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Deep Roots and Broad Branches

October 22, 2016

The Rev. Susie H. Thomas and I are colleagues, and thanks to social media we are friends. She pastors The Magnolia United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, an area devastated by recent flooding. In the midst of such upheaval, the rest of life still goes on. She recently wrote very movingly about one such experience and graciously gave me permission to share this with you —

I officiated at a funeral this morning, and received an extraordinary blessing from the family and friends of the deceased.

First, the family and I met through interesting circumstances: Mom and Pops were long-time viewers of the Sunday morning TV broadcast of First United Methodist’s church services. During my years as an associate pastor at FUMC, I was occasionally featured on those broadcasts, and somehow or other, Mom and Pops heard that I’d moved to another UM church less than a mile from their home in Central.

The two Presbyterians connected with the Methodist minister.

Mom and her caregiver attended services at my church; I visited with this sweet elderly couple in their home, filled with the most extensive collection (among other collections) of “fishing Santas” that I’d ever seen. (Not that I’ve seen too many fishing Santas, come to think of it.)

So many beautiful, unique, and/or whimsical things were lost when their house flooded two months ago.

Mom’s health went downhill after she and Pops were separated, during the evacuation after the flooding, for the first time in their 68-year marriage. Mom passed away late last week, and this morning at her funeral service, it was SRO in the funeral home chapel. This lovely couple had drawn so many into their network of love – their longtime UPS deliveryman was there – the kids called him “Uncle Henry.” How often do we see THAT at a funeral? Their family tree had a deep root system and green and spending branches.

Hoping my husband and I will each be remembered as lovingly, when our day comes. Pops and the family need your prayers – this is going to be hard.

— Please join the rest of us in keeping Pops and his family in your prayers. along with Pastor Susie and her husband and her church. Mercy.

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