A memorial service was held at First Church last May for Rev. Richard Kozelka, who served First Church from 1974-1991. Below, we are sharing the text of that service, as collected by Dick’s wife, Kathy Kolb.
Tim Harlow of the Star Tribune wrote: “The Rev. Richard Kozelka will be remembered at First Congregational Church in Minneapolis … for transforming the church near the University of Minnesota into a congregation that welcomes people of all races, cultures and sexual orientations.”
MEMORIAL SERVICE for
The Reverend DICK KOZELKA
First Congregational Church, Minneapolis
May 21, 2010
Reverend Jane McBride
Grace and peace to you, sisters and brothers in Christ.
On behalf of myself and all the staff and members of First Church, it is a joy and privilege to welcome you here. We are glad to share with you this day of remembering and giving thanks for the life of Rev. Richard Kozelka.
I am inspired by Dick’s witness and work in this place, by his voice that so boldly proclaimed the Gospel of justice, peace and inclusivity. I am grounded by the values he embraced, and which continue to shape the life of this congregation so integrally. It is an honor for me to serve this community of faith knowing that I stand in the strength and integrity of Dick’s legacy.
I am grateful for this opportunity to come to know Dick more fully today, through the eyes of his beloved community of family and friends, colleagues, and those he served in ministry over so many years.