As a 3rd generation Presbyterian, I have often taken my faith community for granted. I have always known that my church friends and acquaintances would be there for me during life’s daily struggles and they would be my safety net or Hallelujah chorus during life’s extreme challenges and joys.
One of the things I think is important at Isaiah’s Table is that we are creating a faith community for those who have never had one or have not known one for many years.
On Saturday November 23, 2013 I realized that our faith community is as important in death as it is in life. One of our own, Bob Utter, passed away unexpectedly two days before. The worship service that Saturday became a memorial to Bob who many of us had known now for a number of years. It was a celebration of what he brought to the Table—his joys and his foibles—just like all of us.
His obituary read “Robert J. Utter, 64, passed away at St. Joseph Hospital. He has no known next kin. A graveside service will be held on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in Loomis Hill Cemetery.” Those three sentences do not do him justice.
What I hope all members of our faith community realize is that they are valued, noticed and loved. If something happened to anyone of us tomorrow, we would not go silently into the dark night. People who knew us will remember us, celebrate our life and reflect on what we brought to the Table.