This is the time for my scheduled contribution to the newsletter; and while there was a topic I was thinking about addressing, it will put be on hold for a bit. The reason is simple, as all of us know there are those times when life gets in the way of our plans, and this was just such a time.

On January 3rd, my older sister Mary Ann died from a massive heart attack. She had been battling heart, lung and kidney problems for some time, but to many outside of the family this may have not been so apparent; because Annie (as I called her) never called any undue attention to her situation, but continued as best she could to live her life. A big part of my sister’s life was her work at St. Agnes Lady of Hope church in Blackwood. Over the years in a variety of parishes she met so many wonderful people in Bible studies, senior groups, church functions and community events. This was made apparent by the turnout at her viewing and service. It gave us a real chance to meet and greet so many of these kindhearted people who were such a part of her life and she a part of theirs. I would add that the clergy and staff of St Agnes could not have been more gracious and caring and to all of them we owe our heartfelt thanks.

That being said, the same is true for the support that Rose and I, as well as our family have received from our church family. To those who stopped by on Monday for the service, and to all who have sent cards or notes or who have called to offer condolences, or to those who have kept us in prayer we give our deepest thanks. We thank the staff of this church who came and supported us and our family at the service. I would like to especially thank Pastor Phil who has been such a great support especially at a time when he and Stacey are grieving and dealing with the loss of her step father; who died the same day as my sister.

The topic I originally was going to write on was about “finding the bright spots” in our day. I may explore this again in the future; but come to think of it; when I consider our church family and my sister’s church family

God bless each of you,
Milt Fredericks
Lay Pastor of Congregational Care