Sunday, July 13, 2014

We DID celebrate!

Friday night I went to a celebration service for Sue Schulze.

If non-Roman Catholics had saints, well, Sue would be 'inducted'.

('Course the Bible tells us as believers that we're all 'saints'.... though sometimes I don't feel too saintly.)

Sue WAS saintly.


She died Wednesday after a six year battle with cancer, which included a stroke and then a brain tumor.   She was 58.

Sue and her family were members of our church for years (Bear Valley Community Church).  Everyone who knew them loved them.... especially Sue.

She wanted a celebration service, instead of a funeral.
And she wanted attendees to the celebration to come casual... no heels, no suits... and to wear bright colors.  (I didn't get that last memo, so I wore black.... but I didn't feel dark after I got there and the service started.)

It was at Hillside Community Church in Keller, where they served in the Celebrate Recovery Program.  Sue's husband Tom was, in fact, on staff at Hillside, as the Celebrate Recovery Ministry Director.
Here's his picture on their website...

 If you know Tom you can't help but love him, too.
There is no pretense with Tom (or Sue).
(Talk about refreshing people to be around.)

I'd tell you everything about the service, but I don't like long blog posts.
Two highlights.... two of Sue's granddaughters and her son (holding his daughter) took some time to list 100 things they thought of when they thought of their Grammy.  They were things like: watermelon, painting, church, etc., etc.  It was PRECIOUS.
Here's a not-so-clear picture of that ....

Another highlight was Heather Lewis Barton reading what she'd written about Sue and her wonderful influence in Heather's life.
I didn't get a picture of that, but here's a picture (I stole) of Heather and her hubby from Facebook... from a year ago in June...
Isn't that great?!

Oh, a third highlight was Tom's reading from a book.... which was amazing. (I need to get the title of that book... and maybe tell you about that in a later post.)

The sermon for the celebration was mainly taken from the Serenity Prayer...which was so appropriate, what with Tom and Sue's Celebrate Recovery ministry.

I had thought the Serenity Prayer was just this first part..... but NO... it is so the last part, too.  And that is where the pastor (who is the community and discipleship pastor, Dave Bream) spent most of his time.

Here it is in total...

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.


Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

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I don't think I've ever participated in a better service for a saint of God, than Sue's celebration service.
It was so appropriate, for a dear, never-showy, humble, beautiful servant of our Lord.
She wanted us to celebrate... and we did, albeit through tears.

She will be so missed.
BUT ALWAYS REMEMBERED.
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(I regret we didn't see Sue these last few years... to know how very sick she was.)
(But I'm so glad we went to her Celebration Service.)


3 comments:

Sophie Higbie said...

Thank you so much for this blog about Sue! She was precious to me and I am already missing her wisdom and presence. I really would love a copy of what Heather wrote about Sue and her family as well as the book title!!! I will work on that too! :) God bless you!

Rah317 said...

Chris your mother had to be an amazing woman! She raised and gave me one of the best team leaders and friends I could ever ask for. I love you bro. Always your brother SSG Bracey......Rasheed to you. Love you bro! God bless you.

Jenna Rene said...

God is sweet. We loved Sue so much and continue to be blessed by her family. We love yall.