On Thursday, November 10, 2016, the Interfaith Community around the world lost a dear friend and champion for justice and civility. The Rev. Dr. Paul Eppinger went to be with the Lord and is at peace without pain or suffering for which we all are grateful here at the Arizona Interfaith Movement.
But I lost a dear friend, a friend who has been my mentor and teacher for many years. He stretched me in ways that I never thought possible and always did it with love and humbleness. I have been thinking about our relationship since his passing and what I will miss the most. Without question I will miss his laughter, his smile and wise counsel.
Whenever an elderly person leaves us we always talk about the legacy that has been left behind. Undeniably, Paul leaves a great legacy which we all can draw on and learn from but it’s what he takes with him that grieves me the most. He takes all that wisdom, knowledge, passion and caring that simply isn’t transferable. How I wish there was some way his mantle could be distributed around the world a thousand fold to fall on people that could take up his ministry of reconciliation and justice but that is not possible. So the great lesson I learn from his life and passing is that I must be the best I can be with God’s grace and help to fill in the cracks that will certainly be opened by Paul’s death.
He will be sorely missed by so many around the Interfaith community globally to be sure but none so much as the Arizona Interfaith Movement which he founded and led so gallantly for so many years.
On behalf of all of Arizona Interfaith Movement, we send our love, prayers and heartfelt condolences to Paul’s wife, Sybil, his four children, Damaris, Priscilla, Stephanie and Monica and their families.
In many ways all the Interfaith family showed love to Paul during his last days with visits, phone calls and just checking on him. I am so grateful I had the chance to talk to Paul the day before he died and was able to tell him I loved him. You are loved Paul.
By Rev. Larry Fultz, Executive Director, Arizona Interfaith Movement