Presbyterian News Service March 16, 2017
Cancer diagnosis illumines pastor-scholar’s life, end of life
by Emily Enders Odom | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE – Dennis Hughes has always known that in life—and in death—he belongs to God. But in 73 years of living, he has known the latter all too well.
As a newlywed in his early 20s, Hughes was thrust too soon into the role of family patriarch following the premature death of his beloved in-laws. It was a role, he says, “to which I had not aspired, nor thought I would be cast into.”
Then, as a pastor for nearly 50 years, Hughes was an unfailing source of comfort to grieving families even as he bore faithful witness to the resurrection. At the font, he steadfastly proclaimed baptism as a dying and rising with Christ. And—as one of the foremost writers and interpreters of Reformed liturgy—Hughes crafted resources for the Book of Common Worship (1993) and articles for Reformed Liturgy & Music that continue to inform Presbyterian practice around death and dying.
And now—at the end of his own life—Hughes has yet another gift to share with the Presbyterian and ecumenical church that he loves.