everyday conversation
- How he went out of his way to raise support for Robin and me from his new church.
- His visits to youth group meetings (And for some odd reason, I remember Matt Laughtzenheiser asking him if Bill Clinton was the anti-christ)
- His portrayal of a Rabbi for Walk through Bethlehem
- His stories about running barefoot in the summers when he was a boy and standing behind the outfield fence when the Indians played in the world series