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Abundance of your generous love is continuing to bear fruit

Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing…. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.” John 15:5, 9

Dear People of Hope,

Thank you. Thank you for giving your support to our dear Gerrish Family in their time of grief:

A woman in a blue shirt

Heidi Gerrish

• Thank you for your presence at Heidi’s Celebration of Life, in-person and via the livestream.
• Thank you for bringing all that wonderful food for the reception.
• Thank you for giving money to purchase food and water bottles.
• Thank you for your offers to help in whatever ways are needed.
• Thank you for your prayers. (Even when we don’t know what words to pray or even what to pray for, the Holy Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. See Romans 8.)
• Thank you for your outpouring of love and compassion.
• Thank you for giving that same love and compassion to each other as we, too, mourn and suffer with the family.
• And thank you for continuing to give your compassion and support to them and to each other as we now go forward together from here, living with the complicated mix of sorrow and hope that grief brings.

Here at Esperanza we speak much of the fruit of the Spirit, those holy indicators that reveal the presence of God’s Spirit within a person: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (see Galatians 5). We’ve taught them to our preschool children in chapel, we lift them up in worship, we mention them to each other.

What is the source of that fruit? Jesus. Abiding in Jesus, the source and ground of our life, as integral as branches to the vine. Dwelling in Jesus, through God’s Word, and sacrament, and prayer, and Christian community. Remaining in Jesus when it seems impossible to do so. Abiding in Jesus. When we abide in Christ’s Love for us, that Love flows to us and through us and reaches out, like a wildly healthy vine spreading its branches far and wide. To others. And bearing fruit. Abundantly.
The abundance of your generous love is continuing to bear fruit. As appropriate to Heidi’s life, we delivered the remaining sandwiches, veg etables, cookies and water bottles from the reception to Grace Lutheran Church for their Heat Respite lunches. They were so grateful to receive it and I pass their thanks along to you.
Thank you for being People of Hope in Christ Jesus.

— Pastor Annemarie

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Pastor Annemarie