OBITUARY: Rev. Lloyd Wake, Longtime Theologian and Activist

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SAN FRANCISCO — Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church issued the following announcement on Dec. 27:

Rev. Lloyd and Marion Wake

“It is with deep sadness that we inform you that our brother, Rev. Lloyd K. Wake died on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017.

“Lloyd began his ministry in the California Annual Conference, then the Pacific Japanese Provisional Annual Conference. In the California Nevada Conference, Lloyd served appointments at Berkeley English Speaking, San Francisco Nisei, San Francisco Pine, and San Francisco Glide Memorial United Methodist churches before retiring in 1990.

“Lloyd was an active leader in the National Federation of Asian American United Methodists and was recognized as a theologian and activist as a founding member of the Pacific Asian-American Center for Theology and Strategies in Berkeley. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was not shy about showing emotion.

“His faithful partner in life and ministry was his beloved wife, Marion. Lloyd and Marion’s relationship blossomed following their experiences in internment camps in the American west during World War II. Amelia Chua, the director and producer of the documentary of their life and ministry titled ‘Lloyd & Marion,’ said, ‘Lloyd and Marion will challenge Asian American stereotypes. This was not your typical love story.’

He is survived by his wife, Marion Wake; four children: Steven Wake, of Oakland, Cathy Quides of Berkeley, Wesley Wake of Willits, and Sandra Wake of Covelo; by eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Condolences may be sent to Marion Wake at 3400 Laguna St. Cottage, San Francisco, CA 94123 …

“Let us continue to give God thanks for Lloyd’s life and witness and hold his family close in prayer.”

A private service will be held on Jan. 27 at Pine United Methodist Church. A public celebration of Wake’s life will take place at a later date.

Wake spoke on the theme “Wounded Healers” at the Servoces1978 National Convocation on Asian American United Methodist Churches. The address was printed in the March 1979 issue of Engage/Social Action, from which the following quotations were taken.

“The very basis of compassion is community. Participation in the human ecstasies and agonies is the meaning of compassion. We become compassionate persons, we keep alive our sense of compassion in the midst of callousness, by being in communities. How easy it is for us to be paralyzed by our inabilities and frustrations to address adequately worldwide problems. In smaller groups…we are free to become compassionate, to respond to the problems of persons within our reach.” (p.13)

“I’ve discovered that people who do the most talking about God’s love do so because they want God, not themselves, to do the loving. They are, in effect, saying, ‘God, you love that person; I don’t want to love that person; I have a very difficult time loving.’ And so we talk very blithely about God’s love. We are the ones who ought to do the loving.” (p.14)

“The only criterion for action is love. I hesitate to use that word because love has become so distorted. The opposite of love is not hate; it is aloofness, apathy, indifference. The love I am talking about is not a romantic love; it is a love that very often takes sides, that takes the side of the oppressed. It is a love that tears down evil systems so that it can build up people who have been dominated by and dehumanized by those systems.” (p.15)

“There are three ways in which men and women deal with their wounds. One is to cry, one is to be silent, another is to turn the pain into joy and healing. Blessed are the wounded who respond with the totality of their lives to bring health and healing and joy to all people.” (p.16)

While Rev. Wake answered the call to pastoral ministry and civil rights activism, Mrs. Wake devoted her life to serving ethnic minorities as a mental health counselor. Her effort to expand mental health services to ethnic minorities led to the founding of Richmond Area Multi-Service Center in San Francisco.

For more information on “Lloyd & Marion,” which follows the couple’s journey building a life together from the ground up as they struggle for justice and equality for all, visit http://lloydandmarion.com.

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