This Practitioner Corner is by Rev. Ed Rosenback, R.Sc.P., Staff Minister and Practitioner Core Coordinator at First Church.     
  
 
 
 
In Memoriam 
 
Most of us have experienced the transition of a friend, loved one or family member (each of which can be trying), but when a spiritual mentor goes through this experience it somehow seems more severe.  From a rational standpoint, we know that transition eventually comes to all, yet there are those whom we feel will always be with us.  
 
Many of my spiritual mentors have passed into the Larger Life, leaving my human experience feeling somewhat lessened.  Yet parts of them remain as a testimony to their life here.  For me, the first of these to pass was Dr. Raymond Charles Barker, then Rev. Helen Street, Rev. Joan Killip, Dr. Robert Scott, Dr. David Alkins, Dr. Robert Winterhalter, then Sharon Cross, Richard Watts, and most recently Rev. Victor Postolaki.  Each of them gifted me with something precious to add to my own life and those I love, and in this way they do remain a part of me.  
 
Rev. Victor's recent departure has moved me to construct a form of tribute to him, sharing fond remembrances of our time together as well as honoring all those who've gone before. These are those upon whose shoulders we stand.  
 
While quite young, Rev. Victor was a pilot for the RAF (Royal Air Force) during World War II. He told me that his unit would always gather before taking off, to pray for safety and Divine guidance, knowing God was on their side.  One day while flying a mission over Europe, the thought occurred to him, "What if these people also believe that God is on their side?"  That opened him to the idea of Omnipresent Spirit and the realization that Divine Law is no respecter of men.  So, out of battle, a spiritual victory!  
 
Rev. Victor and Dr. Margaret Stortz met here (at First Church of Religious Science, Vallejo) many years ago.  He was here to take his orals as a Practitioner, and she was on the Panel. So began a modern-day love story for the ages; they were married and shared five children between them.  Their love never faltered, for it had its genesis in Spirit.  Dr. Margaret spoke here monthly (and sometimes twice a month) for over 10 years, and Rev. Victor usually accompanied her on those speaking dates.  I once asked him if he would like to speak, and he said "No, this is Margaret's time to shine!"  
 
Rev. Victor was a large man, and loved to give strong bear hugs; sometimes there might also be a gentle kiss on the cheek, and those who received either of these cannot forget them!   
 
I was ordained in Phoenix, Arizona at the 2011 World Congress of The International New Thought Alliance.  Each ministerial candidate was permitted to invite guests, and I invited Dr. Margaret and Rev. Victor to attend.  They did!  It was such an honor, not only that I would achieve ordination in Divine Science, but that they would choose to come all that way to attend that sacred ceremony.  Ever since that time, Rev. Victor called me "Little Brother" and he was my "Big Brother."  I will always treasure his support of my ministry, and strive daily to live up to the honor he bestowed upon me.  
 
In closing, I would like to share the words of Margaret Wheatley, which were part of Rev. Victor's Celebration of Life program:  
 
"When an old dragon dies, the earth does not go quiet.  The great voice he could not silence reverberates from high mountains and insists on its vibration.  
 
"When an old dragon dies, the earth does not grow dark.  The crystal dreams he never chose to deny gleam on great waters and shine into the universe.  
 
"When an old dragon dies, the earth does not grow cold.  The fiery vision that birthed his fierceness flames out across the sky and sets the frozen air on fire.  
 
"Earth becomes too small for dragons.  Clutching greatness, they must flee the bounds.  But we are still here.  Let us not mourn too long his going.  Let us mourn only those moments of distraction or fear that prevent us from following his unerring flight into the realm of dragons." 
 
I ask each of you reading this to reflect on the mentors (past or present) in your lives, and thank them in some way - a card, a phone call, or an email of gratitude.  If they are no longer in form, they're already aware of your love and appreciation, but do send them a special blessing in your thoughts.  
 
Life and Love are forever.  Our mentors are emissaries of Spirit, sharing Life, Love and Truth with us in ways that make our being here more purposeful and worthwhile, a true joy.    
 
 
Blessed Be, one and all!    
Rev. Ed