Madison Boy Who Inspired Community Dies
Jack Harter was 6 years old.
The 6-year-old borough resident, who played a shepherd in the church's Christmas pageant this year, had an incurable disease that left him with little mobility and no way to consistently communicate.
His funeral is scheduled for 4 p.m. Monday at the church.
The Rev. Lauren Ackland shared news of Jack's death with the parish and her message was posted on the church's Facebook page Friday:
Little Jack Harter died peacefully in his sleep sometime last night. His death, while inevitable because of his incurable disease (connatal Pelizaeus-Merzbacher) was not expected at this time, and he had a very good day at school and with his family yesterday. He was six and a half years old, and was a faithful member of the 9 o'clock congregation and regularly attended Sacred Journeys (Sunday School) classes. He recently appeared as a shepherd in the Christmas pageant. His funeral will be here at Grace on Monday, January 14, at 4 pm, with a reception following in Grace Hall. Please keep his parents, Doug and Katie, and his sisters, four-year-old twins Meghan and Caroline, in your prayers.
Members of the church said their children loved being in the pageant with him and they would remember his big blue eyes.
The Rev. Thomas Murphy talked about Jack in his sermon Sunday, saying Jack was "so open to God’s love" he became a living sacrament.
Jack "was so open to God that through him God’s love was unleashed in all of us," Murphy said. "In his brief life, free of all of our usual hang-ups, Jack offered all of us an epiphany—offered all of us a manifestation, an appearance, of God’s grace."