Eulogy for a Gadfly: Wilford Winholtz

In a speech to the city of Athens, the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates once likened himself to a ‘gadfly’ and the city to a ‘well-bred horse.’ By pestering the horse, the gadfly keeps it awake and alert.

I always considered Wilford Winholtz – activist, troublemaker, family man, urban planner and priesthood member – to be one of the church’s foremost gadflies. In his recent passing (16 August 2009), the church lost one of its most vocal and prophetic voices for peace and social justice.

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The Community of Christ is Becoming a Peace Church!

Please Note: This post is a response from Community of Christ Apostle, Andrew Bolton, to two blog postings by his son, Matthew Bolton: “The Community of Christ is Not a Peace Church” and “Managed Decline or Rejuvenation?” Matthew Bolton’s articles critiqued the church’s implementation of its peace mission. —Ed.

I want to respond to Matthew’s article.

Perhaps we should own up to being father and son straightaway. In recent years our relationship has become more like equal friends and that has been a real joy for me. I even look up to him — he is 6ft 5in and I am only 6ft 2 1/2 in. He writes better than I do and intellectually he is ahead of me. I like to think though that the thousands of conversations we have had over the years have helped shape not only his intellectual skills of analysis but his interest and deep convictions about peace and justice… and his outspokenness. Emily, his beloved wife, is also having a good influence on him. We both look up to her (5ft 5in) and she may, in her Mennonite convictions and personal courage, be even more committed to peace than either of us.

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