A Prayer Tribute to Walt & Ginny Hearn
I write in praise and thanks for the wisdom and blessing of our elder saints in the faith.
Neither “W.O.E.-is-me” Walt nor his gracious partner in life and faith and love, Ginny, would remember me, but I remember them, especially Walt, with great and lasting fondness. Ginny I met only once, briefly, but her kindness and beauty were immediately obvious. I had the privilege of speaking with Walt on a few occasions at ASA meetings—the first, I think, in 1985—when I delivered some papers as a member of CSCA, a candidate for ordination, and a doctoral student in the history of Victorian science and theology. I had only a few reviews and short articles published at that point, and Walt encouraged me to continue writing, including for JASA/Perspectives. We wrote a few old-fashioned letters back and forth, but soon I became overwhelmed by family responsibilities and crises, research, writing, and teaching, pastoral duties and so on. As a son, husband, father, pastor and academic I regretfully had to let go of a number of relationships. But I continued to be informed, amused, and blessed by Walt’s writing, especially in the ASA/CSCA newsletter and in God & Nature.
Walt’s positive influence is wider than he knows. I write from the far and silent rim of his circle.
My beard’s now white, and after thirty years at the University of Toronto and York University teaching courses in the history of science, and religion and science, I’ve become in retirement an ultra-slow writer and only occasional preacher. I thank God for people like Walt and Ginny who over the decades, often without knowing it, have helped me be a better scholar and follower of the Way of Jesus Christ.
As a pastor, I’ve written thousands of prayers. This is a new one, written on the first day of summer 2016, and it’s dedicated to Walt and Ginny.
~ Paul Fayter, June 2016
Prayer in honor of Walt & Ginny:
Lord of the star fields,
Creator of energies, spaces, times, and all things beautiful: Hallelujah!
Holy are the galaxies,
holy the suns and the planets,
holy the dark matter, and the dark energy,
holy even are the violent and terrifying mysteries of Your cosmos.
Holy the life of all creatures in all places,
creatures who are blessed by You, in whom You delight, and those who bear your image.
Holy the sun and holy the moon,
holy the light, holy the darkness,
holy the singing, holy the silence,
holy the chaos, holy the order,
holy the waters, holy the Spirit,
holy the first microbes, holy the fishes,
holy the earth and all of its creatures,
holy the life that flies in the sky,
holy the redwoods, holy the whales,
holy the mountains, holy the forest streams,
holy the wild, holy the human, holy Your Word, holy this world of life.
Ancient of Days, Eternal and Incarnate One: holy and blessed is Your creation.
Holy are You.
[Sincerely submitted by Paul Fayter, who is celebrating (the biblically-familiar) 40 years as a member of the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation.]
Paul Fayter is an ordained pastor and theologian with the United
Church of Canada, and a retired historian of science, specializing in
Victorian debates regarding faith and science. He has been a CSCA member for 40 years.