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Louise Skinner

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A Service Of Death And Resurrection

Dying, Christ destroyed our death.
Rising, Christ restored our life.
Christ will come again in glory.
As in baptism Louise put on Christ,
So in Christ may Louise be clothed with glory.
Here and now, dear friends, we are God's children.
What we shall be has not yet been revealed;
But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him,
For we shall see him as he is.
Those who have this hope purify themselves
As Christ is pure.

Welcome

Friends, we are here to praise God and to proclaim and profess our faith as we celebrate the life of our mother, grand mother, sister, and friend, Louise Skinner.
We are joined in love for her and one another and in grief over her death. Grief is the result of our loss and her gain.
God will give us today His grace so that we might find comfort in our pain; hope in the midst of sorrow, and a resurrection in death.
The best thing that might come today is that we leave here more assured than we arrived that God is for us and God is with us as we live this life for the eternal life.
Hymn

Opening Prayer

General prayer

Prayer of Confession

Holy God, before you our hearts are open,
and from you no secrets are hidden.
We bring to you now
our shame and sorrow for our sins.
We have forgotten
that our life is from you and unto you.
We have neither sought nor done your will.
We have not been truthful in our hearts,
in our speech, in our lives.
We have not loved as we ought to love.
Help us and heal us,
raising us from our sins into a better life,
that we may end our days in peace,
trusting in your kindness unto the end;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Who is in a position to condemn?
Only Christ, Christ who died for us, who rose for us,
who reigns at God's right hand and prays for us.
Thanks be to God who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Old Testament Lesson:

Isaiah 40:28–31 NIV84
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
31)
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is an everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary, his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me
In the presence of mine enemies;
Thou anointest my head with oil;
My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

New Testament Lesson

Revelation 21:1–7 NLT
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.
(NLT) — 1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” 5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” 6 And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. 7 All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

Witness

Family and friends may briefly voice their thankfulness to God for the grace they have received in the life of Mrs Louise and their Christian faith and joy.

Gospel Lesson

John 14:1–6 NLT
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
(NLT) — 1 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

Sermon

Louise Skinner
Woman of Courage
Several months ago, Mrs. Louise began to have a difficult time living. She wasn’t sick, she was just tired. She had begun to lose her children to death, her husband had died several years before, she wasn’t able to do what she used to be able to do which frustrated her. She was ready to go. We talked quite a bit about this, every time I would visit her. This went on for several months in fact. She would ask, Why is God leaving me here? I would answer with some variation of, He must not be finished with you yet, or he isn’t finished with me and he needs you to help me.
I believe Mrs. Louise came to learn some things in her final years that we would do well to appreciate a bit more in ours. The key to these is found in . The reality that she came to appreciate, “Whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” ().
While life may not mend, In fact sometimes things deteriorate. That’s what happens with everything in fact. I can’t run as fast as I used to. You can’t lift as much as you used to. But in the face of shrinking before death, we can endure.
Others have endured suffering.
Job (, )…
Paul () 7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Jesus (fasting, temptation, crucifixion)
But Mrs. Louise found, as others have, that God sympathizes with the sufferer and gives strength.
Psalm 34:17–18 NIV84
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
And over the last few months, she began to become much more optimistic about life and her role in it. And in spite of the fact that life is uncompromising - things may not get better, we don’t have to compromise either.
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
And over the last few months, she began to become much more optimistic about life and her role in it. And in spite of the fact that life is uncompromising - things may not get better, we don’t have to compromise either.
We don’t have to give in to trials, sufferings, and death.
Life that does not bend
Others have stood firm.
Nehemiah () – stood firm and inspired people with his courage.
Daniel (, ) – stood firm, delivered people with his confidence of God’s presence
Jesus () – stood firm and led people into new life with his awareness of God’s presence.
To say that Mrs. Louise stood firm might be an understatement. I’ve heard stories of how she might correct folks at home, at work, or at church. I would also say that in the final years of her life, she went through a change. I saw her become more courageous, more confident, and more aware of God’s presence in her life and I will tell you today, it affected me. I pray that you saw it in her too. As she neared the end of her life, her focus shifted upward. I guess that is normal for someone of her age and health, I don’t know as I’m not there yet, but it was refreshing to see this lady who I knew to be bold, coreagous, confident, and uncompromising begin to accept a new understanding of God and her relationship with him.
In fact it’s ok to be uncompromising about life if you have placed your faith in Christ as Mrs Louise had, because God is uncompromising about life as well.
Life that does not end
God’s Word speaks of eternal life.
Scripture talks about life that goes on beyond this earthly life. In this life, we get to decide how we would like to live in the eternal life. The fact of the matter is, we were created for much more than this present life and all it’s sufferings. We were created for a life with God, but we rebel against God…
John 3:16–17 NIV84
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
(NIV84)
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
John 11:25–26 NIV84
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
(NIV84)
If you don’t believe this, then the sufferings here on earth can seem unsurmountable. They are just something to endure until the end comes. But scripture promises us that our suffering here is insignificant when compared to eternal joy.
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
2 Corinthians 4:17–18 NIV84
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
If you don’t believe this, then the sufferings here on earth can seem unsurmountable. They are just something to endure until the end comes. But scripture promises us that our suffering here is insignificant when compared to eternal joy.
(NIV84)
17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Song

