NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2017 – COVENANT 36TH ANNIVERSARY

Have you ever had a stretch of time in your life when you just wondered what is going on? I have been in such a stretch since the first week of December. During this time, every week I have had to deal with a death or a funeral including the week before during and after Christmas. Two of those weeks I had to deal with 2 deaths. Then, this week, I’ve dealt with 3 deaths. On Thursday, I officiated and gave the eulogy for a dear friend’s Mother. I think you get my question about “What’s going on?”

Beginning this Sunday, I begin my annual journey of remembrance of my Mom. She died on the 12th, was buried on the 15th, the anniversary of she and my father’s wedding is the 18th and the anniversary of her birth is the 19th. After the last 2 plus months of dealing with deaths and funerals, you would think I’m certainly not looking forward to this next week. However, you would be wrong! You see, over the years, my grief over her death has become a time of rejoicing in remembering the most wonderful Mom, who loved me unconditionally and from whom I credit my learning to have a deep abiding faith and love for God and God’s word.

I no longer think of this week in February as a memorial remembering what was lost to me in her dying. It has become a time of rejoicing. I call some siblings and we remember this great lady fondly, with laughter and joy, who had this thing about singing every verse. We talk about many of her old sayings that contained significant life lessons; others that was just funny such as “A whistling girl and crowing hen, will never come to no good end.” Most of all, I take the time to simply be thankful for the gift God gave me in deciding that my Mom would be James Ella Reid Finney.

After the last 2 plus months, thinking of Mama this way will be my “balm in Gilead.” Remembering her love for me and our wonderful relationship will be my version of “Good News for Those Sick of Bad News” especially around death and funerals.

This Sunday will also be Covenant’s 36th Anniversary. So, I invite you to join us and help us celebrate with dinner to follow afterwards. We will also be introducing our new Covenant logo and presenting the 3rd Annual “Gwen Bowen Service Award.” Rev. Dr. Dave Barnhart, will be our guest speaker. His sermon title is “Good News for Those Sick of Bad News” based on “Ezekiel 34:1-6, 11-22.”