Sunday was a good day. We gathered outside at our little Church of God at Baden to celebrate the life of our beloved Pastor Don. The day was a blessing.
Tears were shed, laughs were had and love was shared. He would have loved that. He would have loved that the focus of his memorial was to minister to the neighborhood. We gave away clothing, food and other household goods. People learned about the ministries of the church and how they can get involved. There was a bouncy room for the kids (they loved that)! Chris Shepherd band,Mercy’s Child and Matt/Josh performed music on the stage outside. It was a fantastic time.
Truly this is a transitional time for our little church. But it is very clear that God is moving among us. He is actively bringing healing to the people of this community. You can see it and you can feel it. But healing will never mean forgetting. It just means that we will be able to live with the hole Don left in our hearts a little better as God soothes and comforts us. I believe that comfort will come even more as we move forward in the callings that He has given to us. Don was many things, but the top of the list was that he was a servant of God. I believe that God wants to develop those little pieces of Don that are planted in all of our hearts. The truth is that those aren’t really pieces of Don… They are pieces of Jesus. And Jesus wants us to live in the fullness of His love, just like Don learned to.
I wanted to point out a few things that blessed me yesterday.
The first thing is the strength and inspiration that is Deb Sharp. We all, and I do mean ALL, look to her. She is half of the amazing team that has shepherded this church and neighborhood. She’s one of the strongest women I have ever known. I admire her so much. I stood back at times Sunday just to watch her do her thing. She is such a giving person. She is truly always willing to assist those in need. On this day of celebration of the life of her husband, she spent most of her time ministering to the big group of children. It cannot be understated what an important influence Deb has been to countless children in our North Side neighborhood. These children get to be taught about Jesus while having a good, safe time. It’s why the Baden Christian Child Care Center is such a key ministry of the Church of God at Baden.
The hard work… So many people worked so hard to make Sunday the amazing success that it was. Caleb Sharp busted his tail to make sure that the stage was set up, sound was good, and tents were ready. Oh and rumor has it that he paid off the ice cream man so that people could get ‘free’ ice cream. Speaking of the stage, a big thanks to Have Bible Will Travel for use of their mobile stage and to Eric Galloway for the use of his parking lot next door. Those were absolutely HUGE benefits for us. The list of hard workers would be so long and I would no doubt forget to name many people. But the joy of this church is that EVERYONE was involved in some capacity. Every direction I looked, someone was busy doing something to make that day special. I’m very proud of the community that we are becoming.
Jan Quinn… We were so blessed to have Jan Quinn present a Proclamation from the Mayor and the City of St. Louis Sunday. Pastor Don loved Jan and she works with us in many ministries to the poor and to senior citizens in our area. We are currently working with her on some new ministry opportunities as well. Oh yeah, about that Proclamation… That Proclamation declared April 6th as “Pastor Carvin Donald Sharp Memorial Day”. We were super excited about that even though he wouldn’t want the recognition!
I could gush on and on about how many people came out or all the stuff that happened, but I needed to get in to work this morning! If you are interested in checking out pictures from the day, I have uploaded them to the Church Flickr page. Thanks to Jamie Brown and Jim Buchanan for snapping most of these shots. I think they captured the moments perfectly! Finally, if you are on Facebook, please Like the Church of God at Baden and join the Don Sharp Memorial Group where friends, family and you can share memories, pictures and other things.