Prayers & Commendation

God of us all, your love never ends.
When all else fails, you still are God.
We pray to you for one another in our need,
and for all, anywhere, who mourn with us this day.
To those who doubt, give light;
to those who are weak, strength;
to all who have sinned, mercy;
to all who sorrow, your peace.
Keep true in us
the love with which we hold one another.
In all our ways we trust you.
And to you,
with your Church on earth and in heaven,
we offer honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
O God, all that you have given us is yours.
As first you gave Louise to us,
now we give Louise back to you.
Receive Louise into the arms of your mercy.
Raise Louise up with all your people.
Receive us also, and raise us into a new life.
Help us so to love and serve you in this world
that we may enter into your joy in the world to come. Amen.

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
Amen.

Dismissal With Blessing

( 21)
Now may the God of peace
who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus,
the great Shepherd of the sheep,
by the blood of the eternal covenant,
make you complete in everything good
so that you may do his will,
working among us that which is pleasing in his sight,
through Jesus Christ;
to whom be the glory for ever and ever.
The peace of God which passes all understanding
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
And the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen.
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
according to the riches of God's glory,
grant you to be strengthened with might
through God's Spirit in your inner being,
that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may be able to comprehend with all the saints
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Amen.

GRAVESIDE SERVICE:

In the midst of life, we are in death; from whom can we seek help?
Our help is in the name of the Lord
who made heaven and earth.
(, ALT.)
Listen, I will tell you a mystery!
We will not all die, but we will all be changed.
For this perishable body must put on imperishability,
and this mortal body must put on immortality.
Then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:
"Death has been swallowed up in victory."
"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
But thanks be to God,
who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(, , 55, 57)
Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
my body also dwells secure.
You, [Lord,] show me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy,
in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(, , UMH 748)

PRAYER:

Let us pray.
O God, you have ordered this wonderful world
and know all things in earth and in heaven.
Give us such faith that by day and by night,
at all times and in all places,
we may without fear commit ourselves
and those dear to us
to your never failing love,
in this life and in the life to come. Amen.

SCRIPTURE READING from 9:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled and unfading,
kept in heaven for you.
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you suffer trials
so that the genuineness of your faith may prove itself worthy
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Without having seen him, yet you love him;
though you do not now see him,
you believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy.
As the harvest of your faith you reap the salvation of your souls.

SCRIPTURE READING FROM

Jesus said: "Very truly, I tell you,
unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies,
it remains just a single grain;
but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Those who love their life lose it,
and those who hate their life in this world
will keep it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there will my servant be also.
Whoever serves me, the Father will honor."

COMMITTAL:

Almighty God,
into your hands we commend your daughter Louise Skinner,
in sure and certain hope of resurrection to eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This body we commit to the ground
earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
(TRADITIONAL)
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.
Yes, says the Spirit, they will rest from their labors
for their deeds follow them.
(, ALT.)

PRAYER:

Eternal God, you have shared with us the life of Louise Skinner.
Before she was ours, she is yours.
For all that Louise Skinner has given us to make us what we are,
for that of her which lives and grows in each of us,
and for her life that in your love will never end,
we give you thanks.
As now we offer Louise Skinner back into your arms,
comfort us in our loneliness,
strengthen us in our weakness,
and give us courage to face the future unafraid.
Draw those of us who remain in this life closer to one another,
make us faithful to serve one another,
and give us to know that peace and joy which is eternal life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Lord's Prayer:
JOin me in reciting the Lords Prayer

BENEDICTION:

Now to the One who is able to keep you from falling,
and to make you stand without blemish
in the presence of God's glory with rejoicing,
to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
be glory, majesty, power, and authority,
before all time and now and forever. Amen
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