I attended the memorial service for Nancy Eielsand today at Candler School of Theology's Canon Chapel. Remarkable remembrances were read by two of her colleagues ( Nancy Ammerman of Boston University and Liz Bounds of Emory) and two of her students who are themselves now professors (Graham Reside, Vanderbilt, and Marie Marquardt, Emory University). It was a moving service, with beautiful music (Shall We Gather at the River and For All The Saints were sung), as well as texts from Isaiah 40, Psalm 23, Revelation 21, and John 11. I learned that there was a obituary in the New York Times, a lovely tribute that her husband, Terry, said she would have loved. "The obits were always her favorite part," Terry said. "I'd say 'that's sort of morbid' and she'd say, 'but I'm a sociologist--I love learning the details about people'." So here are the details about Nancy Eiesland. Read and remember a light that burned bright till the end. Pray for Marie, her six year old daughter, and for Terry now parenting alone. One of the many moving moments of the service was watching Terry, with Marie on his lap, running his finger along the lyrics of For All The Saints, as the congregation and organ rang out a celebration of our claim that Nancy lives and we too shall sing with her in that place beyond tears and pain, beyond suffering and sorrow.
Anon, and peace,