John Harris Burt, 91, a civil rights activist, vocal opponent of the Vietnam War and ardent backer of women’s ordination while he was the Episcopal bishop of Ohio from 1967 to 1984, died October 20 at his home on the shores of Lake Superior in northern Michigan. As a pastor, Burt turned All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California, into a bastion of liberal causes and was a key figure in garnering support in Los Angeles rallies for Martin Luther King Jr. during the late 1950s. An early supporter of women’s ordination, Burt declared he would resign as bishop if the 1976 Episcopal Church convention did not approve of women priests. In retirement he was president of the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel from 1992 through 1998.
Noted Lutheran composer and organist Paul O. Manz died October 28 in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was 90. Often honored for his teaching and performances, Manz played with symphony orchestras at Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center. He taught many years at Concordia College, St. Paul, but the turmoil in the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod led him to resign in the 1970s. He later joined Seminex colleagues at Chicago’s Luth eran School of Theology. “The church and world were blessed beyond measure by the talents and gifts Paul Manz shared with our seminary community,” said church historian Martin Marty.