Silver Lake Joins in Mourning for Ledell and Kat Mulvaney

8/17/2015

Kat, Ledell, and Don Mulvaney. Kat and Ledell died in a car crash on Saturday which left Don severely injured. Photo from Ledell Mulvaney

by Eric Anderson

BROOKLYN, NY (08/17/2015) -- On Friday night, the high school age conferees of God Show led worship, rocking Silver Lake Conference Center's social hall with songs of compassion, concern, celebration, and joy. It was to be a triumphant final edition of the long-time conference. Then on Saturday afternoon, a horrifying automobile crash in Yorktown Heights, New York, claimed the lives of co-deans Ledell Mulvaney and her adult daughter, Katherine, and gravely injured Ledell's husband and co-dean, Don. He remains in critical condition at Westchester Medical Center.

The tragedy has shocked the Silver Lake community to the core.

Executive Director Tim Hughes wrote to Connecticut Conference leaders and to the Silver Lake family this morning to share the sad news. He, his wife Anne, and other friends of the Mulvaneys have joined Don and Ledell's son, Devan, to keep company with Don at the Westchester hospital. "We prayed and sang over and with Don," Hughes said, "and told him he was surrounded in the love of the whole Silver Lake community of faith."

In statements reported in local media, the New York State Police say that a vehicle driving northbound on the Taconic State Parkway crossed the median and struck the Mulvaney's car, traveling south from Silver Lake to their home in Brooklyn. Two other vehicles became involved in the crash, which also took the life of a two-year-old, a passenger in the car which crossed the center divider.

Don and Ledell had led the God Show conference for many years, coaching high school youth through a week of preparing original music, lyrics, and worship material to produce a unique worship experience. God Show was known for its high energy and enthusiasm, and for years was among the first to be filled when Silver Lake registration opened. Katherine, better known as Kat, served several years on the summer staff and had launched a promising musical career as a singer-songwriter in New York City.

Tim Hughes' full message to the Conference and Silver Lake communities follows:

Dear Silver Lake family and colleagues,

It is with a heavy heart and a mind still stunned that I write to you to tell you that long time, beloved Silver Lake Deans Don, Ledell, and Katherine Mulvaney were on their way home from camp on Saturday after a triumphant, final conference of God Show, when they were in a terrible car accident. Ledell and Katherine didn't survive the crash.

Don is listed in critical condition in the Westchester Medical Center, in the trauma unit with severe injuries and in a medical induced coma for the next several days. Don and Ledell's son Devan is with Don, as are his partner Lucy and several other extended family members.

Anne and I, Valerie Tutson, Whendi Cook Broderick, and Grant Geiling were with Devan and his family last night and we prayed and sang over and with Don, and told him he was surrounded in the love of the whole Silver Lake community of faith.

Funeral arrangements are under way for Ledell and Katherine. We will send updates on Don's status as it becomes available.

Please keep them all, as well as the whole Silver Lake and UCC community, in your prayers at this time of tragedy and loss. We invite you to join us in this prayer:

Holy One,

Please do not let the song fade away.

The final chorus echoes still, reverberating from the beams within the social hall. The vibrant and exuberant voices of the God Show worshipers rang in thanks and praise. For years they've raised your song, your songs: told your stories, wept your tears, invoked your joy, praised your love.

Please do not let the song fade away.

For now we mourn, O God, amid the fading echoes. For Ledell and Kat we grieve. They've left us far too soon. There were many songs we yearned to hear from them and sing with them before we could imagine melodies of sorrow. We pray you bring your healing strength to Don to overcome his grievous injuries. Hold him gently as we sound a simple tune of comfort and of love.

Please do not let the song fade away.

Embrace your sorrowing servants, gracious God. We mourn with sighs too deep for words. Hold Devan firmly, suddenly bereft of mother and of sister, as he stands beside his injured father's bed. Gather us whose tears replace the melodies we raised on Friday, tuned suddenly and starkly to the key of grief.

But do not let the song fade away.

Assure us once again that all our music is an echo, faint and fleeting, of the mighty chorus of Creation. Ledell and Don and Kat have led us in a part of a part of a part, beautiful and stirring, and still a fragment of the whole. We thank you through our tears because you've shared your glory with the world through them, and as we turn to lamentation and to ask your healing power, we affirm:

We will not let the song fade away.

Amen.

Peace,

Tim

Tim Hughes is Executive Director of Silver Lake Conference Center. The Rev. Eric S. Anderson is Associate Conference Minister for Proclamation, Identity, and Communication for the Connecticut Conference UCC.