Thanks to the many friends who have also shared remembrances on the McMullen Funeral Home site and to EMU for the "In Memoriam" article.

Lee Martin

April 29, 2023

Nate was to me a beloved brother in Christ, a seminary professor, a parishioner full of grace and truth, a friend. Nate brought Scripture to life. I specifically recall times of meeting God anew as Nate spoke on Mt. 11:28-30 (Come to me, all you who are weary …), Ps. 42 (thirsting for God), and Ps. 139 (You have searched me, Lord, and you know me). Nate was wise. He seemed to know just when to be silent and listen, just when to speak, and just what words to use when he spoke. Nate was vulnerable. I recall him, my seminary professor, being vulnerable with me about realities in his life, which left me wondering, “Who am I to hear such truth from him?” Nate spoke truth even if it was uncomfortable. Once he spoke to me about a situation in our congregation, Mt. Clinton Mennonite, and though he was not accusatory, it became clear to me that I could have handled that situation better than I did. When Nate was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, he entrusted himself anew to God’s care and grace, as he had throughout his life. He requested a service of anointing as an act of faith and trust in God’s perfect will, not as a demand for his own will to be done. In my own journey with cancer, his model in responding to illness and increasing physical limitations mentor me along the way, though my path is different than his. Nate was a faithful and loving son, husband, father and grandfather. In the midst of his demanding work as a pastor and professor, it seems clear that family was not sacrificed on the altar of work demands. I am a better person, a better follower of Christ, because of Nate, a friend and brother full of the grace and truth of Christ. Thank you, God, for the gift of Nate.

Jeffrey Light

April 28, 2023

A dear mentor and teacher between the years of 2003 and 2011. I knew him to always be faithful to the Lord. Christlike. Prayers for his family.

Andy Brock

April 28, 2023

Back in 2009-2010, Nate was my professor in Christian history for two semesters. I remember him as kind and generous, even-tempered, and a fair task master. I’m saddened by his passing and grieve with his family who are in my prayers.

Simone Horst

April 27, 2023

I met Nate at the start of my first year of college when I began my work-study job in the EMU archives. I quickly realized that this was a vocation I was very interested in pursuing, and Nate was a steadfast supporter of my dreams. We worked together in the EMU Archives for nearly a decade, and I feel fortunate to have had him as a mentor as I began my career. Nate had a knack for seeing the big picture in projects, and was skilled at navigating relationships and university politics. He was also a talented historian who could synthesize concepts and understand all sides of an issue. I learned a great deal working alongside him. He has left his fingerprints all over the archives, and I often “bump into him” in my work today when I see his handwriting on a box label, open a spreadsheet he crafted, or pick up a project he had been working on at the time of his retirement. I feel so fortunate to have had Nate as a mentor, teacher, and friend, and I miss him dearly.

Joy Gerber

April 18, 2023

Nate was my brother-in-law. I personally have a health condition called cervical dystonia. It causes my neck and my head to do a lot of tremoring and it is very uncomfortable! But Nate, in his battle with Parkinson’s was a tremendous encouragement to me as I never heard Nate complain or grumble about his health! And yet I knew Parkinson’s was not a comfortable condition for Nate! But I was just so encouraged about how courageously he faced his illness and it has given me much courage to also face my illness with courage and without complaining and grumbling! Thank you so much Nate and thank you so much God for working through Nate’s life to speak to my heart! ❤️

Nancy Heisey

April 14, 2023

Nate came to EMS when I was finishing my seminary degree, so I never had him as a teacher. When I returned to EMU as a teacher myself, I noted quickly that Nate was always one to reach across divides. Since I was placed in the undergraduate program, it mattered a lot to me to stay connected with the seminary community, and Nate provided that link. Later, while I was assistant seminary dean, I picked up the very significant work Nate had done to reshape and define the MAR program. How I looked forward to those afternoons when he would come by, explain things to me, and we would talk about what mattered deeply to us both. One other amazing memory was driving to a conference at AMBS with Nate, Mim, and my husband Paul. Nate took us on the route we wouldn’t have taken (33) and made a point of introducing us to Tamarack. Nate was such a gift to me, as he was to many. His memory will continue to be blessed!

Vi Dutcher

April 12, 2023

Nate was a model of how faculty collaborate, support each other, and work at being colleagues. At all times, he was professional. He had a great sense of humor, and we saw this during Kairos Place retreats in May where he often shared with us what he was writing. Nate represented the seminary on the Writing Committee, a committee that then-provost Beryl Brubaker formed to be a place of support and ideas for me, EMU’s new writing program director. During the years that Nate served on this committee, he was unflagging in his support, helping to get publicity for the writing program to administrators and graduate programs. I could always depend upon him. I admired his ability to be real and godly at the same time. I miss him greatly.

Phil Kniss

April 11, 2023

I am grateful for the way Nate’s life, intellect, faith, and pastoral wisdom enriched my own, especially in his last several years. For many years prior, we were friendly acquaintances, speaking only occasionally when our social circles overlapped. From a distance, I admired how Nate functioned as a bridge between the conservative heritage he faithfully represented, and the left-leaning parts of the church and academy that he always engaged with grace and compassion. After he fully retired and was deeper into his journey with declining health and capacity, our connection deepened, at his initiative. He sought me out as a conversation and prayer partner, and we met multiple times one-on-one. Nate opened up about tender matters of faith, suffering, relationships, and the like. I don’t know whether I added anything of substance to his own deep insight. He seemed to be buoyed simply by having a safe place to talk and process deep questions with someone outside his own family, church, and professional connections. I’m grateful he invited himself into that space with me. It was a gift to me, and it set an example of how to be both strong and vulnerable in suffering. Rest in deep shalom, brother!