What Jack Said
Charlotte's Memorial was held on February 1, 1977 - her fifty-second birthday.
Her body was not in Newberg Friends Church - they sent it on for burial at Greenleaf Cemetery where the second service was held on February second.
A series of weighty Friends spoke at the Newberg service. I have listened to the tape, the grief is clear in each one. Neither Dorothy or Mahlon spoke.
Yearly Meeting Superintendent Jack Wilcutts brought the following remarks. (lightly edited)
How does one react when one who is so greatly needed is snatched away, and whose friendship, and whose leadership, whose maturity, influence and humility means so much to so many people. These are all questions that have no human answer, and so faith and trust in the infinite wisdom of God take on a new meaning just now simply because there is no other way. “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord”
One can hardly think of any direction in the life of our Yearly Meeting where the positive force of her faith and of her influence is not felt. Her range of concerns and her personal relationships touched every meeting of our Yearly Meeting. Her friends among the youth and the elderly and all of us in between found in Charlotte a totally trustworthy confidant whose capacity for caring, sharing, for praying, and giving of herself was simply astounding. She had the rare gift of being almost everyone’s spiritual friend. The younger pastors of the Yearly meeting, and not just their wives, looked to Charlotte for counsel and for encouragement. When a problem in any church, or any life was shared with her, she not only entered into prayer with you about it, you frequently had the feeling that she had already been praying about it. A lot is said about the gift of discernment, it is great to have seen it demonstrated in such unobtrusive, yet all inclusive ways.
In reflecting upon her leadership in Silverton and the Board of Evangelism, the college and at Twin Rocks, the unique quality that stands out is what has already been referred to as her vision, and her courage to tackle impossible tasks. She did things that couldn’t be done, and in preparing these remarks I tried to recall if I ever heard anyone say of her work, “ Well, she does good work - for a woman”, I can’t recall it - her ministry and her accomplishments were so singularly Spirit led that she lived above the arguments of little people - about the place of women in the church and in the ministry.
Our Quaker heritage is filled with examples of liberated leaders both women and men, and it is good to know that this kind of Christian obedience and calling is still expected and is still happening. There keeps creeping back into the Evangelical church the curious opinion that leadership in ministry is only for men. It seems appropriate this morning to remind ourselves that to be like Jesus rests on character and gifts and the grace of God in anointing those who he chooses and calls. When Jesus said “Upon this rock I will build my church” He was not referring to Peter’s masculinity, but to his faith in Christ the Messiah, and it was this same faith to which the Apostle Paul made reference when he was exhorting Timothy by saying “ This faith was first in your mother Eunice and in your grandmother Lois”. And so we understand that in the kingdom of Heaven there is neither male nor female, but we need to remember that the same is true in the kingdom Heaven on Earth. For God is no respecter of persons. It should always be remembered that this truth is well explained in the Book of Romans by none other than Paul himself.
So let us hope that in the next 50 years in our Yearly Meeting that we will not forget this splendid example that we have remembered here today. Her leadership and ministry among Friends represents something that we should look forward to when we continue calling our pastors, our board and department leaders, the selection of our college presidents, and of our general superintendents
The influence of a Godly life is like a lingering fragrance poured out in sacrificial willingness to the Lord she loved and served so well. And while a prayer chapel and the mountain overlooking the ocean are certainly appropriate memorials of her life among us here, the living memorial of her ministry is seen in the personal dedication of youth, of pastors, of the community of Quakers, who in the spirit of a fallen leader decide to ask God today, to do what He wants with us - with you, and with me
Death is not a hopeless end, but an Endless Hope
This is such a powerful testimonial. What a life to have given. Just reading through these, I keep asking what does God require of me?
Thanks for sharing Charlotte's life. You painted it so well I was shocked and saddened to read her death, although I already knew intellectually that she was dead. And now she lives on in the memories of people she never even met in life. What a blessing on us all.Post a Comment
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