The Old Fool wished that he could attend this morning’s memorial service for his cousin Marcus’s wife, Ferne Kauffman Lehman, at the Laurvers Mennonite Church in Pennsylvania. But age and distance being what it is, he decided to go instead to the memorial service of Galen Johns held this same morning at College Mennonite Church.
Galen Johns was born in Indiana. The Old Fool met Johns when the OF began to attend the College Mennonite Church, but Johns’ name was familiar to the OF through the years. In some ways their faith pilgrimages were similar. Johns was the son of a minister, and ordained two years before The OF. Like the OF, Johns served the church as pastor, bishop, Conference Executive Secretary and Conference Minister. He started his ministry as a conservative, but learned to change graciously.
The Old Fool was surprised by Johns’ musical gift. We sang from “Sing the Journey.” As he usually does, The Old Fool looked to see Randall Spaulding listed as chair of the committee that published it. Johns’ one musical request for the memorial service related to the Hallelujah Chorus. After the benediction, the congregation stood and worshipped as the Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus was sung for us.
When it was announced that friends were invited to join the family for a meal at the church to share more memories, The Old Fool decided to go and learn more. He was glad He did. Yet his mind turned often to the Lauvers Church in Juniata County, Pennsylvania. What were the songs, scriptures, and memories that comforted my cousins, friends, and family who were gathered there?