Monticello Room, Westminster Canterbury
Present: Peter Weatherly, Bob McAdams, Hal Horan, Ed Murray, Diane Murray, Jim Hassmer, Jean Hammond, Carol Muntz, Dave Warren, Taylor Beard, Jean Newsom, John Surr
Murray opened with a request that we each pray silently in grateful remembrance Charles Robert Sanders, Jr. who died at the age of 74 on May 29, after a short illness, known to all of us by his preferred nick name, “Chip.”
Beard then read from Chip’s obituary, commenting so many things in Chip’s life that he, as it turned out others of us, never knew—such as an undergraduate education at Davidson and Auburn, his service in the Vietnam War, rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel after 20 years in the U.S. Army Reserve. Completing a PhD program in Higher Education Administration, and a career in Higher Education and retiring from Southern Bell/AT&T in 2001, Chip attended Drew University and, only late in life, becoming an ordained Presbyterian Minister, serving churches in New Jersey and Virginia.
We then shared our experiences with Chip, noting his warm, intelligent and generous spirit made him such an essential leader in the few years he had with us, McAdams commenting on the strengths Chip brought to our work on the many problems produced by our nation’s tolerance of economic inequality, culminating in the securing of the Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and other authors by partnering with the Virginia Festival of the Book in 2017.
Some expressed shock on the brevity of the illness. Chip was currently sharing the chairmanship with Weatherly. Chip also was a strong leader in IMPACT had been teaching a popular church school class on modern theology at Westminster Presbyterian Church. And it was there, that a memorial service was later held on Friday, June 14 with members of the last church he served coming by bus to help us give thanks for the gift of his life. The Rev. Lynne Clements, in her sermon hit the right note: Chip loved much.
It was agreed that check of 200.00 be sent, enclosed in a letter to the Rev. Albert Connette, Co-President, as a memorial contribution to IMPACT in Chip’s name with the request that Connette send an acknowledgement to Chip’s wife, Nell.
Ed also reminded members of the continued need for prayers and visits to John Peale, phoning John and Lydia first.
The Minutes of the May 14 meeting prepared by Horan were approved.
Treasurer’s Report: Since the May 14 balance of 2,851.85, Beard reported an expense of 110.00 paid as an honorarium and lunch for the Rev. Bates, resulting and a balance as of May 14 of 2,741.85.
Program: Co-Chair Peter Weatherly started his summation of this year’s programs with a quotation from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “Reconciliation is not about pretended that things were other than they were. Reconciliation based on falsehood, on not facing up to reality, is not reconciliation at all.”
Weatherly: “Because we seem to be in an unusually divisive and anxiety-inducing-time, Our focus was on reconciliation, both within our community and on a personal level.”
Weatherly then reviewed our year’s meetings, beginning with September 11th meeting, commenting on how we dwelt with that focus.
Weatherly then gave a summary of Jon Meacham’s The Soul of America: the Battle for our Better Angels a story that “has not always—or even often—been heroic, yet sustained by a belief in progress even in the gloomiest of times. ‘The good news is that we have come through such darkness before—as, time and again, Lincoln’s better angels have found a way to prevail.” (from the book jacket) (See also Meacham’s interview with Judy Woodward on pbs’ The News Hour https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmdnnLJns_8)
Weatherly provided significant quotations from the book which are appended to these minutes.
We were then treated to an interview on MSNBC with Jeff Daniels who plays Atticus Finch in Aaron Sorkin’s play based on Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (the link is highly recommended: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tubBx97lwHM)
The meeting adjourned until September 10.
Wishing All a Safe and Pleasant Summer,
Hal Horan, Recording Secretary