How do you care for a congregation one year after the sudden death of a beloved church member?

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the sudden death of a dear friend and faithful deacon in our church, Stacy Ellison.  Some of you might remember the whirlwind we experienced through this event in several blog posts that came shortly after as I tried to care for his widow, his 2 young children, and our hurting congregation.  My elders and I agreed it would be profitable for our Sunday morning service to preach a sermon and have some focused time of prayer in light of this anniversary.

Therefore, I preached from the first chapter of Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians (2 Cor. 1:1-11).  Stacy’s widow and 2 kids came from out-of-town where they have recently moved to be close to family, to attend this service.  My hope is that it was a reminder for all Christians how we are to face suffering and affliction in this fallen world with hope in our sovereign, merciful God and rejoice in what Christ has done.  You can listen to this sermon by clicking on this link:

“Why do Christians suffer?”

Also, here are some of the posts that came out of this difficult time one year ago that I would commend to you once again.  I confess they reflect the heart of a pastor trying to care for a hurting people, while hurting himself, yet clinging to the sovereign purposes of God in Stacy’s death being affirmed to his congregation.  Here are 5 of what I believe are the most significant posts to come out of this event:

A dark cloud of providence has stalled…not much blogging will be done this week.

What made my most recent funeral the most difficult I have ever preached?

What does it look like for a church to care for a young widow and her children after the sudden loss of her husband?

A young widow’s letter of thanks to her loving church.

How do you help a 5-year-old grieve over the sudden loss of her daddy?

I found myself grateful all over again throughout the day yesterday that death is not the end for those of us who are in Christ!





Posted in Caring for Widows, Funerals, Oversight of Souls

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