More of the week that was

Had to rush off this morning so didn’t finish the story of the week…

On Friday I conducted the funeral for a very dear lady in our congregation. She had been in FrailCare for the past several years and I didn’t therefore see her too much ie every Sunday like everyone else. Last time was on her 96th birthday. I was celebrating Holy Communion at the Frail Care Centre and she was there on her wheelchair. Because it is an interdenominational service there are some who prefer the little cups of wine and other who want to drink from the chalice. Esme always took a little cup except last time, she wanted to drink from the chalice. And my last words to her were, “This is the Cup on the New Covenant in Christ’s Blood, your sins are forgiven”.  Her husband had owned a major meat processing company before he retired. They joined our congregation just before we came here 15 years ago. They were committed Christian people though only from late in life. He joined my Bible Study on a Wednesday and constantly reminded us that we were to love one another. It was the ongoing theme of his life, he never let us forget it. His tombstone reads “Let us love one another”. His deepest concern was that we should come to understand that the root of the Gospel was love for God and for one another. Her family came from all over the world – Tasmania, New Zealand, Australia – they came because she was the last of the generation and they loved her. It was a moving service, filled with testimonies from the family. We took her ashes and interred them in her husband’s grave. Well done, good and faithful servant!

On Saturday I conducted the wedding for a lovely elderly couple in our congregation. He is 76 and she is 67 years old. They had both been widowed in the past 5 years and were struggling with loneliness. It was a beautiful wedding with much joy in their children’s hearts. They found each other in church – she has been a member for a long time but had lived away with her husband on a Game Reserve for the past several years. They were planning to come back after his retirement and he had, in fact, built a beautiful home for them. Alas, he had a heart attack and died. He had just joined our congregation after moving here from his farm. They happened to sit next to each other one Sunday and that was that. We had cherries from his farm for dessert. Most delicious.

On Sunday we had three young men come forward to profess their faith in Christ. We no longer have “confirmation” but understand that baptism is the spiritual event of entry into Christ. However, for those baptised as children, we have opportunity for them to profess their faith. The service was long but deeply profound. I spoke about New Wineskins – to be pasted on my other blog later ( I also gave opportunity for the congregation to renew their own vows. Although I had to rush off afterwards to another service, I had the sense that the congregation were strengthened in their walk with God.

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