A Sunday Kind of Man

Bishop Terry KelshawI received news last night that Bishop Terry (Terence) Kelshaw met His Savior face-to-face in the early dawn of yesterday after being diagnosed with wide-spread cancer.  For those who knew him, you will appreciate God’s kindness in letting his earthly life end on a Sunday, the Lord’s Day as the birds sang at sunrise in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  For Bishop Terry, this was the perfect day to die.  Above all that he was in this life, he was a Sunday kind of man.

Bishop Terry loved the Church.  He loved her when she was dressed up and beautiful.  When she was big and accomplished.  When she sang loudly and when she wept silently.  When she was wounded and suffering.  When she was sorrowful and ragtag.  When she was many, when she was few and when she was just one.  Bishop Terry loved the Church.

No one knew this lavish love more than the people of St. James Anglican Church who Bishop Terry came to lead in a critical time in our history. Our rector had just left following a fall from leadership which devastated our formerly successful congregation.  We began to bleed out as people left and the community watched.  Bishop Terry was retired and could have embraced the pleasant life of retirement with his dear wife Hazel.  But he was asked to come and help us, a struggling beachside congregation.  He came not because it would look good on his resume but because He loved the Church … and because his Hazel loved the beach!

And so appeared on the scene these this two Jesus-people, Bishop Terry and his beloved Hazel.  They came to care for, to lead and to bind up the wounds of the people of St. James Anglican Church in Newport Beach, California.  They stood calm and steady at the helm of a hurting congregation as they both proclaimed God’s Word with clarity and passion and as they displayed without embarrassment a profound love for Jesus Christ and for one another.  They taught us, worshiped with us, laughed with us, ate with us and more than once — more than many times — they held us as we cried.

I was a newly-ordained Anglican priest when Bishop Terry came to be the spiritual leader of St. James where I had been serving on staff for many years.  He watched me closely as I ministered, sometimes offering a word of encouragement and sometimes a word of criticism.  He said that even though I was a priest, I would be his deacon.  Some might say this was a demotion of sorts, but I would learn much as Bishop Terry’s deacon.   As I served, I saw His love for Jesus, his love for Hazel and his love for the Church … and so I grew to love Bishop Terry.

But I still didn’t know where I stood with him until after a few months, he called me into his office and asked me to come close and stand next to where he was sitting.  Bishop Terry took my hands in his and looked up at me.  He told me that when he first came to St. James, he wasn’t sure about me as a woman priest.  He was skeptical and he knew that he’d been tough on me at times.  Then he really surprised me.  His eyes filled with tears and he asked my forgiveness for any time he’d been too hard on me, anything he’d said that had been too harsh.  Imagine, a bishop asking forgiveness for such a thing!  I knelt down next to him and sputtered, “Bishop, my Bishop.  I love you.”  We wept together that day.  And from that time on, whenever I would see Bishop Terry Kelshaw, I would say, “Bishop, my Bishop” … and we both knew what that meant.

Bishop Terry Kelshaw was a Sunday kind of Man.  He loved the Church and I am grateful to have served under his leadership. Bishop Terry Kelshaw loved his Hazel.  And even more, Bishop Terry loved His Lord Jesus.  How beautiful the moment must have been when he first saw face-to-face the One he loved even more than the Church, even more than Hazel.  No wonder the sun rose with such brilliance and the birds sang so beautifully yesterday morning!

Bishop, my Bishop!  Thank you for being a Sunday kind of man.

Bishop Terence Kelshaw Cancer Christ-follower Faith

11 Comments Leave a comment

  1. PRAYERS FOR DALE JR. Dale is having surgery at 4pm today for a large tumor on the left side of his neck near the carotid artery, crosses over saliva gland and facial nerves. Your Intercessions much appreciated Thanks precious one, Myrna

    Y Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. Wow….if ever we could feel close to Jesus, it was peering into (especially!) Bishop Terry’s eyes during Communion and seeing Jesus in them…..Oh how we miss him!

  3. Bp. Terry and Hazel were indeed special folks and your tribute to him, was also truly special and precious. Thank you Cathie.

  4. That tribute was absolutely beautiful. Bishop Terry taught me one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life. He taught me how to forgive and for that I will be eternally grateful.

  5. What sad news. He was truly a wonderful person and will be missed. He always had such a calming presence. Thank you for your lovely tribute.

  6. Thank you- I found this by googling Terry! He was a curate in Bristol UK when my husband to be and I first met him as students! We visited last summer and are so grateful to God that we did! My husband write our tribute to Terry on his FB page: Keith Judkins
    Terry was a very special Godly man. His master carpenter prayer is used often by us. Well done, good and faithful servant. Xxx

  7. I remember so well those difficult days at St. James after the shameful fall of our pastor. Clearly, God knew exactly what we needed during this painful time when He sent us dear Bishop Terry. He became our “all in all” as he ministered to our congregation as a whole and to hurting individuals. Hazel was always right there by his side. I remember how he loved and pampered the children. Our grandchildren adored him.

  8. As we are driving down an isolated stretch of hwy 395 I read your blog out loud and wept my first tears. Thank you for shRing this beautiful story. We have our and will treSure what Bishop Terry brought to our lives. He wi be missed.

  9. Thank you, this is such a beautiful tribute to a beautiful man of God. I grew up in the Rio Grande Diocese when he was the Bishop there. I remember celebrating his birthday on the patio at St. Francis on the Hill after a Sunday service. He was so lively and funny. Always handing out hugs to the kids. In 1994, when I was 14, I took a youth trip to Israel with him. It was such an amazing experience. Not only did I get to experience the Holy Land with an amazing teacher, but I learned so much about this wonderful man. I learned of his love for sweet Hazel and his love of ice cream! Bishop Terry showed me that God was everywhere, and communion wasn’t reserved for Sunday morning services, it could happen in the middle of Shepherd’s Field with a bunch of sweaty teenagers dressed in tourist gear. So when we returned from Israel, I presumptuously told Bishop Terry that when I got married, he would do service.
    On October 6, 2012, my husband and I were married in a small backyard wedding, and Bishop Terry preached. Having Bishop Terry and Hazel celebrate with us, our families and our friends made that day perfect! I am thankful everyday for his teachings, his guidance, and his friendship.

  10. Thank you so much for sharing, Rev Cathie. Bishop Terry was our Bishop when we lived in New Mexico. He also helped us through our transition from the Episcopal Church & we spent many hours in prayer with he & Hazel during that very dark time. He lived an intentional life. Like Paul, he was intent on living a Christ-like life & wanted all of us to do the same. Even in times of stress he always told us God was still in control. Your “Bishop, my Bishop”, reminded me of Dead Poets Society. Remember? “Oh Captain, my Captain”. We will all continue the good fight, because for this, we have Jesus. Char Jagoe, Christ’s Church, Yucaipa

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