Bishop Kelsey died today in a car accident.
I am in shock and grief.
The brothers and sisters were with him just over a week ago. He had come to California to be with us for a week for our joint meeting. Just a week before that me and three other brothers were with him in Northern Michigan. We were visiting to get to know his diocese and the local community and to learn about mutual ministry. The Society of St. Francis was joining Jim in working with this community.
He was such a visionary. There aren’t a lot of parishiners in the smaller churches up there and Jim was developing an educational and ministry model to support these congregations with new ways of involving everyone into ministry. Being with him was to be excited and energized . He truly embraced the challenges facing the church and led us into new ways of understanding church ministry.
He had joined the Third Order of SSF and I was thrilled about this. I found it exciting to see a bishop so enthusiastic about Franciscan principals and their implications in Episcopal life. His understanding of moral justice and in God’s love for everyone was an inspiration.
My prayers go out for his wife Mary – my throat chokes to think of her loss – his children and for the whole community in Upper Michigan and the Episcopal Church. He was one of our best. This a great loss.
The picture I use as my header is one I took in Upper Michigan from our trip there last month.
Thank you Jim, for your generous hospitality, your warmth, and all you have done for the Upper Peninsula and the gift of your presence in all whom you have touched. May you rest in God’s peace.
br. jacob, ssf
03 Jun 07
follow this link for sermons and other writings from Bishop Kelsey
O God of grace and glory, we remember before you this day our brother James. We thank you for giving him to us, his family and friends, to know and to love as a companion on our earthly pilgrimage. In your boundless compassion, console us who mourn. Give us faith to see in death the gate of eternal life, so that in quiet confidence we may continue our course on earth, until, by your call, we are reunited with those who have gone before; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: Accept our prayers on behalf of your servant James and grant him an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
Father of all, we pray to you for James, and for all those whom we love but see no longer. Grant to them eternal rest. Let light perpetual shine upon them. May his soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen
from left to right: brother jacob, bishop kelsey, brother christopher, brother donald