Friday, May 30, 2008

New Orleans looses a light - the Katrina chronicles

Last Sunday, as we were preparing to celebrate the sacrifices of our soldiers that keep our nation strong, the city of New Orleans lost a light. The Rev. Cliff W. Nunn, pastor of First Presbyterian Church died suddenly. Cliff was more then a pastor in a church in a town that is, for me, essentially home. Cliff was a friend. He was a role model. And Cliff will be missed.

When I was growing up, I spent a lot of time in Cliff and Nieta's house. You see, their son Bruce was, essentially, my older brother for a number of years. Though we have, sadly, lost touch, we were for a time the best of buds. Bruce and I shared many interests - Scouting, model trains, Star Trek. And the Nunns and my folks were also close, so many was the Sunday afternoon or the Tuesday evening I could be found in their white single story house. Many was the meal I shared with them, and many was the laugh that I carried home.

Cliff was a pastor as a second career, but was no less committed to the ministry then his younger colleagues. He moved the family to Louisville, KY so he could attend seminary, and I still remember the pictures and stories of the Volvo P1800 he and Bruce dismantled and reassembled in the basement to restore.

When Cliff and Nieta came back to Louisiana as part of his ministry, we all felt like something was right with the world. Though I was moving on into the world, I still got lots of updates from mom about them and their work.
And like many, Cliff and Nieta watched their world literally disintegrate when the Katrina flood waters ravaged New Orleans. But as soon as he could, and with the help of MANY volunteers, Cliff fought to both set his church right and set his community right. Cliff was still fighting that fight right up until the day God reached out to him and said "Well done, good and faithful servant."
So Cliff has gone home to a rest that, though way too soon for all of us, is more then well deserved. I will miss you old friend. I'll miss the smile, the laughter, and the slight impish twinkle in your eye. We'll try to keep up the fight for you. So rest well old friend. And thank you for showing us the way.


Pastor Kathy said...

Thanks so much for your remembrances of Cliff. You met him years before I did, and your memories of Bruce's dad are poignant. You can see my musings at

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