This morning, our beloved sister, the Reverend Zelda Kennedy, left this life and danced into the arms of her Creator. She was surrounded by her daughter, April; her sister other family, All Saints parishioners Greg Adams and Karen Alexander, rector emeritus Ed Bacon and the love and prayers of countless people around the world who have been touched by her and who cherish her.
For nearly 14 years, Zelda pastored this community passionately, prophetically and faithfully. Out of a deep conviction of the power of the Holy Spirit and the depth of God’s love for all God’s children, she taught us to live courageously and love one another in ways that brought healing to our wounds and hope where we were tempted to despair. Her ferocity for justice inspired us. Her exploding joy enveloped us. Her broad smile and her huge hugs left no doubt that we were beloved. We are so profoundly richer for the time we spent together and we deeply grieve her death.
We grieve Zelda’s death deeply, and yet we are not left without hope and we are not left alone. We share with Zelda the sure and certain hope of a new life in Christ and, as she taught us so well, we have one another to hold, to care for and to love. And that is what we will do. We will hold each other, we will care for each other, and we will love each other. Our tears will be healing. Together we will remember, give thanks, and never forget the incredible impact this dear sister had on our lives.
As it has all week, the Chapel will be open until 10 pm tonight for you to come by, pray, light a candle and write in a book of remembrance that will be given to April. At 12:10 today, the Reverend Susan Russell will preside at Eucharist in the chapel where prayers will be offered for Zelda and an opportunity given to share our stories of her and our grief at her death.
There will be memorial services both in North Carolina and here at All Saints Church. Details about both services are still being finalized, and information about both services will be forthcoming shortly. I and the rest of the clergy and pastoral care staff and volunteers of the All Saints community are available to sit and pray with whomever desires it. This Sunday we will offer healing prayers, laying on of hands and anointing at the 9 and 11:15 services. And, of course, the greatest gift we have is that God has given us to each other.
Rest in peace and rise in power, Zelda.
Con el amor de Cristo,
Zelda, may our love surround you and fill you with strength and courage. May the angels of eternal life draw you into the embrace of the divine Presence. May the angels of mercy comfort you and bring you peace as you depart from us. May the angels of hope take you by the hand and lead you home. You will always be a part of our hearts. Go in peace. Amen.