Remembering Rev. Thomas J. S. Mikelson

Posted 4/21/20

We are very saddened at the death of Rev. Thomas J. S. Mikelson. He is much beloved by our congregation as he was the Interim Minister who loved this young congregation through its first ministerial transition.  He served us from 2012-2014.

Our love goes out to his wife, Patricia, and his family, his friends, the many UU ministers he mentored and inspired, and the hundreds and more Unitarian Universalists who benefited from his ministry of spirit, love, and justice.

I only had the honor of speaking with him a handful of times as I transitioned to ministry with our congregation, and I count myself lucky to have had that privilege.  His sweet generous spirit and lively intelligence was so evident, right from the first moment I met him.  I know many of you in this congregation grew to love him very much.

Thomas served the First Parish in Cambridge, MA, as their senior minister from 1989-2006, as well as serving many other congregations.  He was a visiting lecturer at Harvard Divinity School, a scholar of the theology and social ethics of Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as a gifted photographer.  You can find one of many of the remembrances being shared about him here: https://www.facebook.com/revjakebmorrill/posts/10222076899700920

One of Thomas’s ministries was writing hymns.  The much-beloved UU hymn “Wake, Now, My Senses” was only one of the hymns he penned, and one of two that are included in our hymnbook Singing the Living Tradition. We’ll sing both of those hymns at our worship service this Sunday, April 26.

Thomas wrote:

Sing of living, sing of dying, 
let them both be joined in one,
parts of an eternal processlike
the ever-circling sun.

From the freshness of each infant 
giving hope in what is new,
to the wisdom of the aged 
deepened by a longer view.

Open to a deeper loving,
open to the gift of care,
searching for a higher justice,
helping others in despair.

Through the tender bonds of living
in a more inclusive way
we are opened more to suffering 
from the losses of each day.

Thomas’s open heart opened the hearts of so many others to a fuller, deeper, more compassionate way of living.

When an obituary is published by his family, we will let you know of that.  If you would like to contribute to a gift made by our congregation in honor of Thomas, there are two ways you can do that.  You can go to https://uusaratoga.org/make-a-gift-online/ and choose “Rev. Thomas Mikelson Memorial” as the fund to direct your gift to.

You can also give by text to 518-333-9140.  Simply text the amount you would like to give, followed by “Thomas.”  (For example, texting “20 Thomas” to 518-333-9140 would contribute $20 to our congregation’s gift in his honor.)

The family asks that we not send flowers.  If you would like to leave a personal remembrance for his family, you may do so here: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/thomas-mikelson-obituary?pid=196013220

Rest in grace, Thomas. Your words, spirit, and memory will live on in us.

Rev. Joe