Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Jordon Cooper's Funeral (A Review)

Ok I know it's strange to review a funeral.  Jordon had terminal cancer, he knew his time was limited, and he prepared a serious piece of art for his finale. It deserves to be recognized as such.  Because of the subject matter I've kept the monetizing links to a minimum.

Songs from Jordon's Chemotherapy Playlist were playing as we entered the Lakeview Church auditorium. The final song to play: OK Go's cover of The Muppet Show Theme song.
"It's time to get things started 
On the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, muppetational..."
I don't know about sensational or muppetational but inspirational and celebrational work well for a funeral.

Being a funeral there were eulogies, passionately delivered by Tammy Robert and Scott Williams.

The eulogies covered Jordon's time as a Student, Husband, Father, Future Mapper at Lake View Church, Blogger, Rural Pastor, Urban Church Planter, Safeway Employee, Activist, Side Hustler Extrodiar, Manger for Two Homeless Shelters, founder of a shelter for rape victims, Blogger, Urban Activist, Camera Salesman, Political Commentator, Lover of Saskatoon.


Oddly the Eulogy Jordon himself had written was not read.  Turns out Jordon removed it from the service in the interest of time.

There was a moving photographic salute by Jordon's son Mark Cooper.

What made the night a performance piece was Jordon's choice of 'The Prodigal  Son' as a theme.  The unlinkable Lee Cooper read the parable from Luke. The wonderfully bearded Jared Sibert delivered a homily on the Prodigal Son, covering the Parable, The Rembrandt painting and Canadian theologian Henri Nouwen's 1994 book The Return of the Prodigal Son.  Best sermon I've heard this year.  But then my church doesn't do sermons.  In summary Jordon was on a journey to become gracious like the father and in a fight not be like the elder son.

I'll insert here that I was and continue to be a recipient of Jordon's grace.  Back when blogging was thing, (2002) I started this humble blog, and started looking around for other Canadian Christian bloggers and found JordonCooper.com.  I figured out that Jordon was kinda a big deal when the New Your Times mentioned him in satirical bit covering blogs.  They described him along the lines of 'Books, Fundies make me angry, Hockey, Hockey' if I recall.  I know that when Jordon linked to a post my trafic went through the roof.  I even got a coveted spot on Jordon's blog roll.  Someone even created a Linked by Jordon Cooper icon.  However by the time the icon came out, I had been de linked by Jordon Cooper.  So I said so in the comments.  Soon after I was restored to Jordon's blog roll.  I never asked why, though he did once make a joke about it.  My read was the he put me back as an act of grace.  So the message of Grace that Jared adeptly delivered on Jordon's behalf resonated with me.

I was also with a friend who had been estranged from Jordon for about ten years, so I was very aware that grace is not simple or easy.  This reality was also acknowledged in the service.

Todd Peters performed a wonderful cover of Over the Rhine's All My Favorite People.


The whole song fit the night perfectly but the verse that stood out to me,
Orphaned believers
skeptical dreamers
Step forward
You can stay right here
You don't have to go
In many ways that summed up the community of people Jordon gathered online and in Saskatoon.

Indeed there was a wide range of people at the funeral, I'm told the Mayor of Saskatoon was there, the Premier of Saskatchewan sent flowers.  The young man next me in ripped jeans was greeted by name as he came in.  Not sure if he was homeless or a trendy church planter.  He gently snored through most of the service, don't read that as disrespect, but as someone who came for Jordon despite exhaustion.

There was a fabulous after party downstairs at Winston's.  More tributes from folks who knew Jordon as political commentator and activist.  There was a Conservative with Heart (who was mocked) and a Fiscally Responsible Socialist (who was mocked, really the jokes wrote themselves).

It was deeply moving to reconnect with Jordon and his community one last time.

You can support Wendy & the boys via the Jordon Cooper Family Relief Fund

- Peace


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