Yesterday was the memorial service for James Stevens. DUUF Minister Emeritus Rev. Don Fielding led the service, and we were fortunate to have him – try finding a UU minister on the weekend of General Assembly. Everyone who wasn’t going to GA was going on vacation or was otherwise unavailable. We were also fortunate to have him because he did a wonderful job paying tribute to a man he never met.
Our newly-expanded sanctuary was overflowing with Pagans, bikers, black powder enthusiasts, and postal workers – where else could a group like that come together but a UU church?!
Today was the Crossing the Veil ritual – the Pagan funeral James had requested. Denton CUUPS was there, as well as some of the Wiccan groups brought together by James and his Summerlands stone circle. And some of James’ motorcycle friends came out. Several said they’d never been to a Pagan circle, but if this was how their friend wanted to be remembered, they wanted to be there for him. And so they came and stood with us in the circle in the 100 degree heat. That speaks volumes for how well James Stevens was respected and loved.
I had the honor of speaking the last lines in the ritual – I’ll repeat them here:
Our funeral rite is ended. We will miss James, and we will remember him, and we will continue the Great Work of Life and Love. Go in peace.