Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9 (NIV)
There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites
who are poor and needy in your land. Deuteronomy 15:11 (NIV)
With a heavy heart all of EEN mourns the death of our beloved co-founder, Ron Sider. Ron loved Jesus and worked all his life to follow Jesus and live out Jesus’ teaching.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)
Through Ron’s founding of Evangelicals For Social Action, later as the co-founder and then long-time Member of The Evangelical Environmental Board of Directors, and as the teacher of millions through his classes and books, Ron Sider lived as a disciple of Jesus Christ who worked tirelessly to build God’s Kingdom and served as an example to so many, including me.
The last time I was physically present with Ron and his beloved wife Arbutus was at the installation of Walter Kim as President of the National Association of Evangelicals, a few years ago. As we chatted, I once again became so aware of the presence of Jesus’ Spirit radiating from him. I have never known another man who so lived his life as an example of Jesus. Ron lived as a peacemaker, worked on behalf of the poor, struggled to end racism, and certainly knew that creation care was an act of discipleship. As a humble man, he would deny it, but Ron Sider represented Jesus like few others who ever lived.
We, at EEN, will miss him and mourn his death with Arbutus and his children. We thank God for a life well lived and for the tremendous witness of God’s love for all of us.