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Letter from Pastor Cynthia

Category: Ministerial
Posted by: rblack117
To our FCC Family:
It was 25 years ago that I first officiated at a funeral as a student pastor.  It is one of the most humbling and holy experiences of ministry to share, in some small way, a family's journey as a loved one travels from earth to eternity.  Too often to count in the decades of my ministry, in January and February, it often seems that when there's one funeral it's not a surprise to have three in a row...  Such is this week for First Christian Casper.
Last Thursday, Maryann Cain's mother Marjorie passed away.  Her service will be this Thursday morning at 10 a.m. at Newcomer's.  There will be viewing/visitation before the service at 9 a.m. and burial afterwards at Memorial Gardens, then the family will gather for a lunch at FCC's Fellowship Hall.
For some, the journey to heaven happens quickly, for others it is not a surprise at all.
Betty Burkhart, one of our members, has been homebound for a long time.  Our elders have visited with her through the years and taken communion, first to her home and then to Betty at her daughter's home.  Her husband Bob passed away in 2011.  In recent years, Betty has struggled with dementia and then declining health.  Recently, we received word that she was under hospice care in her daughter's home.  Yesterday, I stood at Betty's bedside and offered prayer and words of comfort.  Today, she went to rest in the Lord at around 3:00 PM.
As I was meeting with the Cain family today.... another call came....
Our dear friend and sister in Christ, Darlene McIrvin is now with the Lord.  Initially her diagnosis wasn't fully clear.  Darlene had cancer.  The last few days have been a swift journey - from thinking she had pneumonia, to learning the cancer was attacking her lungs and heart - from an ambulance ride to the hospital, to discussing hospice care, to praying for a swift peaceful journey to heaven... her family has been together at Darlene's side.  While visiting in the hospital yesterday, she told me, "I'm ready to go to heaven."  Her family all nodded in solemn agreement.  No one wanted Darlene to suffer.  It was becoming more difficult for her to breathe.  We thank the Lord for His grace and mercy, for answering her family's prayers, for gifting His servant with peace.  Today, she went to rest in the Lord at around 4:00 PM.
We anticipate that Betty Burkhart's funeral will be this Saturday, Feb. 10th. Darlene's service may possibly be held next Saturday, Feb. 17th. I will send out word when those dates and times are confirmed.
Three women, three journeys of faith, three families in need of our prayer.
May Christ's peace be with each one of them - and with each of you.
- Pastor Cynthia