Monday, 14 January 2013

A good and faithful servant

 I drove up the A49 to Ross on Wye today

I don't go back frequently, but today I was returning for the thanksgiving service for Diana Alder who had died on Christmas Day, after a long life that was exceedingly well lived. It was good to be there and see old friends again
I first met Diana in 1983,when I began work at Ross Baptist Church as Associate Pastor. Diana had been in Ross Baptist Church all her life.
By 1983  Diana was a highly respected deacon, and an excellent church treasurer, who had stuck by the church in good times and in tough times. She had a great sense of humour, a sound judgement of what was right and wrong,a great deal of common sense, and the honesty to tell everyone, including me, when she thought we were out of line. I came to value her advice enormously.
I suppose if I was to choose words I associate with Diana they would be the words that came up again and again in the service, faithful,loyal,trustworthy and I would add welcoming,intelligent, spiritual and prayerful.
I treasure the memories of times spent in  the  home she shared with her beloved husband Norman chatting about the church.
I think in 2013  because of the church stats( as much as anything else) we rightly value innovators ,evangelists,church planters very highly. We need those gifts in the 21st century church
Diana was none of these things but I have no doubt at all that the fact that Diana and her friends and fellow workers held on in stormy times enabled the church to revive and thrive in Gods good time
I don't suppose many people would have described the diaconate in the early 1980's as dynamic, but by golly they were faithful, and built a solid platform for future growth ,and I thank God for each one of them .Nearly all  have now gone to their reward.
May they rest in peace for they will surely rise in glory!