Tuesday, June 24, 2008

John H. P. Reumann, 1927-2008

Another ecumenical giant is gone. John H.P. Reumann died on June 6, 2008, after a long battle with cancer. John ("Jack" to his friends) was professor emeritus of New Testament at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and a member of the U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue since it began in 1965.

The first time I met Jack was twenty years ago this summer, when I visited his daughter, Amy, in Philadelphia for the Fourth of July (during the summer of our respective CPE programs; I was in Danville, PA and she was in Philadelphia). Amy and I became friends in 1984 when we participated in the international summer study program, "Global Issues and World Churches" (developed and directed for years by Charles Chatfield, emeritus professor of history at Wittenberg University) that took us to New York City, Geneva, Rome, and Budapest, among other places. Three years later, we found ourselves beginning seminary together as roomates at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

For the past year and a half, I was blessed and humbled to serve with Jack as colleagues together on the U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue. Jack's careful scholarship and commitment to the church was renowned and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him. Amen.