Myrtle Turner Funeral
Welcome and Prayer - Scott
Good afternoon friends. We have gathered in this space to celebrate the life of our friend, our nan, Nanny T, our mother...Myrtle Turner. And this is a day of very mixed emotions. There is no one correct or proper thing to feel today. On one hand, we gather to celebrate a saint who has gone on to be with her Savior, it is a day to rejoice, it is a day to share some smiles, laughter, funny stories and memories…so it is ok to laugh a little today. But on the other hand, we feel the sting of death. We instinctively know that this is not the way of things. God never intended for us to be separated. Death is enemy of life, and God has given us life…abundant life…eternal life. So we feel the wrongness of death, even the death of one who lived so long and so well. So it is ok to cry today. We miss her. We wish we could see that smile one more time, here her voice one more time. We know that this is not the end of our story, just as it is not the end of Myrtle’s, but that does not make this chapter any less difficult to walk through.
But we will walk through. We will do it together.
On behalf of the family, I would like to thank you all for being here today. Your presence brings a comfort that you may not fully realize. The knowledge that we do not walk alone. So thank you. Thank you for being here to laugh and to cry, to share stories and tears with one another. Your presence is a comfort as we grieve together.
On behalf of the family, I would like to thank you all for being here today. Your presence brings a comfort that
And as wonderful as it is to have friends and family around us in our time of need, there is another presence that has upheld this family through the last few weeks. There is one who is closer than a brother, one who is but a breath away from each one of us. It is in His presence that we gather and remember. So as we begin our service of celebration, let us pray and acknowledge the presence of the one who draws near to us in our sorrow.
Let us pray.
Heavenly Father. Thank you for this moment. Thank you for your presence that brings comfort to us in our sorrow. We know that we do not walk alone. We know that our beloved Myrtle is in your presence and experiencing ultimate joy today, but we miss her. Would you draw near to us in our time of need? Would you bring the peace that passes all understanding to our hearts and minds. Would you surround this family with your love and care, that they might feel your Everlasting arms lifting them up as we remember, as we celebrate and grieve. For we ask all of these things in the name of your Son, our beloved Savior, the one who has passed from death to life, Jesus. Amen.
Now I think Nanny T would be pretty proud this morning…she managed to get me into a suit and I learned a couple of her favourites for us to sing together. I’m going to invite you to remain seated, but to sing along if you are able.
Hymn – What A Day That Will Be – Marion and Scott
Hymn – What A Day That Will Be – Marion and Scott
There is coming a day When no heartaches shall come No more clouds in the sky No more tears to dim the eye All is peace forevermore On that happy golden shore What a day glorious day that will be
What a day that will be When my Jesus I shall see When I look upon His face The One who saved me by His grace When He takes me by the hand And leads me thro' the Promised Land What a day glorious day that will be
There'll be no sorrow there No more burdens to bear No more sickness no pain No more parting over there And forever I will be With the One who died for me What a day glorious day that will be
(Photo of Myrtle on Screen)
Scripture Reading –
When Shirley was looking through her mom’s Bible, was a section that Myrtle spent a great deal of time with…Allow me to read it for us today.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.
Eulogy – Chrissy and Jenny
Eulogy – Chrissy and Jenny
Pictorial by Jennifer Norris (granddaughter)
(Photo of Myrtle on Screen)
Special Music – Marietta Sargent & Lorne
– I Know Who Holds Tomorrow
Message – – Pastor Scott
I only got to be Myrtle’s pastor for about three years.
I would see her coming every few weeks…sit right back there with a smile, unassuming and gracious. We didn’t hang out too much…me and Myrtle. We run in different circles.
I didn’t really get a chance to hear her story until last year after her stroke when she ended up in the hospital. We had a nice long visit and I heard all about the move from Montreal and her adventures here in Winnipeg.
She shared how much she loved her family, told me all the goings on with the grandkids and how much she couldn’t wait to get her strength back so she could go home. She was 89 at the time…still feisty.
She shared how much she missed coming to church…missed being with the people. I was a little shocked, because I was not too sure if a young pastor like me was her cup of tea.
I mean, you could forgive a woman of her age not being all that keen on getting to know this ruffian young pastor with the piercings and tattoos. You might think that she would somehow tough it out Sunday after Sunday dealing with this hooligan at the front. With his loud music, pop culture references and talking with his hands.
When I was voted to become the pastor here at Grace I got a few text messages from some of the younger people that were excited about the decision. But the very first person from this congregation to add me as a friend on Facebook was Myrtle Turner.
I was like “MYRTLE TURNER HAS FACEBOOK?” “MYRTLE IS ON THE INTERNET?”
