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There Are Many More I Could Tell You About

June 11, 2016

One of our Services of Divine Worship in Peoria this week at our Annual Conference (short definition: our region’s denominational yearly business meeting) was A Service of Thanksgiving and Resurrection Hope. 

It’s exactly what that title leads you to think it is; we used to call a time like this a Memorial Service.

One of its most significant moments is what the Order of Worship calls the “reading of the names of the known clergy and lay members who have joined the Church Triumphant since last we assembled.” Mercy.

But before that, we pray. I want to share that prayer with you.

Because I find it applicable to other people as well, far beyond this yearly meeting.

You and I have lost people who shaped our lives in ways we might not have even noticed at the time.

I’m thinking of my second grade Sunday School teacher, who taught me about grace and forgiveness without using words.

There was an usher in a large church who welcomed a single mom and her son, learned our names, introduced us to people sitting around us, and as he handed me my own bulletin he shook my ten-year-old hand saying, “Welcome home, Joseph! Our church is glad to have you and your mother with us.”

There are many more I could tell you about. You have them in your life, too.

Join me right now in this prayer —-

God, our Creator, we give you thanks for those who have been leaders for us.

Help us inherit from them that which will make us more fully your people.

Where they had offered us blessings of love, may we incorporate those gifts into our lives.

Where they had struggled, may we learn from them.

May the honor we convey toward those we recognize today reflect the honor we feel toward you.

Amen.

 

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3 Comments
  1. Janet permalink

    Thank you for this and for being someone like this to me

    Like

    • Whoa, you really caught me off guard with this today. Thank you so much! And honestly, right back at you as well. Mercy.

      Like

  2. I want to ditto Janet. And share, since this reminds me of words I spoke a couple of months ago for a friend’s (since the nursery room at St. John’s) father.

    “…since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” Hebrews 12:1 NKJV [bold emphasis mine]

    One year in high school, as a camper at Aldersgate Institute at Little Grassy, the above verse was more and less the lesson theme for the week. Over the years (let’s not say how many, you were there in a student capacity ), I have referred to “my Clouid” many times. As I sat at my friend Mike’s dad’s funeral, all of the losses of those adults from my growing up at St. John’s were falling in line in my head. I had lost a primary Sunday school teacher/friend several years ago. As an adult friend, it was her death that brought the memories of her impact on me from birth and the role model she was as I grew older.

    I remember had named names of late Sunday school teachers at camp that week, but it wasn’t until Mike’s dad’s funeral that I realized how rapidly the cloud had been filling of late and how long since I had thought about it. These people are the primary, grade school, and high school Sunday school teachers and youth adults. They are the aunts on the adult council of Job’s Daughters as well as the male adults/chaperones of the Demolay. And let us not forget the ministers. Not just the ones that were at my own church(es), but those from the same Little Grassy, most notably Reverend Vic Herrman and his wife.

    I had never read this prayer before, but it will be one I remember when thinking about the density of My Cloud (not the “virtual” one). Perhaps I have heard/said it in the past as on All Soul’s Day service (first Sunday after All Hollow’s E’en), a yearly service of honoring the congregants gone from our sight since the year prior.

    As you said, there are many more I could tell you about!

    Like

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