Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Honoring Lives Lived Well

   I was sitting quietly on Memorial Day thinking about friends I have made over four decades who leave home to serve our country. Service in our military is a sacrifice, and exposes the men and women of our nation's Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard, to risks that include death. I was thinking, too, about the families they left behind every time they deployed. Millions of times families have stood at airports, on bases, or on front porches and watched their precious person pass around the corner, not knowing the next time they'd see them.
   It is humbling to think about such devotion to our country, a nation built on a little phrase that Jefferson penned three centuries ago...

We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; ...

I am thankful for every person who has given life and limb to uphold these truths.

   Epworth is also a place where people have given themselves to service over self. Including the story of the Hamp Stevens UMC, this congregation has been shaped for decades by the generosity of men and women who have lived out their lives as faithful followers of Jesus Christ through ministry here.
   The Tree of Life Memorial, displayed for the first time this past weekend, gives people an opportunity to remember and honor those who have gone on before us but whose lives remain an important part of who we are. Initiated by the Friendship Class, the idea, from its very start, has been carried through to completion by Marjean and James Waters. The design was beautifully created by Buddy Dunn, and the woodworking itself was created by Archie Smith, whose ties to these congregations run deep. We are indebted to all of these for offering us such an opportunity to celebrate our loved ones.
   You can honor any loved one, who was a member of either of these two congregations, with a donation in their memory to Epworth UMC. Call the church office, visit our website, or find an insert in the bulletin.
   Grace and Peace, Scott

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