[Springboard] David McCleskey's Memorial Service

M. George Walters m.george.walters at verizon.net
Mon Aug 25 13:55:05 EDT 2008

Resurgence Publishing Company will publish the completed product as a
tribute to one of our giants and sell at cost plus shipping and handling our


It will receive a library congress code and be contributed to the library of
congress for posterity.



M. George Walters

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Tel: 813-948-7267

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From: springboard-bounces at wedgeblade.net
[mailto:springboard-bounces at wedgeblade.net] On Behalf Of Jack Gilles
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 12:42
To: Order Ecumenical Community; Springboard Dialogue
Subject: [Springboard] David McCleskey's Memorial Service


Dear Colleagues,


"To serve, sing, and dance - A symphony of peace for all Earth's people -
Beginning with myself"     Personal mission statement of David McCleskey.


I have spent the last three days with Pat Webb in preparation for and the
conducting of David's Memorial service.  I had the opportunity to read every
one of the letters, cards and emails that many of you sent to Pat & David.
What a Profound community we are!  Yesterday, the day after the service, I
rode with Pat as we re-visited the places that she and David lived in OKC.
Each place was an opportunity for her to share what was happening in their
life at that point and what David was about.  This was important for Pat and
I'm glad I was there to listen.


I want to share some of the experience of David's service.  There were about
130 people present only a few of whom were Order or Movemental colleagues.
Conna Shropshire played the piano and Bill and Susanne Parker were part of
the service, bringing some symbols of David's service to the world through
ICA to the altar.  Pat and her two sons, Craig and Kirk at her side, held up
magnificently throughout the entire event, even through the singing of the
closing hymn, For All the Saints, which she was sure would cause her to she
cry uncontrollably.   She didn't, she stood with radiant joy and sang with
all of us.


This was one of the great experiences of my life.  There are not words to
describe either the feeling or the meaning of what happened, but I'll try
and give you a taste of what went on for me. We hope to eventually scan the
service document and post it on the Repository, but here is the flow.  The
service was recorded and a CD will be produced, but no video was made.   


At the front of a U shaped congregational seating was a bare cloth-covered
altar with only a large unlit candle.  In front of the alter was another
table low to the floor with lots of drums, feathers, baskets and other
Native American artifacts.  At each front corner, high on the wall, was a
large screen with a picture of David.  David's ashes were in a meditation
room above and over the entrance to the sanctuary.  Several of us sat in
prayer with them prior to the service.  


After an opening invocation and a bell, there was a silent procession to the
Altar of people bringing symbols of David's life journey; from his youth,
EI/ICA/OE period, his recent years and finally his Fulfillment and legacy.
Then there was a Native American woman who did a sage blessing over
everything, sand at the four sides of the altar and a feather held to the
four cardinal directions, all done in silence.   As Conna played movement
songs, a slide show of David's life played on the two giant screens.  What a
delight!  We sang Those Who Wait on the Lord, after which I did a Eulogy on
David's life journey.  A marvelous local group sang a couple of wonderful
songs for us.  Larry Ward did a profound spin on David, death and the
Buddhist perspective.  He evoked David's sacred dharma name given to him in
2005, True Mountain of Goodness.  This was Larry at his most profound and
transparent.   There was a closing by the pastor, a prayer of unison and a
singing of For All the Saints.  The candle was lit and a closing bell rung.
Afterwards, many joined together in a fine dinner at the church.


I am filled with many profound thoughts, most of which I won't share at this
time.  The last couple of days of David's dying were filled with amazing
events that Pat spent hours sharing with me.  His transition was a profound
address to all who participated in it.  His cremation service was itself
another transparency event. But I wanted to share one thought in particular
that addressed me so strongly.  The understanding of the Word "To Die is To
Live," came to me with absolute overwhelming power and truth.  David's dying
and death were the most life-giving experience I have had.  His living
presence in his home (I slept in his bed) and his presence at the service
were real, palpable, and filled the space with peace and goodness.  Those
who came to be at a memorial service to say goodbye, were instead presented
with the gift of experiencing Eternal Life, right there, now and forever!
What a gift to give to the living!  Resurrection is just the way life is.
When you die an authentic death, which David did, that very dying gives
life.  David gave all of us life; his life, our life, the eternal life.


Finally, I would ask all of you to keep Patricia in your prayers.  Her grief
is profound and her dependence on David for so much of the ordinary things
in their life was great.  She has been granted a month leave of paid absence
from her teaching work.  That is a blessing and she hopes to travel to
Florida to visit her 95year old mother with her two boys next week.  She
also plans to do some writing of her experiences during this whole time.
She is getting some amazing messages from David, including ones for both
Larry and myself that she has shared.  She plans to respond to your cards
and letters when she can.  For those who are so moved, donations in David's
name can be made to their Silence Foundation, P.O Box 20934, Oklahoma City,
OK, 73156.  


Grace is yours, and Peace,



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