“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. 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.
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 cry uncontrollably. She didn’t, she stood with radiant joy and sang with all of us.
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. 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.
~~ Jack Gilles