By This, All People Will Know

Earlier this week, I was honoured to lead Phil Cooper's Celebration Service at church. It was a wonderful afternoon spent celebrating and remembering a man who loved Jesus, his family and everyone that he came into contact with. Our church was packed full of so many of Phil's family members, his friends, work colleagues, and neighbours... they were all there to give Phil the send-off that he deserved.

I am always blown away by the love and generosity that exists within our church community, and never more so than when a church member leaves this life for the next. I was humbled to see the many ways that our church family practically loved and blessed everyone on Monday.

There was an abundance of delicious and well-presented treats in the Café that had been lovingly provided by church members! There were countless people serving and doing whatever they could to bless and support those attending on the day! There were people on the doors, who warmly welcomed attendees and helped them to find a spare seat through the sea of people! Jesus' love, generosity, and genuine care were being displayed by the members of our church community, and it was so beautiful and encouraging to see.

And do you know what? Other people noticed. Other people noticed and commented on the love and care that exists within our church community. And one couple were so impacted by their personal experience of this on Monday, that they took the time to write us an email to tell us about their experience when they got home that night. Here's their email in full:

"To the wonderful community at Liberty Family Church,

Please accept our heartfelt thanks for opening up your church in celebration of Phil Cooper's life today.

The service was a beautiful send off for Phil, and Pastor Joel spoke so eloquently.

It was so heartwarming to see so many people attend. Phil would have been so humbled...

To all of the Liberty community who made us feel so welcome, and provided beautiful food and drinks - thank you so much. You have all gone above and beyond to support Trixie and her family as they navigate life without Phil.

We are so thankful that Phil has gone to a better place, and that Trixie has her strong faith to sustain her until she meets her beautiful Phil again.

Thank you for such a beautiful service..."

Wow. What a beautiful email to receive! What an encouragement for us as a church community! On Monday people came, they saw, they experienced, and were touched by the genuine love that exists within our church community... by the love we have for each other. As Jesus said in John 13:35 (ESV):

"35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

I hope this encourages you as much as it encouraged me, friends. Let's keep on loving God, loving others, loving one another and showing others that we are His disciples!


Ps Joel Hawting