"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?"
Nan Crerie Merrill, December 3, 1931—January 23, 2010
On January 23, 2010, at 11:15 p.m., Nan C. Merrill, founder and director of Friends of Silence, slipped through the veil to her Beloved. The daughter of Ernest and Merle Crerie, Nan was mother to 3 sons and 2 daughters; "Nana" to 6 grandchildren; and "Auntie Nancy" to 6 nieces and nephews. She is also survived by one sister and a whole host of friends and colleagues across the country and abroad.
Nan touched the hearts of thousands of people through her monthly publication of Friends of Silence. She started this newsletter over 22 years ago in Detroit, Michigan, where she spent several years as a lay volunteer in an inner-city church. FOS has grown from a beginning group of about 40 members who came together at the church to pray silently over the city to more than six thousand subscribers world wide.
Nan shared her deep spiritual insights and love of writing by authoring six books and editing numerous others. She encouraged and nurtured everyone who came into her path. Nan has led retreats, worked with inner city residents and been involved in prison ministry for many years. She had a wonderful sense of humor and was an avid sports fan who enjoyed watching golf, basketball and football.
Nan and I met by mail through her FOS newsletter nearly 20 years ago. As she did for so many, she mentored me by being my "pen pal" for several years before we met face to face. Nan assisted me along the way through the intense spiritual search in which I was engaged, lending an ear or a shoulder as needed. She became my dear friend and colleague as the years passed, and I will sorely miss her. Still, I am so aware that she is here, that she lives on, not only in her published work, but also in our memories and our awareness of her strong spiritual presence in our own lives. Friends of Silence will continue in her footsteps.