Reverend Raymond Francis Kersting We are at a time in our American history where we need more kindness, gentleness, wisdom, and compassion for all people. Therefore, it is with a sad heart that we announce to the world the death of Reverend Raymond Francis Kersting, of Santa Fe, NM on November 29, 2018.
At 85 years old, Reverend Kersting was a third generation Santa Fean graduating from Santa Fe High in 1951. In 1955, after graduating from Hanover College, in Hanover, IN Raymond spent time as an editor of the Frankfort Morning Times. Raymond decided to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather to become a minister.
He and his wife, Betty graduated from San Francisco Theological Seminary in 1960. He was ordained as a Presbyterian minister on June 30 1960 at the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe. During his tenure as pastor he served three congregations: First Presbyterian Churches in Atkinson, NE, Taos, NM, serving for nine years and Brighton, CO, where he served for 20 Years.
Ray was moderator of the original Santa Fe Presbytery and of the current Santa Fe Presbytery. He was also Stated Clerk of the Presbytery from 1997-2005. He served as moderator of Finance & Property and editor of the award winning "Noticias", the Presbytery newsletter, for many years. Rev. Kersting was known for his gentleness and compassion. He believed strongly in the equality of all people and the need for social justice.
It is in this vein that Reverend Kersting served his communities in ways far beyond the pulpit. He understood the innate desire for people to find meaning in their lives. Many of his community endeavors included programs to assist in this quest such as establishing a counseling center that served all members of the community regardless of their ability to pay, and facilitating conversation between community groups during tumultuous times to foster peace and diversity in Taos and in Brighton, CO.
Reverend Kersting saw the role of the church as one of spiritual growth and the nurturing of all ages, races, and socio-economic status. As one friend/neighbor wrote, "Ray wove his way into our communities through selfless volunteer work, working quietly, efficiently, to improve lives for all. Not only was he an amazing church and community leader, Raymond was very creative."
These creative endeavors started young with model trains and playing the clarinet in the band. His love of music continued throughout his career, establishing a strong musical ministry while in Brighton and a lifetime love of the Santa Fe Opera attending for 59 years.
He created stained glass artworks, and won awards for his beautiful yards while in Colorado. Through his woodworking he created furniture for our home and wooden pens he handcrafted. In his younger years he enjoyed skiing and golfing and would later feed his love of trains by expanding his work in model railroading, riding the Cumbres & Toltec and traveling by train whenever he could.
His parents, Raymond A. and Mary Moore Kersting, precede Raymond in death.
His wife, Betty, son, Andrew Kersting and daughter Kandise Gilbertson and family, survives him. Sisters Tess Reis and Ada Randall, and brothers William and Christopher Kersting and their families also survive him.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Girard's House in Santa Fe, NM (girardshouse.org) or the Pennock Center for Counseling in Brighton, CO (pennockcounseling.org). A memorial service is to be held at First Presbyterian Church of Santa, Fe on Dec. 6th at 2:00 pm.
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