We appreciate and notice our Bereavement Team!

 Scenes from the Celebration of Life for former Nashville mayor and congressman Richard Fulton on Saturday, December 1. Photo by Larry McCormack/Tennessean

Scenes from the Celebration of Life for former Nashville mayor and congressman Richard Fulton on Saturday, December 1. Photo by Larry McCormack/Tennessean

There are a lot of ways a person can give service to the church. So many of you do so much around here and it often goes under-appreciated. Our church wouldn’t be as strong as it is without you.

Allow me to give an example. We had a big Memorial Service this past Saturday. Former State Legislator, 7-time Congressman and 12 year Mayor of Nashville, Richard Fulton died. We have all known Dick and Sandra to be faithful members of our church. In talking with the family and taking little imagination, we knew this was going to be a large event.

You may not know that we have a Bereavement Team at our church. Whenever a death occurs they are included in the very first email or phone call about that death because the ministry they provide is simply invaluable.

Before the day of the Funeral or Memorial they are already at work with things like ordering flowers, making sure we have a guest registry available, thinking their way through the events of that day and how they can assist.

On the day of the event, the are here early to arrange the space needed and to be sure there is water and light refreshments on hand for our guests. They greet every guest that comes through the door and help them know where to go, show them the way to restrooms, and in general they provide genuine hospitality to every guest that comes through our door. If you are wondering what “evangelism” looks like, it isn’t always going house to house to invite someone to church: it is very often showing hospitality and compassion in a moment when both are greatly needed.

 Scenes from the Celebration of Life for former Nashville mayor and congressman Richard Fulton on Saturday, December 1. Photo by Larry McCormack/Tennessean

Scenes from the Celebration of Life for former Nashville mayor and congressman Richard Fulton on Saturday, December 1. Photo by Larry McCormack/Tennessean

On this past Saturday, I just want you to know how proud you would have been to have witnessed the ministry of these friends. Hundreds of persons came through to greet the Fulton family in the lounge and hundreds more attended the service. Everything that needed to happen with our guests was handled with grace and warmth. You would be hard-pressed to not be impressed by their effort.

If I try to call all the names of this team I will undoubtedly forget to name someone and I don’t want to do that. So please allow me to simply say today that their efforts this past Saturday were NOT under-appreciated and they were definitely not unnoticed. Everybody noticed. On behalf of all of us, just let me say thank you to all of you. What you did--and what you do--matters very much.

PEACE

Jim