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When our session came out with a new mission statement to create space, those words related very well to me. I thought about them and realized this was the action God took in creating out of a formless void a space for us that we may have life and existence. So I thought along on that theme and wondered as I looked around the church, were these meaningless words or were we really creating space to help people. As I looked, I saw we really were, I saw children being cared for, elders being looked after, handicapped people being brought to church and a number of various things that said, we were really creating space to help people. That encouraged me, again, to be more thoughtful in my own care for people.
Then our opportunity, Carol and me, came when our friend’s adult child was killed in an accident. The family was not sure what to do and had pressures from family of whether they should have a memorial service. Carol and I had the opportunity to talk with them and suggested some things they might do. One of the suggestions was they contact Rev. Brad Kent, Kent was known to them being a volunteer Touchmark Chaplain. I called Brad and he was immediately ‘Johnnie-on-the-spot’ and helped them work through what they wanted to do and finally came up with the idea to have a memorial service. So Carol and I suggested a number of things they might do that would help.
What really was pleasing in this creation of space was seeing the whole church swing in to help. The elders, the music, the media people and Brad Kent in order to have a program. What was interesting was it was a very busy weekend for the church and even creating space on the schedule for a memorial service was unique. But, the time suggested worked remarkably well for the family.
The family was concerned that maybe 25 or 30 people would come, we convinced them maybe 50 people was closer to the number. But in the end, they had over 100 people at the service when they expected maybe 25 and a wonderful spirit developed to envelope the family. First Presbyterian had provided a space of grace to help Bill and Ruth begin to heal and find hope again.