October 13, 2010

A memorial service was held October 16 for Howard L. Rice, the 1980 moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and for 30 years a teacher at San Francisco Theological Seminary. He was an early developer of retreats for renewing pastors and laity. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis before his appointment at the San Anselmo campus, Rice set personal examples as well—teaching while either on crutches or confined to a wheelchair. He died August 8 in Claremont, California, where he lived after his 1997 retirement. He is the author of Reformed Spirituality: An Introduction for Believers.

Robert Graham Kemper, a Century associate editor from 1968 to 1973 and founding editor of the Century's onetime companion periodical, the Christian Ministry, died July 26 of heart-related illness in La Grange, Illinois. He was 75. A United Church of Christ minister for 40 years, he served as pastor of the First Congregational Church of Western Springs, Illinois, for 25 years—from 1973 until his retirement in 1998. Kemper was legally blind, losing most of his sight to macular degeneration at age 37, and his first book, An Elephant's Ballet (1977), focused on ways of coping with such vision problems. Founder of an organization called V.I.P. (visually inconvenienced people) and board chair of Evangelical Health Systems (which merged into Advocate Health Care), Kemper became known as an expert consoler of people who had suffered losses. He later wrote six other books on ministerial themes.

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