Sunday, November 06, 2011

In Memory of Sarah

Today, immediately following worship, with the brief service you'll find below, the people of Saint Matthew Lutheran Church prayerfully dedicated a memorial in honor of Sarah Starner, to the glory of God. Sarah died in August, but not before teaching us all so much about living and following Christ.

The memorial includes an oak tree and three butterfly bushes. (Butterflies loved Sarah!) A stone with a plaque cites the sermon which Sarah preached on Easter Sunday in 2009 and Psalm 46:10, which meant so much to her and to her family. [You can click on the images above to enlarge them.]

Dedication of a Memorial to
Sarah Elizabeth Starner
Offered to the Glory of God
All Saints’ Sunday
November 6, 2011

[We will recess from the sanctuary to the site of the memorial, on the front lawn of the church building, and sing acapella, #752 in the blue With One Voice songbooks, I, the Lord of Sea and Sky.]

Pastor: Sisters and brothers in Christ, on this All Saints’ Sunday, we seek God’s blessings as we gather with thankfulness for the life and witness of Sarah Starner and set aside this memorial to her, offered to the glory of God.

We read responsively Psalm 46, words that have sustained the saints for ages and which sustained Sarah and her family these past years.

Pastor: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Congregation: Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; 3though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

Pastor: There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.

Congregation: God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.

Pastor: The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; He utters his voice, the earth melts.

Congregation: The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Pastor: Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations He has brought on the earth.

Congregation: He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; He burns the shields with fire.

Pastor: “Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”

All: The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Pastor: Blessed are You, O Lord our God, the King of the universe. Your days are without number; a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past. You are the Lord of the past, the present, and the future; You hold eternity in the palm of Your hand.

We remember with thankfulness all the saints and witnesses to Your goodness who have gone before us, who, by their lives have testified to Your love. Give us grace to follow their examples as Your beloved children, maturing in the likeness of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whose death and resurrection You give eternal hope to all Your saints.

Be with us now and bless this memorial, a living reminder of the faith and witness of our sister in Christ, Sarah, who taught and showed us so much about what it means to follow You. As You raised up Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the firstfruits of those who sleep, so also by You Holy Spirit make us to be partakers of that new life which You have promised to those who believe; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All: Amen

Pastor: Let us bless the Lord!

All: Thanks be to God!

Pastor: The blessing of almighty God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

All: Amen!

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