Service and care occur here in sometimes very quiet and unheralded ways.

The loss of a loved one is a very tender time in the life of those left behind. There is much to care for, and many decisions require much of family members designated to care for the closure that follows a death.

At River Road Church, we have a very gentle assembly of people who “step up” to care for the family and friends who are grieving a loss. Ann Bagwell, ably assisted by Kitty Davis, as Chair of an informal “Funeral Committee,” leads a small group of servant members who volunteer to usher for the worship service that follows: they greet those who attend; welcome the member and the stranger; give directions; guide the family through the schedules; and assist them in the arrival, entry, and exit of the hour. They work with funeral directors when those persons are involved. They also coordinate the distribution and presentation of flowers in each area of the building.

When a reception following the service is requested, Nancy Anderson and Diane Shoemake most often coordinate the preparation of the Fellowship Hall, the request for and provision of food, and the gentle greeting by additional volunteers who thoughtfully greet those who attended the funeral service, and the family who shares the moment. These same servants spend hours on their feet making sure everyone is cared for, and a kitchen is cleaned after the guests have left.

There are some extraordinary people in this church who give time and effort in a variety of quiet corners where tender care is shared. I thank God for those who offer gentle presence at tender places, in so many ways.

Written by Dan Bagby