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Rise in Glory Deborah Danner

Rise in Glory Deborah Danner

Deborah Danner made  headline news on  October 18, 2016; tragically shot to death by an NYPD officer, in her home, at dinner time.. Only her close friends were privy to her condition: she had battled mental illness for over 30 years, yet managed to hold down jobs in her lucid states; continue her education; keep up with EfM readings and participate at church activities.

Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine will hold a memorial service November 1st

Trinity Wall Street will hold a service Thursday, November 3rd,6:30 p.m.
From the New York Times:

Remember the name: Deborah Danner. She was killed by a New York police sergeant on Tuesday in her Bronx apartment. Neighbors had called 911, saying she was acting erratically. A team of officers arrived and, according to the police account, found an agitated Ms. Danner brandishing first a pair of scissors, and then a baseball bat. She took a swing at the sergeant, who shot her twice.

The investigation has just begun, but the case looks bad for the department. Police Commissioner James O’Neill almost immediately placed the sergeant, Hugh Barry, on modified duty, stripped of his badge and gun. Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference that the sergeant had not followed training or protocols for dealing with those with mental illness, and for some reason had neither used his Taser nor waited for specialized officers trained to deal with such situations. Mr. O’Neill said: “We failed.”

Ms. Danner, 66, now joins a tragic group of people whose mental illness leads them into a dangerous, often fatal, collision with the police. She would have been another cipher, another mental-health casualty, her inner struggles known only to her family and friends, but for a remarkable essay she wrote four years ago, “Living With Schizophrenia,” which her lawyer shared with The Times.

A poem by Deborah Danner

Sunrise, pink and pale, pale red. . .
Shine across my narrow bed;
Sunrise soon to full rise be
Wakes me with a melody,
Lovely song and strings divine,
Sweet, sweet taste of apple wine.
I await the sting of time;
This will wake me for the day;
Do I await the time when I
Will the afternoon betray?
What’s the moon’s pretense now?
When the sunrise smiles and smiles,
I will with the sun enjoy
All the day and all the joy
Of a winter’s morning light
Which will fade, but which now is bright. __  DEBORAH DANNER
Sunday sermon by the Rev. Winnie Varghese shortly after Deborah Danner’s death here.

UPDATE: Statement from the Bishop

My brothers and sisters,

The shooting death of Deborah Danner in New York City two weeks ago has occasioned profound grief for all who knew her, and for all those across our city who have been touched by the courageous story of this remarkable person, and of her senseless death.  We have been made to look again at the stigma and fear with which our culture views mental illness, and at the isolation with which too many who suffer from mental illness live.  We have also been made to look again (and again and again) at the urgent, infuriating pattern of the use of excessive force by the police, predominantly against people of color and in communities of color.  Deborah’s death brings together our grief at the death of a beloved sister of the Diocese of New York, and our outrage and insistence on justice for the pointlessness and needlessness of her killing.  Black Lives Matter!  Deborah’s life, the worth of which she was continually made to defend, mattered.
Deborah was at different times affiliated with three different churches of our diocese and city:  The Church of the Heavenly Rest, Trinity Parish Wall Street, and most recently, the Congregation of Saint Savior at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.  I had the privilege of receiving Deborah into the Episcopal Church at Trinity Parish on the Feast of the Pentecost in 2013, and now in these last days have heard the mystified, sorrowful remembrances of clergy and people of the churches where she participated in our common life, and where she was loved.  She is wonderfully remembered in each of the churches she attended, and not least for the courage she unfailingly displayed in living with, suffering with, and often, powerfully transcending and rising above her schizophrenia.  She wrote of her life in the church:  “I have found a strong support system in my church home dealings.  They know I suffer and still accept me…  They trust and support me, offer assistance financially and emotionally and bring me ever closer to a God who I know loves me.”
Tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m., on All Saints’ Day, a funeral service for Deborah will take place in the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine where the faithful will commend to God the life and soul of one whom God knew only as his beloved, brilliant, creative child.  The saints triumphant rise in bright array!  As your own congregations gather to celebrate All Hallows Day, tomorrow or on this coming Sunday, I commend Deborah, our sister, to your prayers at the altar of our God, and call us to a renewed, tireless commitment to racial justice, and to our advocacy for the most vulnerable among us.
In the peace and love of Christ, I remain
The Rt. Rev. Andrew M.L. Dietsche
Bishop of New York



Image: Deborah Danner


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JC Fisher

How ghastly. Holy, wounded Deborah, pray for us!

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