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Dearly Departed

Tonight, I received and email from a member of our fellowship requesting to be removed from the email group as she is no longer with the university. In closing, she requested that we remember to pray for all retirees.

It is a profound request. As a ministry to employees of an institution, how do we treat those no longer with the institution, for whatever cause? Do they cease to exist? Do we rely on personal friendships within the group to keep us up to speed on things? Or do we keep them as part of our extended family and check up on them actively?

These questions are particularly poignant this week. As you may have read, Texas is very dry right now and having problems with wildfires. On Sunday here in Austin, a homeless man’s campfire was left unattended and blew out of control destroying at least 10 homes. One of those homes belonged to a retired staff member of our department. She and her husband were travelling and not around. There is nothing left except the slab and part of the chimney.

I hadn’t heard about her situation until I received an email from a staff member in the department calling for donations to help the couple get back on their feet. It made me grateful that people in my department watch over each other, even after retirement. If a secular department can do that, how much more the family of God?

{If you are so moved to want to help this retiree, email me at and I will put you in contact with the person organizing the drive. I will also be contributing.}


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