Honoring John S. Mogabgab

As we commemorate the first anniversary of the death of Weavings founding editor, John S. Mogabgab (August 8), we are reminded of the considerable and significant contributions he made to the ministries of The Upper Room and, in turn, to the spiritual journeys of thousands of individuals. His life-transforming legacy continues to touch lives even today through the Weavings journal (look for “Reflections from John S. Mogabgab” in 2016’s Volume 31), the Alive Now audio lectio tool, A Guide to Prayer for All Who Walk with God, The Henri Nouwen Spirituality Series, and The Academy for Spiritual Formation®.

John2John was a consistent presence of guidance and influence for The Academy since its conception in 1983. He played a key role on the design team as the primary architect of the Two-Year Academy curriculum and served as the resident theologian on the first Two-Year Academy leadership team. John served on The Academy Advisory Board until his death in 2014.

“John held a special fondness for The Academy he helped to form,” said Rev. Marjorie Thompson, John’s wife. “John was delighted by the growth and impact of The Academy on church leadership.”

The Upper Room has renamed The Academy for Spiritual Formation Leadership Endowment in John’s honor. The new name, the John Mogabgab Academy Leadership Endowment, recognizes John’s contributions and his commitment to helping The Academy offer an experience of spiritual renewal and disciplined community for both clergy and laity.

Endowment returns help underwrite the expense of faculty recruitment, leadership team development, international expansion and new ministry offerings such as the “From the Well” podcast. “This is a meaningful way to honor John’s legacy with The Upper Room and The Academy,” said Johnny Sears, Director of The Academy.

Contributions may be made to the John Mogabgab Academy Leadership Endowment by contacting The Upper Room’s development office at 615-340-7212 or online at

For additional information, contact Sherry Elliott, Executive Director of Interpretation and Development, The Upper Room, at selliott@umcdiscipleship.org or 615-340-7520.

10 Responses to “Honoring John S. Mogabgab”

  1. Like many, many others, I was blessed by John’s encouragement of me as a writer, strengthened by his wise counsel and grateful for his warm and caring friendship. A holy and gentle spirit with a twinkle in his eye and depth of soul.

  2. Jot Ross says:

    Shocked and saddened to learn of John’s passing. We grew up together as great friends in Connecticut, attended Bowdoin College, but then went our separate ways. Although we have never reconnected, it has been a joy to have “Weavings” front and center on my Twitter feed.

  3. Jean Suiter says:

    I remember John as a quiet, thoughtful, intelligent theologian and writer. He contributed so much to the Upper Room and interdenominational learning in the area of spiritual formation.

  4. Paul Hayes says:

    John’s introduction to the November/December 1993 issue of WEAVINGS started me on the path of spiritual formation.

    His openning words are “God loves”. John continues “God loves lavishly, soaking creation with life, and the joyful freedom of God’s love traces the horizon of our joy.

    I sense the Holy Spirit blessed John with the gift he introduced to other and to me.

  5. Johnny Sears says:

    When I first met John he was an immediate friend who provided an open, receptive, and affirming space for me to be myself. He was a mentor, listener, care-giver, care-receiver, sounding board, encourager, prayer partner, lunch buddy, story-sharer, humorist, and dear beloved friend. I will miss him.

  6. Mary Lynn Hendrickson says:

    So sorry to hear of John’s passing. Such a dear man, wonderful guide to all things spiritual, and great editorial talent. He will be missed by his many colleagues in the religious press–but never forgotten. He and his family are in my thoughts and prayers!

  7. Gerrit Dawson says:

    John commissioned my first published article, and then was responsible for my first book being published by Upper Room. He was always an encouragement. I appreciated his willingness to shape and challenge too. I’ll always be grateful he took a chance on me. And I’m thankful for the vision of Weavings, his gentle spirit, his love for his wife, his humor and his faith

  8. Heather Murray Elkins says:

    The gospel of
    Child of
    Full of
    Grace and Truth
    This is he of
    whom we speak


  9. Kathryn Mitchem says:

    My spiritual journey was immediately deepened beyond words when John became part of our Penuel Ridge Board of Directors for four years (serving as President 1992-94). This rich gift to my life continued as we became spiritual companions meeting monthly over lunch until his retirement (always his favorite – Japanese food 🙂 What gain… and what loss… what joy… and what sorrow… we will all bear and share together… because we were in the right place at the right time to live along blessed spiritual paths with both Marjorie and John! Thank you God!

  10. Anne Broyles says:

    I first met John in 1984 when he came to meet us on our sabbatical at Pendle Hill. He sat in our small place while our 9-month-old son and 3-year-old daughter played around him, and we adults discussed things of the spirit. John asked me to become part of the WEAVINGS Advisory Board that year, and I was fortunate enough to meet with him and the board frequently, learn about Thai food through him and his wife, Marjorie Thompson, visit their beautiful home,and stay in touch these many years. I so appreciated John’s gentle spirit, sense of humor and brilliant mind. I was blessed to call him colleague, mentor and friend.

Leave a Reply

Web Statistics