All Saints Sunday
I was asked to write a piece about All Saints Sunday. Frank and I felt intimidated by this service as we had never participated so directly. Our family has had much sadness in 2015 with the death of Drew and my mother within a month of each other. My Mother’s brother also passed away two weeks after Drew. There are many families of Broadway who have had to deal with sadness this year. We actually were going out of town that weekend to visit Jonathan and Beth. When we realized we would be gone for All Saints Sunday we decided to return early. We felt we should be the ones to light the candles for Mom and Drew. My sister and my niece and Jacque attended so we could pay tribute to those we loved in person. We were so touched by the music and the arrangement of “Clare du Lune” by Mark Benz on the piano. That music was one of Drew’s favorites. It was a lovely service and we made the right decision to return home.
While I cannot deny that I was somewhat disappointed that we were not able to secure the dancing gazelles and the chimpanzee that we had specifically requested for the service, I must admit that Aleric’s dedication was very touching and deeply moving. We really appreciate the fact that we will be raising our boy in this church. The people who attend are some of the very best people that we have ever known. Its really hard to pick out a stinker from among the members, and believe me we’ve tried. If you’re in here somewhere, then you’ve hidden yourself well. We have gotten so much happiness from our membership at Broadway, and we know that Aleric is going to grow up with some very wonderful people influencing him on his journey to adulthood.
I remember all of the people that I went to church with growing up, and I remember how important their influence was in our lives (my brother and me). Many of the things that I learned in that church are still with me, and they have helped me become the person that I am today. I’m counting on you all to do a much better job with my son.
I call upon the men in this church to help my boy grow into the godly person that he is meant to be. I call upon the women of this church to love this boy and help him learn the importance of compassion and empathy. I call upon each and every one of you to instruct him in the ways of a godly life, and to correct him when he needs correction, and to praise him when he deserves praise.
Do not let your knowledge and your experience pass him by, but share everything that you are with Aleric and with all of the children of this church. You are irreplaceable, and just like the folks that I grew up with, your life experience will be the most valuable thing that you will ever share with them, and it will probably be the most valuable gift that they will receive in their long and blessed lives.
~Eric L. Crump
New Seeds of Contemplation, by Thomas Merton, published in 1961 by the Abby of Gethsemani, Inc.
A small group met for approximately eight weeks this past fall beginning in September at 5 p.m., for a little over one hour each night. Each week we would read two or three chapters and then meet to discuss how those readings had an effect on our Christian walk.
One of the first evenings, we viewed a video on Thomas Merton’s life which was revealing and I believed helped us understand his writings. He was a life long learner, searcher, and spokesman for Christian love and understanding. It was my pleasure to facilitate the group which on some evenings was as large as 15 members.