As most of you know by now, our brother in Christ, Bruce Thrasher, passed away unexpectedly early in the morning on Monday, September 2. Our hearts break for Chrystie and for the rest of Bruce’s family as they grieve their loss. We also grieve for our loss, the loss of Bruce’s presence in our midst and his friendship. In the days and weeks ahead, we will come to a time of celebrating Bruce’s life – we will give thanks to God for all in him that revealed hi to be a beloved Child of God. But we are not there yet. A memorial service will be held at a later date and when that is scheduled, we will publish that information. But until then, we will surround Bruce’s family with our prayers.
Some of you may also have heard that the Imam (the spiritual leader) of the Islamic Center of Lake Travis also died suddenly on Tuesday, September 3. He was newly appointed to that faith community and they were just getting to know him and his family, although he is well-known in the Islamic community of the greater Austin area. Our brothers and sisters who worship there are experiencing powerful grief and sudden loss all over again!
There is so much sorrow in our world, and yet there is also hope! Grief and joy, sorrow and hope, are like waves on the sand – they wash over us and they cannot always be anticipated or controlled. Both are gifts from God. Please hold in your prayers all those who are grieving sudden loss this week. And then let us gather for worship on Sunday morning, hear God’s words to us, recite our hope, share in the sacrament of God’s abiding presence, and be comforted.