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Thandiwe (“ton-DEE-way”) Dale-Ferguson (previously Gobledale) is thrilled to begin her ministry as Associate Pastor at Cairn Christian Church in Lafayette. She moved from Chicago, Illinois where she completed her Masters in Divinity and served for two years as a chaplain. Coming from the plains of the Midwest, Thandiwe is thrilled to live close to mountains! Apart from her love of hiking, camping and being outdoors, Thandiwe enjoys baseball, building community, cooking, spending time with her partner Darryl and traveling the world. Among the places Thandiwe has lived are South Africa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Zimbabwe, California, India, Nepal, Illinois, and North Carolina.

Thandiwe feels called to a ministry that bears witness to God’s presence in the world and God’s love for all people. She believes that, together, we can continue to discover God’s call to us, to live ever more deeply into our belovedness and to work for God’s kin-dom here on earth. For Thandiwe, this means speaking and acting for justice, seeking ways to make a difference in our every day lives, pursuing the radical inclusion exemplified by Jesus, and discerning how to better care for our planet.

Thandiwe

Ron Parker

The Rev. Dr. Ronald Lee Parker

The Rev. Dr. Ronald Lee Parker

Everyone fortunate enough to know Ron Parker was blessed by his warmth and kindness. With humility and abundant generosity, he lifted his family, friends and everyone he touched.

Ron passed away after a brief illness on July 5, 2015, at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. He was 72. Ron and his wife Kathy moved to Gilbert, Arizona, in 2013 to enjoy their retirement years.

He was an avid and diverse reader. Barnes and Noble has lost a loyal customer. He was a deeply spiritual man and full of mischief and humor. He was constantly trying to improve his golf game but never got the back swing and waggle quite right. It didn’t bother him too much. He loved his pickup which he bought so he could “haul stuff,” and his favorite thing to haul was his grandchildren. Ron was a gifted watercolor artist, drawing inspiration from all of God’s creations.

The day he was hospitalized, instead of telling his sister he was ill, he sent her a picture of his left foot and declared it to be the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

Ron was one of a kind! He was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on December 18, 1942. After graduation from Palmer High School in 1960, he received a B.A. in English and Sociology from Drake University, and a Master of Theology from Yale Divinity School where he worked as a psychiatric aide at Yale Psychiatric Institute. He was employed by the Urban League in Harlem, taught English in Samyek, Thailand, and earned a Doctor of Ministry from Christian Theological Seminary. He was ordained by his mentor and dear friend, Dr. Warren Hile, in First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Colorado Springs.

Ron and Kathleen Workman were married December 22, 1968, in Laurens in the middle or a raging Iowa blizzard. His proudest accomplishments were their children, David and Kristin. Ron’s first church was in Elmira, New York, where he was pastor of Central Christian Church. Five years later, his ministry took them to First Christian Church in Mooresville, Indiana. He became Associate Regional Minister of The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana in 1979, and in 1984 he was called as Senior Minister at First Christian Church in Bloomington, Indiana. In 2000, Ron returned to his beloved Colorado as Executive Regional Minister for The Central Rocky Mountain Region. He retired in 2007.

Ron was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Lucille Parker. He is survived by his wife, Kathy; son David Parker (Deirdre), their children, Justin, Kaytlynn and Jacob; daughter Kristin Parker Simon (Christopher), their children Michael and Kayla; and sisters, Phyllis Parker Light and Elaine Parker Barlow.

A memorial service is planned for 11:00 a.m., Friday, July 10, 2015, at United Church of Christ, 25635 South Country Club Drive, Sun Lakes, Arizona, 85248.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Tennyson Center For Children at Colorado Christian Home, 2950 Tennyson Street, Denver, CO 80212-3029.

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