This weekend is Sausage Supper at St. Paul's. We put on a great spread. Anyone in shouting distance, come on down and eat some of the best vittles in the state of Illinois starting tomorrow at 12 noon and serving until 6. Ostensibly, the men's club does this as fund raiser, but the truth is it is a fun raiser. The parish enjoys it. Everyone has a job they do and everyone really seems to have a great time - the best part for me is seeing old friends as I wait tables (setting aside Acts 6 for the day!).
But this weekend, the fun will be dampened a bit by the fact that we have two funerals coming up. On Monday we will lay to rest the body of Edward Ahrens and either Tuesday or Wednesday, the body of Lenora Niemitz. It is a blessed departure for both of these saints of God. Edward has suffered from those little strokes. He was an auctioneer and could talk faster than any person I'd ever known, but for the last several years, he has struggled to communicate at all. His mind, though, was sharp as a tack right up to the end. I prayed the commendation of the dying with him a week ago. I wasn't sure if he understood much, but when I asked him, and put my head down by his mouth, he said: "Yes, I understood." God bless his soul and grant him rest eternal! Lenora was a bit of a different case, her mind for present realities was not good. Oh, she never failed in speaking the words of the liturgy and always thanked me for bringing her communion, but she would invariably ask who I was. When I said: "Pastor, from Gehlenbeck." She'd smile and begin to ask how things were there and if I'd seen her mother and father. This happened sometimes more than once in a visit. I'd remind her that her parents were home with Jesus. She'd sigh and start to cry. She just wanted to go home, but the home she remembered was long since gone in this world. Now she IS home - gloria in excelsis Deo!