During the Celebration of Life Service, Rev. Scott Pattison, Senior Pastor of Sonrise UMC, Fort Wayne, wore the same black robe that he wore when he was commissioned in 1982. Tonight, he wore a white stole that belonged to his father, whose life was being honored during the evening of remembrance.

He read John 14:5-1, after which Rev. Karen Koelsch, Senior Pastor of Covenant UMC, Fort Wayne shared her message “The Jesus Road.”
“Pain is part of the journey,” she said. “Yet we know that Jesus will never abandon us, never leave us, especially in those moments that may be our last.”

She shared how, when lost on the backroads of Indiana, she would look for water towers to help her find her way. “Who do you remember that have been water towers for you? Who have been the people that pointed you to Christ, especially in those moments when you’ve been lost?”

Loved ones stood as the names of 56 deceased clergy and spouses were read and honored for their lives and legacies.

Bishop Trimble led members in the partaking of Holy Communion. The bread and cup sat on a white cloth that family and friends signed with words of remembrance. It served as a reminder that we are connected forever to loved ones, though they may have passed on to heaven. “As you receive the body and blood of Christ, be reminded that those who have gone before us cheer us on and are interceding on our behalf,” Bishop Trimble said.

The service concluded with worship and a blessing from the bishop.