I just received an email notifying me of the funeral of the Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar. Bob was seventy, and lived a life of service. His life and ministry touched thousands. He will be missed.
I first met Bob when he was serving as the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches when he invited me to be on his advisory council. Before serving at the National Council of Churches he had been a congressman, before that a United Methodist pastor. When he died he was serving as the leader of Common Cause.
Knowing Bob was both a privilege and an honor. His faithfulness to the gospel and his fearlessness in speaking the truth to those in power was an inspiration.
After leaving his position as head of the National Council of Churches, Bob wrote The Middle Church, a book that he hoped would “awaken the conscience of the average, ordinary, common folks within the United States to do above-average, extraordinary, and uncommon things to ensure the future for our fragile planet.” He wanted his book to restore the passion for recovering America’s moral values.
That was Bob. He was a leader. He was as tireless as he was passionate in engaging others in doing the right thing for the right reason. I specifically remember that leadership when we were together as part of a humanitarian delegation to Iraq shortly before the Second Gulf War. His leadership during that trip was a powerful demonstration of of Christian faithfulness in action.
Bob will be mourned and missed by all those his life touched and all those his faithfulness impacted. I am one of those. Rest in peace, my friend.