Tuesday morning, we received the shocking news that Mary Ramseyer died suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack. Her sudden and unexpected death as caused shock for all of us. Even more so since our last encounters with Mary reminded us of her vitality and life. We will miss Mary’s care, hospitality, acts of service and the many ways she gave herself to the ministry of the church.
A sudden death of this nature always raises so many questions, and many of them start with Why? As Mary’s family grieves, and as we grieve, may we entrust our questions, which may remain unanswered, into the hands of God who grieves with us.
On Wednesday morning we received the news that Mel Zehr had died. Mel’s death was more expected, but also leaves us grieving. While we rejoice for Mel, who longed to be released from the limitations and suffering of his earthly body, we still feel this loss. We will miss Mel’s smile and warmth, his humour, and the gratefulness he showed to all who had time to visit or call.
As we grieve the death of our friends Mary and Mel, we remember Raymond and Katie who are both grieving the loss of a spouse and life companion. We remember their families as they walk through this difficult valley of life and absorb the reality of the death of their loved one. I invite us to hold the Ramseyer and Zehr families in our thoughts and prayers through this difficult time.
This week, as I was absorbing this news, a few verses of scripture came to mind.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts usin all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1)
Comfort and compassion have their source in God, but these verses remind us that we can join God’s flow of comfort and compassion as we share it with each other. In the strength of our “Father of compassion and the God of all comfort”, may we care for each other as we give and receive comfort in the days and weeks ahead.
JEAN’S JOTTINGS DECEMBER 2021
One year ago today, the first person in the world received their first dose of vaccine to protect against the Corona 19 virus.
100 years ago, there were NO vaccines! Epidemics of diphtheria, smallpox, measles and so many other communicable diseases would spread through homes and communities. Most of us have never seen these diseases and have no firsthand knowledge of the death and destruction that they brought to families and communities. All the children in the home would die (1st family) and after the outbreak had passed and people had somewhat recovered, they would have more children (2nd family) …. hoping and praying that ‘this family” would be spared another outbreak of disease and would live to become adults.
Can you even imagine what our lives might be like if no vaccines had been developed?
I know that there are unknowns and risks with new vaccines just as there were unknowns and risks with other newly developed drugs i.e., penicillin, prednisone, and many others. These brought about great strides in healing and preserving lives while over the years we learned more about both the good that they can do and cautions regarding their use. (I can’t imagine where we would be without so many of these scientific developments.)
These vaccines were all new at one time…all barely tested. The doctors and scientists were working with such limited knowledge, but the desire has always been to preserve life. To prevent the death and destruction (lifelong brain damage as well as other muscular and physical damages) caused by these diseases. To help your child have the protection they need to stay healthy.
Did you know that vaccination prevents between two and three million deaths worldwide every year?
Many vaccine-preventable diseases have no treatment or cure. In some cases, if unvaccinated, children can die from complications of a disease.
The best protection is to keep vaccinating.
To better explain the importance of vaccination, here is an analogy: It’s just like when we started bailing out a boat that had a slow leak; the boat was full of water (full of diseases). We have been bailing (vaccinating) fast and hard, and now the boat is almost dry. If we stop bailing (vaccinating) the water will continue to come in as there is still a leak (infectious diseases are still present).
Today, we have the privilege of getting our children over the age of 5 vaccinated against the corona virus. The best way to get “our lives back to normal” is to vaccinate…our children…ourselves…our parents…those in countries that can’t afford vaccines…everyone.
We might not be able to irradicate the Corona virus, but it would then NOT be able to control us and our activities.
What a gift it would be to those we love to be vaccinated … to visit and share freely in all the ways we remember so fondly.
If you are struggling or have questions, please feel free to contact me. Sometimes just talking and having a conversation helps to clarify the muddle in our minds even when it doesn’t necessarily provide clear cut answers.
“But when I am afraid, I will put my confidence in you. Yes, I will trust the promises of God.” Psalm 56: 3-4
During this season of advent, I pray that God’s Hope, Peace, Love and Joy surround you and fill you.
Jean MacDonald, Parish Nurse