“All Saints Celebration this Sunday”
Dear Fremont Family:
By now, some of you have received the news that on Monday, October 31, around 10pm, our beloved sister and saint, Ila (Maxyne) Roy, passed away surrounded by her family. Our hearts are full of love and memories of this beloved one and the many ways her incredible joy and deep strength of faith ministered to us all.
On Thursday of last week, when we learned that the family had begun the process of transitioning Maxyne to palliative (pain management) care, I called her telephone on an impulse. Her son, Nolan, answered and he put me on speaker phone. I reminded Maxyne of what she has believed all her life. That Jesus, in John’s Gospel, chapter 14 tells the disciples that he goes to prepare a place for them, and if he goes to prepare a place for them, he will come back and take them to himself so that where he is they will be also. I simply reminded Maxyne that Jesus was coming to take her to himself. Then, I prayed. To my surprise (although I’m not sure why I didn’t expect it) Maxyne wanted to pray. She simply prayed that Jesus would have a place for her. Heartfelt to the end.
Yesterday, November 1, was All Saints Day in the church universal. This beautiful occasion in the church is the day we remember those who have died since last November 1. When All Saints Day falls mid-week, then we celebrate this day on the next following Sunday. That day is this coming Sunday, November 6. During the worship service, we will take time to name the saints (Fremont members, family and friends) who have died this year and light a candle as we lift them to God.
If you have not yet had a moment to submit a name to be included in our liturgy, you can reply to this email. Please include their name, their relationship to you (cousin, friend, co-worker, etc.), and I will see that the person’s name is added to our list. We will also have a moment to simply speak people’s names out loud during the worship service. Please do whatever feels most comfortable to you.
In the meantime, trust that the saints who go before us remain an important part of our family of faith. Maxyne is now included in the “great cloud of witnesses,” those who reflect God’s love to us. With both gratitude and grief, we remember them, and we are encouraged by their example of faith that leads us on. Looking forward to celebrating the saints with you on Sunday.
Grace and peace,
***Please note: this Sunday, November 6, is when Daylight Savings Ends. We will be “falling back” an hour for worship. Enjoy the extra hour!