Touché November 4, 2016
Posted on November 4, 2016 by under Touché,

For All the Saints

To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  (Romans 1:7)

Steve Dambra and I left our Ridder retreat yesterday to go be with Jim Collins and his family as Jim took his last breath on this earth and entered the “church triumphant.”  Jim had given Steve one of his Bibles and I had worked with Jim in Kairos ministry.  The guys on Kairos at Fishkill correctional loved Jim with great joy because he loved them with great joy.  It is a sacred moment when we say goodbye to one on this earth and realize he has now moved into “that great cloud of witnesses.”

This Sunday we will light a candle for Jim and for all the saints from this church who, having lived this life in faith, now live eternally with God.  We will also introduce a new group of saints, the confirmation class, which will be joining with the church on earth.  It is a fitting day to remember that one generation passes on the faith to the next generation.

This year the roll call of the saints brings to mind those who have served this church and the kingdom of God well:

Ray Budryk

Anne Jackson

Norma Jacobs

Kevin Mulligan

Betty Munson

Sharon Young

The names this year are those who have touched this church significantly.  Anne and Kevin blessed this building inside and out with their care and love for this house of God.  Norma was a saint who will be remembered for her tenacity and wit, and standing up every year to get us ready for the plant and bake sale.  Ray died suddenly this summer and we miss him sitting in the second pew from the front.  Betty had turned one hundred and though bent over with M.S. her face was lit up with joy each moment.  Sharon had struggled with sickness for a long time, but in her younger days she taught Sunday school and shared her life here.

We are thankful that for them “death is past, pain is ended, and they have entered the joy God has prepared in the company of all the saints. Give us faith to look beyond touch and sight, and in seeing that we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, enable us to run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Bring us at last to your eternal peace,