Dec. 30, 2020

Occidental Community Church family,

PSALM 116:15 - "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones."

The death of God's children is a "precious" thing from His perspective, because they have been called home to heaven to be with Him forever.  But for us it is a grievous, sorrowful, and painful experience to see a loved one die, even though we know that they are in heaven.  We have received word that two of the dear women of our church family have died in the past few days.  And as we rejoice that they are safe in Jesus' arms, yet we grieve with their families that they are gone from us.
Early Sunday morning, December 27, CeCe Cummings died at home in the arms of Blessie, her mother.  She had been bravely battling cancer for two years and eight months.  She was 24 years old, and her faith was strong right up to the end. 

Last night, December 29, Rogene Rawlins died in her recliner at the home of her sister, Noni, where she had been living.  Only a few months ago she had been told that she had terminal cancer.  Rogene was 89 years old.  She too, courageously lived out her final days with the strong assurance that she would soon be in heaven with her Lord.

I have spoken to Rogene's sister, Noni, offering our condolences and our help in any way with a memorial service or anything else.  So far no definite plans have been made, but if and when I hear of any I will pass on this information to our church family.

But for CeCe plans have been made for a memorial service to be held at 10 AM Saturday, January 9, at our church building.  Because of the ongoing Covid precautions this must be an invitation-only service.  We will be limiting the service to 35 people, one-fourth of our sanctuary capacity, so that we can properly distance with masks. Blessie and Ted are making a list of family and friends who will be invited.  

But take heart, there will be a way for you to join our service.  We will be livestreaming the memorial service as we do our Sunday worship services.  A link will be provided for you to activate in order to gain access to the memorial service.  Not only is this for the benefit of our church family, Ted and Blessie have family literally around the world who will be watching.  I know of people in Africa, Germany, and Australia, and possibly other countries who will be joining us.

If you are wondering how you can help the Stair family at this time, they simply ask for your continued prayers and for your understanding of their need for privacy as they grieve.  If you wish to reach out to them, you can send texts, cards, and emails.  But please refrain from phone calls, personal visits to their home, and Facebook or other social media messages.  This will be too overwhelming for them at this time.  They do not need food, flowers, or other gifts. 

Blessie told me to mention especially their profound gratitude to all of you who helped them get to the M. D. Anderson Cancer Treatment Center in Texas for CeCe's treatment earlier this year.  Without your prayers, phone calls, messages, and financial assistance they would not have been able to go. The love and support of their church family has been extraordinary, and they will be forever grateful.  

Here is Blessie's contact information:
Address: Ted & Blessie Stair,14632 Jomark Ln., Occidental, CA 95465
Phone: (for texts only) (707) 774-9099

We serve a merciful and mighty God!
Pastor Rick

Stay in touch with your church family!

Even if we are not fellowshipping together please keep in virtual touch!


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