Hi Everyone,

If the frequency of my messages are any indicator of the busyness of CFCS, you can see that I am down to getting one message out per week. While we still work in confinement, June marks the beginning of new phases and stages around the country. I promise to keep up the communication, but we are going to shift to some more creative ways we can frequently connect everyone in the future.

Last week I spoke about all of us embracing “normal”; not what was normal in the past but this new approach to living with the coronavirus. Remember how crazy the world seemed before the pandemic? Well who would have thought that we would drop all news coverage of the coronavirus and focus on the protests and the injustice of the death of George Floyd. I can’t send a message to you today without recognizing the gravity of the situation. There is real anger and frustration in this country over the fact that too many people are dying at the hands of law enforcement. We love our public servants and our first responders, but George Floyd’s death struck an emotional chord. While violence and looting are not solutions, I think we know that there is a tremendous amount of healing that needs to take place in the hearts of so many Americans. I pray every day that the stirring for action in peoples’ souls will lead to true justice and healing. It will take a lot of prayer, time, and patience.

Confusion and Blessings Abound

I mention “confusion and blessings abound” because we are living in a world of contradictions right now. The pandemic has shut us in and yet protesters have broken way too many rules. We  have been living with confusion and indecision for quite some time, yet there are blessings all around us. From increased family time and proving that we can survive a pandemic, we are seeing what new innovations can be put in place to communicate better, conserve resources, and care for one another. Very quickly we all learned what was most important to us in our lives and we learned to appreciate some of the simplest things. A walk out in the neighborhood became something to be treasured, not taken for granted. Attending a funeral now is a privilege and something to be cherished. It is also a time of healing, a blessing needed desperately.

I wanted to speak about re-focusing some of our discussion to reflect on CFCS’ core values. I realized this week that we tempered many of the messages that allowed us to share our hearts with families, because the pandemic caused us to pullback. It was hard to tell you to “Make It Happen”, when that behavior might lead us to takes risks that weren’t healthy or safe. Even “Sharing the Journey” would be asking you to share in the pain of telling a family “no you can’t do this”. Knowing that families were suffering so greatly was asking you take on that pain in a way that subjected you to feelings of inadequacy and helplessness. What never disappeared was the great compassion of “Serving with Care” which we did even when the answer to a family was “no” or “we can’t do that right now”. Thank you for being present to each family that you served!

A heart grounded in the Gospel will experience great suffering and greater love. I say this because everyone who allows God to lead them on this journey with families will feel the highs and lows that those families experience. When I say this, I also extend this to the tragedy of the coronavirus and the death of George Floyd. Our CFCS staff is so empathetic that events outside of the funeral home and the cemetery touch on the same emotions that you learn to handle when you serve a family.

The impact of these past few months and especially this last week remind us that it is time to embark back on Sharing the Journey. Each of you has a special role to serve in a families’ faith journey in saying goodbye to a loved one. With proper grounding and safety protocol in place, I am seeing the Make It Happen energy from our leadership team and in our staff. There are too many moments right now that families need us to help make sense out of the world. Your initiative to problem solve and make a family feel loved will be what they remember. I sense that many of you have been waiting to let loose a little, for some sign that it is okay to figure out solutions to the challenges that confront us in this new world. That time has come as we engage in this new normal.

With blessings and gratitude,