On this incredibly beautiful late summer day your friend and pastor received a visit from each of you as I provided pastoral care to him on your behalf! Tom was more alert and "tracking" mentally much more fully than any time I have been with him since he first went into the hospital! Again he asked about many people and expressed his deep appreciation for all the concern and prayers on the journey.
Before visiting I decided to offer Pastor Tom Psalm 69:1-3, 29-30, 34-36 and Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-14, 23-24. As I read the first passages with Tom, it was abundantly evident the Psalm reflected where Tom was physically and mentally previous visit. The passages from Psalm 139 just as clearly illuminated where his thinking and condition were today! Just another God-incident where the Holy One guided the visit. After, we shared communion. Though Tom is not yet able to eat by mouth, we touched the wine soaked bread to our lips then returned it to a small dish. In the Roman Catholic tradition blessed elements which are served but not consumed are buried in a designated sacred space. I explained to Tom the piece of bread and wine from today would be gently buried among the flowers at my home overlooking the river and he nodded approval of the plan. We spoke of my help swabbing his dry mouth and lips and shaving his beard stuble as like unto the foot washing stories in scripture. It was simply a lovely and deeply meaningful visit we we shared the sacrament "for ourselves and on behalf of all those who are present with us through prayer."
Pastor Tom asked that we all continue our prayers for healing and wholeness for him and ourselves and the world. His steadfast love for the Lord and the Church continues to shine with through our friend and pastor as he faces his personal illness calm assurrance and blessed peace. Thanks be to God! Pastor Dianna Niemann-Harris
P.S. (When and as I receive medical updates from Tom's Medical Power of Attorney, Carol Pohl, the messages will be posted on the Immanuel UCC, Wright City, MO Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Immanuel-United-Church-of-Chri…/and and website http://immanuelucc.weebly.com)