" H e y   A l l "
           Notes from the Vicar of Grace
              inclusion service discovery gratitude
The Rev. Bill Harper

Dear Friends--

Hannah recently asked her Mom "will there be cake at my celebration?"  Reba, a bit unsure of the question, asked "what celebration."  "The one at Grace," Hannah said--clearly giving meaning and direction to what we all might do when we would gather to mark both her death and resurrection.  And so, we will celebrate her life, and indeed there will be cake.  As Hannah also said, and her Dad relayed to me, "chocolate is good for the soul."

The service and celebration will be on Sunday, September 12th, 6 pm.  At Grace.  We will gather in the Sanctuary, overflowing into what ever space we can find, sitting, standing, singing, praying--and celebrating the full life she lived.  And then we will eat cake and remember, cry, laugh--and support each other.  We know that Grace will be full, and over-full--and together we will lean on each other, and on God's love for us, and her.

I know that many of us have been deeply saddened by her death.  We wonder what we can do, how we can make "sense" of it (and, truly, we can't).  And of course many parents wonder out loud how to talk with their kids and help friends and peers deal with this loss.  This Friday afternoon, at Grace, we are making the Sanctuary available for kids and parents--and any of us--to gather, light a candle, say a prayer.  It's nothing more formal than that--just a chance to prayer and remember.  I will be there, from 3-6, to talk with, or simply sit with, kids and parents.  The Grace labyrinth also offers a great chance to walk and pray, and we will have candles there as well.  Bring a candle to share and leave if you'd like.  All of this is a simple, faithful response to our shared sadness--and as way to seed hope and renewal.

Lastly, I want us all to know that Bill and Reba, Adam, Alexis, Ryan and Andrew, know that they are surrounded and supported by love and prayer.  For me it's been a humbling privilege to share time with them at home, and to witness the life they gain from that support.  Many hands will be drawn together to support them on September 12th--through their Tribe; through friends from around the community; and from our family of Grace.  They will welcome your cards and notes between now and then, and your continued prayers.

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