God speed Stan, God speed…

This morning God called Stan Hall home…

My heart aches in a strange way. I will surely miss this great man. I admired Stan greatly. You could say I admired him and hoped to one day fill shoes like his. I admire the faith and passion he encountered liturgy.

It was Stan that filled my heart with thoughts of “how can we educate the congregation via the sacraments and act of worship?” Stan showed me how liturgy is foundational to all doings in the church.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Stan over the last two years in seminary. I would corner him in his office and grill him on what I thought about postmodern liturgy. He helped me configure my thoughts and refine my questions. Stan always had time for me. If you asked him a question he would respond in details and with delightful humor.

I looked forward to eating lunch with Stan in the dining hall. I think it should be called the Hall dining hall. I sat and listened to his brilliance paint the picture of a progressive and transforming liturgy. A liturgy that left none unaffected and uncomfortable.

Stan believed in me. He challenged me to be better and equipped me to be that man. He told me that he liked what I was doing with liturgy and the emerging church conversation. He encouraged me to make connections to my past and seek the beauty in the reformed traditions and stop being afraid of being Catholic.

Stan was a hero to me. He was an everyman that had a deep passion for loving and worshiping God. Stan’s faith drove him to educate pastors and leaders in tomorrows church using yesterday joys and today’s passion.

Stan is the blue collar version of a theologian. He packed his lunch box with practical movements absent of waste. He drank the water of life and spit on the thought of bullshit and grabassy liturgy. Stan was honest and loved conversations. Stan was a giant of a man here at Austin Seminary. Stan will not soon be forgotten. His legacy breaths today, he has blessed many with his knowledge and humor.

Stan will be missed. I will miss seeing his grizzly self roaming the halls. I will miss his wit and charm. I pray that his family be touched with the Spirit of comfort in these days. Nothing we say can help. I pray we can do…I am reminded of something he once said, “Jesus does matter! If he does not then the rest is all shit. Shit does not found churches.”

Blessing beloved servant of God, faith friend. You have been called home. In our hurt and mourning heaven rejoices at its gain. Thanks be to God. Thanks be to God.

4 thoughts on “God speed Stan, God speed…

  1. Kendra says:

    AMEN!It is very sad to hear he has died. I’m glad you made the most of your encounters with him while studying at APTS…

  2. Carol Howard Merritt says:

    The most important words Stan said to me as a student: “I wish that you could go to a new church development, because you have no clue about all of the things that you can’t do in church.” I took the words, folded them up, and I’ve kept them with me all these years. And it’s been my goal in ministry–to never learn all of those things I can’t do.My favorite Stan memory: when we got him to play Lucifer in our mystery plays (actually…he volunteered!). Cindy was God–she wore a prom dress. Stan was Satan–he wore his academic robe.What a beautiful memorial, Ryan. It helped me to stop and grieve my friend. Thank you.

  3. Pappy McVulgar says:

    I loved writing this post. Stan meant a lot to me. I felt cheesy for a bit to say this. I was just a student. He was a giant to me.Thank you all for reading this post and sharing in the mourning process as we celebrate and honor the memory of this rebel rousing man of God.

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