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farewell good and faithful servant...

NOTE:  Today I celebrated what I hope is the last memorial service in this ministry. To a packed church of 300+ people, friends and family, we laid our brother in Christ, the Rev. Dr. John Messerschmitt, to rest. I was grateful to God that his family - and a variety of others - found a spirit of peace and acceptance in the ceremony. I was particularly glad that my words resonated and even helped John's daughters and beloved wife. My homily is as follows... farewell, good and faithful servant.

Our friend and brother – your husband, father and grandfather – our colleague and co-conspirator for com-passion and justice in the world, John, is gone. For each and all of us, the word UNEXPECTED has taken on a new burden since John’s passing two weeks ago was, as we say, UNEXPECTED. It was a shock, a stab in the heart, an emptiness that continues to reverberate in mysterious ways in our souls.

To be sure, we give thanks to God that John’s end time was not prolonged or bleak. Carol has sa…

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