Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gideon Addington

I just received the news that my twitter friend @gideony (Gideon Addington) took his own life on Saturday night.  I do not have words to express my grief and anger (or at least not printable words). I never met him, but we had many conversations over twitter.  I had hoped to meet him in the spring at a conference or perhaps next fall when he planned to begin seminary studies at General Theological Seminary in New York.

Here's a link to a sermon I preached years after the suicide of a young student in my hometown. There are also links on that post to websites and help lines for depression and suicide.
"A Prodigal Daughter"

For those of you who are wondering if anyone would care if you died, the answer is yes. And if you are wondering about that, then call me or e-mail me. Damnit.

[Update: for anyone else who, like me, woke up this morning praying this was an on-line hoax, here is a link to folks who made a more direct connection and confirmed Gideon's death. And again: damnit.]

12/19 Update: Gideon's family has requested donations go to Iron Gate, a not-for-profit that focuses on feeding the hungry

For those of you connecting here for the first time, looking for information about Gideon, welcome. Stay a while, but here's a few links to help you on your way:

Gideon's blog:

A prayer Gideon wrote: Prayers for Broken People

A piece of liturgy he wrote last week. He was so proud of this, and it's beautiful:
My First Liturgy

Gideon's Twitter Feed: @gideony  He had a public profile, so fair to post it here. It's bittersweet to read his words today (this feed will dissipate after 2 weeks, like all tweets do, but probably you can google @gideony)

A video he made

Emergent Outliers, a website he moderated for emergent Christian folks:

A post Gideon wrote for Bruce Reyes-Chow (moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.) in response to the question "Why do you choose denominational life?"

Gideon's umbrella website with links to a lot of his other on-line presences:

There is at least one on-line memorial service being planned. I will post a link when I have more info.


  1. I just read your sermon. It was very very nice and powerful and thoughtful and loving.

  2. Thank you, Scott. Prayers be with you this day.

  3. I think the best part of ourselves is the capacity to overcome our suffering and find an authentic life that works. People who preach the loudest often do so in an attempt to reach that pinnacle. I'm so sorry your friend lost his way. I'm so sorry for he does not leave alone, or without his pain left behind. I'm so sorry you are in pain.

  4. Hi Katie,

    I've been following you on Twitter for a while and just stumbled upon your blog by accident (one of the many today, it seems). Thank you for this post, for your honesty and for your anger.


  5. This posting captures the anger that often accompanies grief following a loss. I don't think our society recognizes that there is often a link between the two emotions. You have my condolences.

  6. Katie,
    just ran across your blog after a search on Scott. never knew him but i'm just one of many who call emerging church home.

    thanks for the words on Scott. thanks for the honesty about telling others not to take their life. dammit.

    thanks for loving the things of the kingdom. i sent you love. i send you friendship. i send a prayer.

  7. I am surprised at how sad I am since I didn't know him much at all - he had a voice that I was interested in and I could connect with a lot of things he said - I followed him on twitter and once I exchanged an email or two with him regarding an online bible study through Emergent Outliers - there wasn't much direct communication...but I feel so shaken and saddened. These online connections are pretty powerful!

  8. Thank you for your post, Katy. Those of us in the @TheUrbanAbbey community are grieving Gideon's loss, and your sermon is very helpful. Thank you for sharing it.

  9. Hi - I don't know you, but found you via this entry. Thanks for saying so succinctly everything I was thinking. Damnit.

    I only knew Gideon online, too. Sigh. Thanks for the list of links and sermon.

  10. Liz, Randy, Raima, and Amy...thanks for coming by and leaving messages. it's good to know I'm not alone in my grief. I'm still having a hard time believing he's gone, but today was better than yesterday. Hang in there everyone. And please feel free to get in touch if you ever hit a rough patch like Gideon's. Would much rather make an awkward online connection than find out later that we lost another one.

  11. Noticed you followed me on Twitter. I didn't know Gideon had passed away until reading your tweet when I checked out your page. I had noticed I'd not seen tweets from him in a while. I didn't know him except from his tweets. Can't believe he's no longer with us. Sad to know he was going through so much pain.

  12. Because of your connection to Gideon, I'm sharing the memorial I wrote as well. In all of our loss, I pray for comfort and blessing, for Gideon's family, his loved ones, his friends, his coworkers, and his many associates from around the world.

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