Oh yeah…paying her bills online…keeping up with the technology, she was not one to let life pass her by. A rabid hockey fan…if there was a game on…the TV better be on…preferably with a bowl of ice cream.
I found myself wondering at the end of last nights Jets game what Myrtle would have had to say about their lackluster performance.
The Sunday before she passed, she wasn’t in church. And I know how much it bothered her to miss church. She couldn’t hear half of what was going on, but she wanted to be with God’s people, and in His presence.
She missed that last Sunday, as she was not feeling well, but the previous week, she was with us, I shook her hand and got to see that beautiful full faced smile one last time.
As I have been thinking about Myrtle, Nan’s, life, a passage of Scripture from Paul’s letter to Timothy comes to mind.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
2 Timohty 4:7-8
Myrtle has fought the good fight. She has finished the race. She has kept the faith. Now there is in store for her a crown of righteousness. When she was in the hospital, being I think a little confused by what the doctor was telling her, she said she would be going home on Wednesday.
She did end up home on Wednesday. In the presence of the God she had worshipped here, Sunday after Sunday…and I bet she’s getting ice cream.
The promise that Paul shared was of an eternity with the Lord…and it was not just a promise for him…if was for Myrtle…it was for each one of us. Not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. Myrtle is no longer longing. She is home. She is now knows fully even as she is fully known. She knows the rest of the story.
Now we are left to mourn, to share stories and tears. We will miss, our friend, our mom, our nan…but we know that if we follow in her footsteps, we will see her again. This promise was not just for Paul…it was for Myrtle and for each one of us.
Myrtle’s steadfast hope in Jesus, as the saviour of her life, the constant friend and companion, the vine that she was connected to has been realized. She is now in His presence, and would long for each one of you to know Him and trust Him and spend eternity with Him as well. She would encourage you to love God and love others.
Jesus died for each one of us…he laid his life down for us…that we might live our lives for him. As we contemplate what really matters in life…especially in moments like these, think about what sort of legacy you might leave…think about the sort of life you are living. And listen to the words that Myrtle lived by one more time.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.
Hymn – I’ve Got A Mansion – Marion and Scott
I'm satisfied with just a cottage below A little silver and a little gold But in that city where the ransomed will shine I want a gold one that's silver lined
I've got a mansion Just over the hilltop In that bright land Where we'll never grow old And someday yonder We will never more wander But walk on streets That are purest gold
Though often tempted tormented and tested And like the prophet my pillow's a stone And though I find here no permanent dwelling I know He'll give me a mansion my own
Don't think me poor or deserted or lonely I'm not discouraged I'm heaven bound I'm just a pilgrim in search of a city I want a mansion a harp and a crown
(Photo of Myrtle on Screen)
Announcements and Closing Prayer – Pastor Scott
We are about to conclude our service this morning. The family will be heading to the cemetery for the interment. You are welcome to stay and enjoy some refreshments and wait until we return. The food and drink will be in the foyer, and we will have some tables and chairs setup on the side should you need to grab a seat. So as soon as the family has made their way out, we would encourage you to get started on the food. We will return shortly.
Amazing Grace – Leann Rimes (Spotify Playlist)
This is our time to say our final goodbyes. You will hold your mom, your nan, close in your heart even as we lay her body to rest. She lives on in you…as you treat people the way she did…as you enjoy your ice cream the way she did.
We can take as much time as we need here as family. To reflect, to remember, to say goodbye.
(Place flowers on the casket?)
Having committed Myrtle's Spirit to eternal rest, we now say to her: "Thank you for all you have gifted to us in your long and loving, life. What good you have shown us, we will show to others. We release you now to the next part of your spiritual journey as you walk hand in hand with your Creator. All those who have gone before you lighting your way."
Into the ground we commit your body…ashes to ashes, dust to dust...
The Bible promises that one day death will be no more. How we long for that day to come! Until then, may we live in anticipation of the time when we, too, shall lay aside the cares of this life, as Myrtle has, and take up the joys of eternal life.
Almighty God, we gather beside this grave today to lay to rest the body of our friend and loved one, Myrtle. We do so remembering another grave in another place—the tomb that received the body of our Lord Jesus. As Jesus came from the grave to live again, we know that all who die in Him shall never truly die. Thank you, Father, that Mrytle has finished the course, that she has kept the faith, and that she now has rest from her labors. As we commit her body to the ground, we do so in perfect trust, remembering Jesus’ victory over death and knowing, that because He lives, so too, shall we. Comfort our hearts through His words today; strengthen us now with His presence; and may Your grace and peace be ours both now and forever.
In Jesus’ name,