Ken Price and his wife Mariann are being given a warm sendoff by a grateful diocese. Last Saturday, they were the guests of honor at a picnic given by Jill and Jim West in Blawnox, Pennsylvania. The event emphasized food and fellowship over ceremony, but a highlight was the singing of a parody of “Once in royal David’s city,” which was written by Joan Gundersen, Property Administrator and Archivist of the diocese.
Pittsburgh Episcopalians will appreciate the details of Joan’s lyrics. I won’t attempt to interpret every line for others, but I think all readers will appreciate the general drift. The text is below. I have copied the words from Joan’s song sheet, correcting apparent errors. I am responsible for any errors that may have been introduced in the process.
Once in Pennsylvania’s southwest corner
Came a Bishop charged to help us heal.
He arrived with Mariann to help him
Rebuild Church in this city made by steel.
West V-A, born and bred;
Three full years he was our head.
The Diocese of Southern Ohio
Shared him with us for the first two years,
As did Bexley Hall and Forward Movement
Plus secretary to his bishop peers.
Burdens past he let us shed;
Three wise years he was our head.
He released all the ACNA clergy;
Restored the two who said they changed their mind.
He ordained a gaggle of new clergy,
Scoured Ohio even more to find.
Pastor, friend, as he led;
Three bless’d years he was our head.
He helped us set goals and mission;
Then we a strategic plan did write.
Through appeals and talks he maintained balance,
Keeping the goals clearly in his sight.
’Twas the Gospel that he pled;
Three busy years he was our head.
Retirees they feted at good lunches;
They opened their home for many more to dine.
He was sold at Redeemer’s auction;
As a camper Bishop Price did shine.
Bodies and hearts the Prices fed;
Three fun years he was our head.
One new parish, others returning
Found a welcome warm and heartfelt too.
To the Lutherans we grew closer;
Our own transitions he guided us through.
Tactfully, his course he tread;
Three warm years he was our head.
Now he’s off to new adventures
In retirement with his wife.
We all send them warmest wishes
For this new page in their life.
In this ¹Burgh it will be said,
“Three great years he was our head.”