An Unexpected Trip to Aurora

On Friday, September 28, 2012, we received word that our good friend Ed Rickman died unexpectedly. He and Martha live in southwest Missouri, in the town of Aurora.

Martha asked me to conduct the funeral service, so we immediately made plans to go to Aurora. We traveled there the next day by plane and rental car.

The viewing was on Sunday evening and the service on Monday afternoon. Because of Ed’s clear testimony of faith in Christ the funeral was a time of celebrating the grace of God. We also celebrated the life of our brother Ed, who had been a pastor, church planter and an administrator in several Christian ministries.

For my message I chose the text of Ephesians 4:24: “…put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” An amazing claim! Because of Ed’s commitment to the tradition of Wesleyan holiness, I commented extensively on this in my message. I will not take time to define Wesleyan holiness here. If you wish to learn more, you may enter this term in your search engine, or send a reply to me, and we can talk by email.

I also enjoyed in-depth conversations with Shane Chellis, a son-in-law of Ed and Martha. He has been on a spiritual journey of considering other denominations after having been in the United Methodist Church for some time. As a result of his journey he joined the Anglican Church of North America, a “province” newly formed in 2008, consisting now of 1,000 congregations, and planting one new church each week.  The group is described as Catholic, evangelical and charismatic. Shane was ordained as a priest in this denomination three weeks ago. His ministry is that of serving as a chaplain at The Rescue Mission in Fort Wayne, IN.

In Missouri the birder side of me was so pleased to see many Scissor-tailed flycatchers. Here are two views of them.

The first photo is by Brenda (last name unknown.) The second is by Christopher L. Wood and appears on the web site of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Seven of these striking birds hung around the motel where we stayed. It was a delight to see them.

We returned home on Wednesday, October 3.

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