About the Book
In this rich collection of personal essays, selected sermons and poems, The
Reverend Donald “Pastor Don” Henderson reflects on his upbringing and his six decades as a United Church of Christ minister. The essays are an honest, emotionally frank and moving account of his questioning, challenging and deepening faith, as well as his commitment and witness to the transforming love that has informed and inspired his life’s vocation. The selected poems in this volume are Pastor Don’s response to his diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer at 82 years old—plain-spoken verse written with powerful, unsparing passion about his ultimate spiritual journey, embracing his humanity, his friends, his family, his beloved wife Susann—and even life and death themselves—and whatever awaits next. Kiss the Joy As It Flies is Donald Henderson’s final summing up of the life he dedicated to the love of God and to people.
The Reverend Donald Walker Henderson was a United Church of Christ minister who served congregations in Missouri, New Zealand, Florida and Maine. He died of pancreatic cancer on Tuesday, February 14, 2011, at his home in Sarasota, Florida. He was 83 years old. Donald Henderson was born in Fairfield, Maine, the seventh of eight children born to Betsy and the Reverend Alexander Henderson. He received his bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and received a master’s degree from the Andover Newton Theological School. At his church, in Camden, Maine, he helped create the area's first school for disabled children - later named The Henderson School. In numerous congregations, he instituted initiatives to make churches “Open and Affirming” – accessible and welcoming to all parishioners, regardless of disability, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Until 82 years old, he volunteered serving seniors . He is survived by his beloved wife Susann, 4 children and 8 grandchildren.