Dear friends in Christ,

My heart is heavy this morning as I share news with you of the very sudden and unexpected death of the Rev. Charlene Scriver last evening at her home in Thunder Bay. Please hold  her children Jason (Tara); Philip (Sandy); Stephen; her siblings David, Janis (Dave) Larry (Shelly)  and Eric (Lucy),  as well as her five grandchildren and extended family in your continual prayers as they grieve the death of this precious woman of God. They are a very close family and are devastated by her death. Charlene’s family do not all live in Thunder Bay but will be travelling there to be together in the coming days. Funeral arrangements are not yet in place but details will be shared as soon as we have those available.

Archdeacon Kraft was with Charlene’s family last evening to pray with them and to commend our beloved sister in Christ into the eternal arms of Jesus, her Friend and her Saviour.  This will be a difficult day for members of St. Michael and All Angels, the Parish of West Thunder Bay, the deanery clergy and her colleagues and friends around the church as they hear this news.  Charlene’s warmth, deep and abiding faith and trust in God enabled her to walk alongside those she ministered to with care and compassion – always pointing them to Jesus. The clergy will be gathering for prayer at St. Paul’s this morning and the parish wardens will be planning a gathering at St. Michael and All Angels this evening.

I will never forget the first time I met Charlene when I was struck by her level of commitment to Christ and her ability to put her whole trust in his grace and love. She was being interviewed by the Postulancy Commission for Algoma, having just begun her studies for an M.Div. at Trinity College. She told us how she had sold everything she possessed to pursue her studies and her call to ordination in the church and that she trusted God’s purpose implicitly for her life, whether that resulted in ordination or not.

In the midst of life we are in death, and in the midst of death we are reminded of life eternal. On the day of her baptism Charlene was welcomed into the Church and given new life in Christ. Today we surround her with the Church’s prayers and commend her to God’s safe keeping, praying that the promises made to her in her baptism will be fulfilled.

We are mindful, also, that this week marks the 26th anniversary of her husband Ernie’s death.  They are now reunited in God’s warm embrace.

“Father of all, we pray to you for those we love but see no longer. Grant them your peace; let light perpetual shine upon them; and in your loving wisdom and almighty power, work in them the good purpose of your perfect will, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

“Almighty God, Father of mercies and giver of comfort, deal graciously, we pray, with all who mourn; that casting all their care on you, they may know the consolation of your love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Walking with you in this time of loss and sorrow, believing in the hope of resurrection life through Jesus Christ our Lord.