Monday, July 27, 2020

Saints Above and Saints Below

The link for our video service this week is:

We've had a number of losses in our congregation over the past two weeks. These were long lives and well lived, but still their passing leaves a hole in our fellowship. I'll miss one in particular.

Bill made his living on the sea, but church and the fine arts put life in his living. He was a long-time member of the choir, coming faithfully to rehearsal on Thursdays and church on Sundays. Even as he had to give up other activities, choir remained a joy to him.

He was also a willing and cheerful member of the chorus when we did Christmas musicals. Donating his voice and his considerable artistic talents to the show.
the ox and the ass were Bill's work
He would draw our posters and paint sets. He often contributed a piece to the Presbyterian Record art contest at Christmas. 

One year, his painting became the cover of the magazine.
Presbyterian Record, Dec. 2011
His art work enlivened the pages of our newsletter, "The Shepherd's Way," and he was a generous contributor to sales and auctions with the proceeds of his drawings going to various causes in the church.
He could be counted on for Bible Study and for concerts and the church picnic on the beach. 

Even in January of this year when we had our 2020 party, Bill was there, cheerful as always.

In ordinary times, we'd gather together as a congregation of friends and family and share our Bill stories. We'd laugh a little and shed a few tears. We'd hold each other close in the embrace of Christian love. We'd eat Blanche's shortbread cookies and drink a cup of tea. We would commend our friend to God's keeping and sing one of his favourite hymns.

But these are not ordinary times and we cannot perform the usual comforting rituals. The need to stay apart makes our grief even harder to bear.  This is a heartache born not only by our congregation but by thousands of families across the country. Death in the time of COVID is particularly cruel. 

May we take comfort knowing that Bill and others from our fellowship are now among "that great cloud of witnesses." They have run the race before them and are now at peace.

For All The Saints  Sung by the RSCM Millennium Youth Choir

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