Published on September 1st, 2015 | by Tony Felich0
Pastor’s Corner September 2015
The following was published in our monthly newsletter, the Redeemer Report.
A Tough Week For The Redeemer/Heritage Family.
The third week of August was as challenging as any week I can remember in my eighteen plus years of ministry at Redeemer.
Just over a year ago we learned of Tammy Schumann’s advanced cancer diagnosis. It was a shock to all of us. I was blessed to be in close communication with her throughout this past year and can attest to the Holy Spirit’s ministry in and through her. Tammy grew deeply in Christ and His Word over these months. From the day of her diagnosis, she repeated her desire to give the situation to Jesus and live all her days to the fullest for His glory. She actually died as the result of an infection due to lowered immunities caused by chemotherapy. At her memorial service a couple weeks ago, we heard an outpouring of testimony about Tammy’s “sparkle” for Christ. As a neonatal nurse practitioner, God used her to save hundreds of babies over the past twenty years and introduce countless others to Christ by her words and deeds. Tammy’s home going leaves a void in our lives, there’s no denying. Tammy was an encouraging servant of Christ.
On that Monday we gathered for Tammy’s memorial service. Later that night a beloved HCA teacher and coach, Janice Van Gorp, fell suddenly to a brain aneurysm and died on Wednesday. I didn’t know Janice as well, but all my interactions with her revealed a passionate, intense, committed, disciple of Christ. I had a twenty minute conversation with her on that Monday about several things. She was so excited for the new school year and girls’ volleyball season. Coaching and competition were her favorite platforms for discipleship. She was excited for her family as her children were starting first and fourth grades at our east campus. Just a few hours later she would fall unconscious. At her memorial service on Saturday the testimonies of her impact for Christ poured out. Several news outlets have covered her story. Janice was truly one of a kind who left a deep and wide legacy for Christ. People like Janice are not simply replaced.
Yes, it was a surreal week with two memorial services for godly women who were barely over 46 years of age. There was, however, one unifying theme very obvious in both services- union with Christ leads to a selfless life devoted to reaching other lives for eternity. Tammy and Janice were both united to Jesus Christ and their lives bore astounding testimony to what effect that relationship has. Both women lived with no regrets because their lives were hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). Both women inspire me to take inventory of my life and devotion. It’s true, only that which is done for Christ will last.
In the Lamb,
Pastor Tony Felich