Testimony | Gretchen Burch | First Sunday in Advent

Gretchen Burch offered testimony in worship on Sunday, December 3rd as part of our Advent testimony series.

Gretchen spoke with vulnerability and courage about the recent death of our friend Linda Bringman, whose memorial service had just taken place the day before.

A group from St. Luke’s celebrates with bubbles at the end of a long day of marching in the rain on the March to Springfield. From left: Eric, Linda, Erin, Ed, Charlotte.

As part of her testimony, Gretchen shared the following poem:

ENDURING BLESSING

What I really want to tell you
is to just lay this blessing
on your forehead,
on your heart;
let it rest
in the palm of your hand,
because there is hardly anything
this blessing could say,
any word it could offer
to fill the hollow.

Let this blessing
work its way
into you
with its lines
that hold nearly
unspeakable lament.

Let this blessing
settle into you
with its hope
more ancient
than knowing.

Hear how this blessing
has not come alone—
how it echoes with
the voices of those
who accompany you,
who attend you in every moment,
who continually whisper
this blessing to you.

Hear how they
do not cease
to walk with you,
even when the dark
is deepest.

Hear how they
encompass you always—
breathing this blessing to you,
bearing this blessing to you
still.

—Jan Richardson
from The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief

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