Monday, April 18, 2005

Sad Day. According to Kendall Harmon, a great saint, Diane Knippers, has left us. At the parish meeting yesterday, Martin indicated she wasn't doing well and was in ICU. Still I thought we had more time. Pray for Ed Knippers and her extended family....


Over the years, she has spoken a number of times from the pulpit at Truro (especially during the Seven Last Words) and these have been treasured times. Her heart has always showed a deep devotion to God, with humility and love for Him and for His creation. She will be deeply missed.

Here's a sample of her writing that I believes showcases Diane's heart. This is from her report to the 207th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia on the Bishop’s Dialogue Group on Human Sexuality (via the Virginia Integrity website):

You see, we dialogue partners have become friends. The dialogue group is a collection of disparate individuals – clergy and lay, male and female, young and old, parents and childless, with various racial, theological, vocational and other backgrounds. I am certain that we would not all have freely chosen each other as friends. But now, the bond is there. By now we’ve gone through so much together—births and deaths, divorces and marriages, illness and healing, job changes, promotions, travel. We’ve shared the seasons of the year, good food, quiet walks, a funny joke, a hug of condolence, and evening prayers.

Melinda, with whom I so strongly disagree, is a friend. Our disagreement is the more painful for that friendship, just as a fight in the intimacy of a family is more painful than one with a stranger. It would be an easy thing, a tempting thing, to show my love by saying “It’s OK. I will agree with you. I will accept your understanding, your vision, of what is true and right.” It is a more difficult, a more costly thing to say, “I love you, but no. You are wrong.”

Sometimes I think our sexuality group is bound together by this fierce, agonizing difference. And sometimes, I think or hope or pray, that we are bound together, in spite of our imperfections, our errors, or misunderstandings and mistakes, by Jesus Christ.

Still More

This is from an e-mail forwarded by a friend, active in the renewal of the Presbyterian Church (with a correction):

Our dear friend and colleague in renewal, Diane Knippers, died this afternoon a little before 2 p.m. She had been failing for the last several weeks and was in the midst of chemo treatments, but had weakened enough that they could not continue them. Late this morning her kidneys began to shut down and several planned procedures were canceled. Her husband, Ed, was with her, as well as her Mother and Father, Vera and Clancey LeMasters, and her brother Doug.

Diane was a dear friend and colleague and a giant among those in renewal ministry. How we will miss her and her clear, mature voice. Many of you would not be aware that Diane was on the staff here at Good News in 1981, when I came to be Executive Secretary. She helped me get settled in for that first year, helped me learn to write, and was such a wonderful help in so many ways. After a year, she and her husband, Ed, moved to Washington, D.C. He is a Christian artist and wanted to pursue his career there in the nation’s capitol. So, Diane has been a long-time friend and has remained close to the work of Good News and our RENEW Network, under the leadership of Faye Short in Georgia. She was United Methodist for many years, having been reared in a home in which her father was a UM clergyman. Some 15 or so years ago, she became Episcopalian, and was a member and a leader at Truro Episcopal Church in Fairfax, VA. She also served on the board of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) for a number of years. She was so widely respected across many different communions of Christ’s Church. I know we rejoice and give thanks to the Father for her faithful and fruitful life.

We will let you know about arrangements as soon as we learn what they are. Let’s continue to pray for Ed and all the family. Richest blessings on all of you.

Your friend and colleague in renewal,

Jim Heidinger
Still More

Michael Novak, writing for National Review's Corner observes:

Under her gentle but always brave leadership, IRD was very often the mouse that roared, terrifying the great grey elephants of national church bureaucracies into frantic panic. Calmly, Diane told the truth, and those who had been disguising suspect politics under cloaks of outward piety had to defend themselves in public, and often couldn't. Her sweetness of disposition was a gift of God. She now returns with it intact, enhanced by her consistent acts of courage, to restore it to her Maker and Redeemer.
And TitusOneNine has a letter from Mary Ailes to Diane, here.

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