April 17, 2016

Pastor Letter

Easter Greetings!

As I write this letter to the church, I find myself challenged by my own message to you all this past Sunday, April 10. You see, I have just learned that a dear, beloved friend of mine has completed her race on Earth, and now rests after a long, hard fight with cancer. She was a dear, funny, loving, friend and sister in faith. I could write a book and more about our antics on our conference Sessions Committee and about Leanne’s faith, humor, loyalty, and service in Christ’s name. She will forever and ever be inscribed on my heart.

And yet, I am finding myself needing to be reminded … over and over and over again … in my story with God, in my path following Jesus:

Death is not the final answer. Love is.

Cancer did not write or end Leanne’s journey with God. She continues her journey in a place of deep peace and rest, and I’m sure, a place full of laughter and joy. Cancer will not erase Leanne’s inscription on my heart, nor will it end her impact on me, my walk with Jesus, my parenting, nor my leadership with you, the church.

Leanne’s witness and testimony to LIFE was immense. Her amazing faith that God will guide her through life and chemotherapy gave me and gives me hope and freedom in this life.

And yet, my reality is that I walk right now in loss and pain. I am grieving. I am needing to remind myself again and again that:

Death is not the final answer. Love is.

I am needing my friends and church to remind me:

Death is not the final answer. Love is.

You see? This is how we continue the journey of life in the resurrection. We acknowledge our deep loss and anger. We shout out our frustration. We share our grief.

And we know that God hears. We know that our family in faith hears.

We rest assured because we know in our hearts … and because our church reminds us as many times as we need it heard:

Death is not the final answer. Love is.

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Melinda