“Gail.” “Jack.” “Anne.” “Deacon.”
Recently departed friends, family, loved ones, even a young child’s canine companion whose names pierced the silence in remembrance.

“Dick.” “Kitty.” “Lucille.” “Roy.”
Our church’s saints that were voiced in community by the faithful on Sunday in sacred memory and eternal celebration of their earthly and heavenly lives.

To me, All Saints’ Sunday is this high and holy moment, right in the midst of the madness, to pause, give thanks, and remember. Sandwiched between the carousing of Halloween, the chaos of the midterm elections, the warm festive meal of Thanksgiving, the early rush of Christmas, and for us, even our Commitment Sunday of the capital campaign, All Saints’ begs us to remember.

We remember those who we’ve loved and lost.

We remember the witness they bore in this world.

We remember what they’ve passed to us, what legacy they’ve left behind.

We remember them in all their human flaws and failures, releasing whatever unresolved anger or unfinished business towards them we don’t even realize we’re carrying.

We remember the ways they now surround us like a great cloud, cheering us on for the running of this race, encouraging us to around us for all the saints-in-training of this life.

In so doing, we find ourselves remembering anew who and whose we are, held in the arms of an eternal and timeless God who has enlivened us for such a time as this. And for that, we give thanks for the gift of life, life that binds us up to God and to one another and frees us (in the words of poet Jan Richardson) “into this living, into this world so much wider than you ever knew.”

What gratitude I have for all you saints — this week and every week!

Together in the work of Love,
Pastor Emily

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