I keep little mementos stuck in my Bible. I recently found a funeral reflection stuck between the pages of the New Testament from my first solo call. I had just led worship at Clark Street, met the congregation, and enjoyed a wonderful meal with them. The very next week the man I sat across from at this meal died rather unexpectedly.
I remember my conversation with Edward at that congregational meal. At the time I was the first woman pastor he had ever met. He kindly inquired what he should call me. I replied, “Pastor or Pastor Joanna will be fine.” I had to be a quick study in order to offer my funeral reflection about this saint of Clark Street Church. During my brief acquaintance I learned that Edward had been a faithful pillar of that church during his lifelong membership.
This week we remember the saints who have accompanied us on the journey of faith. Those in our church families, families of origin, and community. We have several that we will recall during worship this Sunday. It will be a holy moment to remember each of them and the role they have played.
I would also invite you to remember the living saints that inhabit our church. I am reminded of the children and youth of our congregation who bring joy to worship as worship participants and leaders. I recall the way they shared the love of Christ in our community. Sharing funds with the animal shelter, for disaster relief, the food bank, and sharing love with the folks at Kitty Askins.
Check out the bulletin board in the gathering area. These saints are doing some wonderful ministry in our community.
The saints of God come in all shapes and sizes. The living and the dead provide examples of faithful leadership that inspire us as children of God. Let us give thanks for the saints of every age.