In Memory of

Roger

Alling,

Jr.,

DD

Obituary for Rev. Roger Alling, Jr., DD

Rev. Roger Alling, Jr, DD, 89, of Camp Hill, passed away on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, at his home.

Born on December 15, 1933, in Pawtucket, RI, he was the son of the late Roger and Mary Kent (Robbins) Alling, Sr.

Roger was educated at Kenyon College, the General Theological Seminary and Saint Catherine’s College, Oxford. He has served many parishes. He began his ministry as Chaplain of Amherst College/assistant at Grace Episcopal. Following that he was rector of parishes in New Jersey, and 8 years on the diocesan staff of New Jersey as Stewardship Officer. From there he went to Christ Church, Williamsport, PA for 10 years, and St. Mary’s Reading, PA for 5 years. He then was the Stewardship and Evangelism Officer for the Diocese of Connecticut. In 1968 Roger participated in Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final march for peace. He was personally asked by Dr. King to find a cross to carry for the march from the White House to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Roger went into St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the white house and asked to borrow their cross. St. John’s provided him with the cross normally carried by the crucifer for Sunday services. Roger carried the cross alongside Dr. King and they led the march to Arlington.

In 1981 with then Presiding Bishop, John Allen and the Rev. David Thomas, he formed the Episcopal Evangelism Foundation and was elected President. For 5 summers seminarians were trained in Evangelism outreach. In 1988, the Foundation realized the need for a supplemental preaching program for seminarians. The name was changed to The Episcopal Preaching Foundation. That year the Foundation began its first weeklong, all expenses-paid Preaching Excellence Program for seminarians who wanted to improve their preaching skills. The conference became known as “PEP”, and seminarians vied to attend. The conference was unique in that it brought together seminarians from all eleven Episcopal seminaries. This gave the students a diversity of fellowship and opinions. The conference attendees, including staff and seminarians, numbered over 100 per conference. Roger was President of the Foundation for 25 years. He was a teacher at each conference. His wife Dian was the Administrator of the Conference and when they retired in 2006 after 18 years, the conferences had trained over 1200 seminarians or over 14% of the ordained clergy in the Episcopal Church. In 2006, at the commencement of the Episcopal Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Roger was given a Doctor of Divinity degree. In explaining why, the degree was conferred, the seminary said, “in recognition of his passion for Christian evangelism, his leadership in the cause of justice, and his service to Episcopal students for nearly two decades, CDSP is honored to grant to Roger Alling the degree of Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa.” In addition to the Conference, Roger also co-edited, with the Rev. Dr. David Schlafer, a series of 15 books on preaching, titled, Sermons That Work. This series is the longest continual series of books on preaching worldwide.

Roger retired from full time ministry in 1996 but continued as supply and associate rector at Mt. Calvary, Camp Hill, PA until 2015. He was a previous member of both the West Shore Country Club and Harrisburg Country Club.

He is survived by his loving wife of 42 years, Dian Jeter (Denison) Alling, four children: Douglas Denison Widmann and his wife Virginia, Allison Widmann Spooner and her husband Nick, Phillip Alling and his wife Heather, and Bruce Alling and his wife Andrea, seven grandchildren: Gala, Teague, Savanna, Dylan, Jeremy, Brittany, Sydney, a sister, Elise Grunder, a brother-in-law, William M. Denison, and two nieces: Hannah and Heather Denison.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2000 Chestnut St., Camp Hill, PA with Rev. Dr. John H. Brock officiating and Rev. Dr. David Schlafer preaching. A visitation will be held in the church from 12:00 P.M. until the time of the service. Interment will be held at the convenience of the family in Rolling Green Cemetery, Camp Hill, PA.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2000 Chestnut St., Camp Hill, PA 17011, or to Residential Hospice, 100 Sterling Pkwy #110, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050.