Friends...I am lucky to have loved and collected the best of humans along life's way. Back in the 80's when I was a student at Imperial College in London, I landed on a Saturday afternoon; the next day I took the red double-decker bus to Hampstead Heath, home of a small church. One of the pastors was a writer, Vic Hunter. He was my mentor, who became a colleague--we forged a life-giving friendship that would last a lifetime. By the time our children were born in the late 90's, Vic and his wife Lynette lived in Colorado; we made many treks across Kansas to see them. Our kids think of them as family!
Vic was part of our wedding, preached my ordination sermon, led retreats at every church I have pastored in Boston, Billings, and Springfield. I preached in pulpits where he served as well. On October 24th, I get to welcome him to Westminster as our guest preacher.
Vic is a retired pastor who served churches in New York, New Jersey, London, West Virginia and Colorado; he taught at Princeton Seminary, Phillips Seminary, and directed A Mountain Retreat; he has written numerous books, both fiction and non-fiction; he was the editor of Mission Journal. He is the father of three children and grandfather of seven and has been married to his wife Lynette for 58 years. The Hunters are coming to celebrate their 80th birthdays with us. But you will see, Vic is untamed, passionate, compassionate and wise.
I will be away a few days next week traveling to Fayetteville, Lynette's birthplace. Sadly, I suspect this will be their last trip to Springfield. In London, we would sing this hymn at the close of every worship service, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeSrqEGwWok . Take a listen and let's offer this gift to them at the close of our worship. The church is the best place to create deep connections, because what we share is so real: A Common Love.