Anniversaries are powerful occasions, both happy anniversaries such as weddings and birthdays, but also sad anniversaries of sorrow and grief. This is a season of moving through the anniversaries of trauma and loss for our church. One year ago on August 26 we learned that Pastor Stephanie had suffered a devastating heart attack and stroke. In the days that followed we prayer, waiting, hoped, feared and believed in God’s care for her and for us all. On September 6 we received the news we so hoped we would not receive, that Pastor Stephanie had died. On September 15 we gathered at Central Lutheran Church to proclaim our eternal hope in Christ’s resurrection and commend her life to God’s care. These are hard days to recall, and we will have varied ways of responding as these anniversaries approach. There is no right or wrong way to remember, and we can hold one another and our whole congregation in prayer, giving space and time for all our responses to these anniversaries and times of reflection.
On Friday, September 6, there will be several opportunities for prayer and reflection available in the church sanctuary from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Come to church for a few minutes or longer to light a candle, write in a prayer journal, read scripture, or simply sit in quiet remembrance. Area Lutheran pastors will be present throughout the day for anointing and conversation.
On September 8, Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. we will have a worship service with singing, reflections and individual anointing. Many of Pastor Stephanie’s family members will attend.
These are two ways we hope to offer space and care for those who find this to be a difficult season. Also know we are available to you to speak one on one if your grief is especially heavy.
Blessings to each of you as we continue to walk together, being beloved community together and being a beloved community for the world.
Pastor Jeff and Pastor Jay