Dorothy Lander interviewed her brother David about the healing power of magic in January, 2019, almost exactly three months before his death on April 25, 2019. This video excerpt from their conversation was shown at the Celebration of Life for David Lander in Cobourg, Ontario on May 19, 2019. The main room could not accommodate the many people spanning many generations, whom he reached with his ministry. David’s storytelling ministry of “making connections,” which this video takes up, also informed his lifelong genealogical practice: he charted the Lander family and his wife Doreen Appelt’s family as far as he could take it — and men, women and children from those “trees” showed up in force. Many of the people in the room were there because David had officiated at their wedding, baptism, and memorial services for members of their family. The youth whose David’s ministry through the United Church drew in through participation in dramatic presentations and his magic experiments came to celebrate. David was a leader in the “affirming” United Church that welcomed LBGTQ+ clergy and parishioners. Kathleen Wynne (member of Ontario Legislative Assembly and former premier) and Jane Rounthwaite came to celebrate David’s life as it connected with theirs. David officiated at their wedding at Fairlawn United Church in Toronto in July 2005.
The overflow rooms were able to hear but not see this video that captured some of David’s reflections on “living his dying.” HARP The People’s Press, recognizing the relevance of David’s message for a larger audience than his family, friends, and congregations, has chosen to publish it on social media.