Connie’s memorial service was Friday, January 14th. Marvelous was the service, from the amazing testimonies about his life from dear friends and partners in ministry, the words to the hymn’s that Connie picked out himself: “And Can It Be, and Amazing Grace”, the scriptures that were chosen: Heb 12:1-2, Matt 22:37-39, Phil 1:20-21 and Ps 23, listening to his granddaughter, grandson and their mom sing “All I Need”, and getting to see Connie himself on video talking to us about the grace of God. Each of these sections of the service was remarkable in its own right, but two things stuck out to me that day.
The first was the attendance. I am told that UPC church holds 1200 people. Fifteen minutes before the service began only balcony seating was available. By the time the great pipe organ finished the prelude, the balcony was full. The 1200+that gathered to honor Connie’s life were only a small representation of the number of people that he impacted through Christ. The second thing that stood out to me is that Jesus’ vision for Connie (and for all of us) was carried out. In Matt 5:48 Jesus said, “Therefore you are to be teleioi, as your heavenly Father is teleios.” The Greek word teleios means mature or full grown, having arrived at an end or objective. On Monday, Jan 3rd Connie arrived at the end of his life here on earth having become teleios.