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#268298 - 12/22/08 04:28 PM sharing some recent news, unsettling
Sans Logos Offline

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5796
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
yesterday right before our choir service was to convene, i received a call from a member informing me of news about the former director of music ministries for the parish i work for/with.

she told me it was just discovered the former director had committed suicide.

i am stunned at this news. this man was a man struggling with many demons, and when he was 'let go' from his postion a year and a half ago he left a bad taste in the mouths of many people in the congregation, and a very hurt music ministry that had all but disbanded.

i got hired full time in the position last february following a 4 month stint as substitute while the parish searched for a new director. we have spent the time trying to rebuild the trust relationship of musician to congregation and things are going very well.

people often approached me to share their particular perspective on the former director, as is usually the case when replacing the position formerly occupied by another, and i just listened to them without judgment as they relayed the details that underlie their deeply hurt feelings. he was reportedly womanizing in the parish, had issue with anger management, bi-polar and played favorites.

from their stories i could tell that the man was obviously struggling, and his suffering was difficult to see in the midst of all of the rage he stirred.

now in the wake of his untimely death and just days before one of the most important holidays celebrated by the religion represented by this particular faith community, we are left to deal with the effects of this event.

what makes it difficult is that even though the man had been gone for over a year, there had not yet been true closure from his departure as an employee. now people are having closure forced upon them at this time when their lives are needing most to focus on the special day they are preparing to celebrate in the lives of their families and in their shared life as a faith community.

please keep us in your prayers and thougths as we navigate the next few days, as it will be difficult to express the joy of a birth while wearing the pall of this death.

thanks for listening,


Ron Schulz, MSPC, NCC

#268301 - 12/22/08 04:48 PM Re: sharing some recent news, unsettling [Re: Sans Logos]
ttoon Offline

Registered: 06/20/07
Posts: 977

You have been in my thoughts anyway as you talk about the preparations and your dedication to this program. I only wish I could witness it. Growing up in the church, this was one of my favorite times of the year in the church choir.

Thanks for sharing this and for reaching out.

My thoughts are with you...



checkin out for a few weeks... whistle

#269042 - 12/28/08 03:44 PM Re: sharing some recent news, unsettling [Re: ttoon]
Danbuff Offline

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 249
Loc: NY state
This is indeed tragic and sad for so many people. I will pray for healing for all. Maybe someone in the church will have a counselor or clergy available to help everyone cope and move on with the many issues that linger from these events.

When you stumble, make it part of the dance.

#269060 - 12/28/08 08:35 PM Re: sharing some recent news, unsettling [Re: Danbuff]
Sans Logos Offline

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5796
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
thanks guys, as it turned out, it helped people. i sent this message out to the general music ministry and their comment were very supportive. a great deal of healing has taken place in spite of the tragedy of this event.

Dear Friends,

By now you have heard the sad and terrible news about the passing of Greg ......, former director of music for [our] Church.

What further complicates the loss is because of how much a part of our lives Greg had become. For 10 years he became a part of the fabric of the lives of the members of the parish, and his life became intertwined with all your lives over that period. Even though he had been gone from [here] for a little over a year, he certainly was not gone from the memory of those whose lives were touched by him: those who knew him from having been associated with him through the music ministry, and those who only knew him by his work as music director. In that respect, he is still very much alive and part of us.

Though I had never met him personally, from my conversations with you, I have come to understand Greg to be a very complex person; one who had the burden of many difficulties thrust upon him by life's wiles, and was a man who struggled and suffered terribly under the weight of his crosses; a man deserving of our deepest compassion.

So now, in addition to celebrating a birth this season, a season of hope for new beginnings, we must also bear the burden of a death. A death of someone whose live touched ours, some more intimately than others; some more disagreeably and some more favorably than others, but whether we knew Greg personally or peripherally, the fact still remains that we must honor the passing of his physical presence from our midst as our brother in Christ.

I hope and pray each of you will join me in heart and mind to pray for Greg and his family and rest in the understanding that he is nestling in the arms of Jesus, free of sorrow, suffering and pain.

This is a very sad occasion for us, but I pray that we can focus only on all of the goodness that Greg brought to the life of [our parish], and lift that up, intermingled with our praises as we celebrate these coming Holy days.

May your hearts find comfort and rest in the knowledge that God is working out his purpose in all who have been called into his plan.

God bless you all and may his healing peace be yours in this difficult time of endings and new beginnings,



we made it through holiday celebrations and everything was very uplifting, went over without a hitch. i guess 30 years of experience counts for something :-)

Ron Schulz, MSPC, NCC


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