Saturday, August 16, 2008

More tragedy in Europe

The two-hundred-fiftieth anniversary year in 1958 is remembered for its inspiration and spiritual uplift which it brought to the church. It is also remembered in history for its tragedy and sorrow.

Two days after the air disaster of KLM flight 607 E off the western coast of Ireland which took the lives of ninety-nine persons, including passengers and crew, among whom were thirteen Brethren and seven of their friends; an auto accident in Sweden on August 16 resulted in serious injury to M.R. Zigler, who had presided at the celebration in Schwarenau, and death to his life-long companion and wife, Amy Arnold Zigler. This tragedy cast a shadow of grief over the entire Brotherhood and in many areas of the Protestant world.

M.R. Zigler had reached retirement age in 1958 and had already made plans to leave his post in Geneva as European Director and the Brethren representative to the newly organized World Council of Churches. He and Amy had made plans for a final European vacation in Sweden following the 250th Anniversary celebration before returning to the United States. Following Amy's death, he would retire to Sebring, Florida. In 1980 he began a term of volunteer service at the Brethren Service Center he had established in 1944 in New Windsor, MD. Here he began a series of program to revitalize the peace emphasis that would lead to On Earth peace.

Source: The Brethren Encyclopedia