Obituary of Rev. Cynthia Langston Kirk
Cynthia Langston Kirk, loving wife, mother, sister and grandmother, died, surrounded by loved ones, on Friday, October 25, 2019, in Tucson, Arizona.
Cynthia was born in Tallahassee, Florida, on July 24, 1952, to Joseph Lamar Langston and Elizabeth Louise (Williams) Langston. She spent her childhood years in eastern New Mexico and later put down roots in Tucson more than thirty years ago.
Cynthia felt a calling into the ministry at age 17, however, at that time she had no idea that ordained ministry was a possibility for women. Early in her career she worked in education as a Title 1 reading teacher as well as teaching preschool. In the early 1980’s, she was welcomed into a United Methodist Church and soon rediscovered her longing to serve God.
She received her Master of Divinity in the rich environment of Claremont School of Theology and was honored with the Hoyt Hickman Award for Outstanding Liturgical Scholarship and Practice. In 1997, Cynthia was ordained in the United Methodist Church.
Her love and respect for the sacredness of stories was always at the core of her ministry and life work. In 2007, after many years in parish ministry as a lead and associate pastor in Tucson churches, she was appointed to Piecing Stories, a creative arts and spiritual formation ministry where she wrote poetry, liturgy and curriculum as well as led spiritual formation retreats and created fabric art. During this time, she also served as a part time healthcare chaplain.
In 2015 Cynthia retired from appointed ministry and continued sharing her gifts as a poet, writer and visual artist. She lived out her convictions of justice and equality by remaining active working for LGBTQIA awareness, civil rights, and gun violence prevention. She also continued to teach and beautifully care for the hearts and souls of children both within the church and in the wider community.
Cynthia’s gifted heart, mind and soul will continue to touch lives through her visual and written work. The stoles she created for many years for new ordinands will be used to invite many, in many different places, into a deeper spirituality. Her heart embraced the creative depths of spiritual formation, contributing to many publications, including her recently published collection of transformational poems, Poems for Deep Journeys.
Cynthia is survived by her loved husband, Dr. Leslie Kirk, brother Rick Langston (Linda) and sister Sandy Cooper (Mike). In addition, Cynthia’s life was richly blessed by her children and grandchildren: Meggan Bierbaum (Tim) and grandchildren Sophia and Charlie, Laura de Leon (Arnold) and granddaughter Amelia, Brian Kirk (Debbie), Rebecca Kirk (Ron), and godchildren Willa and Evan.
A memorial service will be held in Tucson at Catalina United Methodist Church on Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 1:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to brain tumor research or the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance Parent Support https://www.sagatucson.org/wpn/To send flowers to the family of Rev. Cynthia Kirk, please visit Tribute Store