When year-end lists are made, it is usually “celebrity” lives within a community that are noted. For instance, in 2017, the North American Adventist Academic Community lost Ben McArthur, Charles Teel, Jr., and Richard Lesher.
Historian McArthur left a letter of encouragement for his students at Southern Adventist University before he passed away in May.
Sociologist and Missiologist Teel sought to make Adventists “transformers of culture,” wrote his La Sierra University colleague Gary Chartier.
Administrator Lesher had touched many circles by the time of his death, given his long years of service to the church.
What about your Adventist world? Did you lose a pastor, a Sabbath School teacher, a long-time member of your church? Or, in your family, did you lose a parent, a sibling, a spouse? The Seventh-day Adventist family suffers from each loss.
My world was touched by the loss of Bud Roberts, a retired pastor who did not know the meaning of the word retirement as he continued to find creative ways to serve his church and community. His cheery presence made him friends with all he met, whether at the Ridge Golf Course where he worked as a starter, or at the Carmichael Seventh-day Adventist Church where he was part of the pastoral staff and helped to develop a weekly food program for the needy. He was also a prayer columnist for the Auburn Journal.
His interest in spiritual things was evident from childhood. We learned at his Memorial Service that even before he could read, he loved marking verses in his Bible. The Carmichael Church was filled for the Sabbath afternoon service, causing one attendee to comment it was more full that afternoon than it had been for church in the morning. Bud touched many lives.
Bud was the father of my friend Debbi Christensen. And I can testify that his legacy of thoughtfulness lives on in his two daughters Debbi and Janelle. His pastoral career spanned the country, beginning in Pennsylvania then Massachusetts followed by Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; and finally at the Village Church in College Place, Washington where he spent fourteen years. It was there that his wife Ruth passed away. Following his retirement in 1995, he continued pastoring in various interim capacities in Oregon, Northern California, and Hawaii, along with teaching religion courses at Walla Walla University. It was important to him that people would know God better because of his life. In 1997, he moved to Northern California where he was always ready to help neighbors, friends, family, or a local church. Walking was his other pastime. He regularly logged over 1,000 miles in a year. He was a very special man.
What about your world? Please share with us the story and a photo of someone lost in 2017. We would like to celebrate the many lives within our community that have made a difference.
Bonnie Dwyer is editor of Spectrum.
Image courtesy of Bud Roberts' family.