The Pastor's Buzz

Pastor Buzz Trexler's blog for God's people in The Meadow.

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Name: Buzz Trexler
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Journalist for 29 years; married to Donna for 28 years; parent of David, 27, and Elizabeth, 24; pastor of Green Meadow United Methodist Church in Alcoa since 2002.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Emerson Watson knew meaning of "community" ...

I returned from vacation on Sunday evening to learn of Emerson Watson's death.

Emerson was a member of Green Meadow, but I really didn't get to know him well. I don't recall seeing him at corporate worship on Sunday mornings, but there was a good reason for that: Emerson was still carrying on "community" with those who had left The Meadow for other houses of worship. Emerson told me that he would visit those churches and fellowship with the former members. I also discovered that he was transporting a friend to worship on Sunday morning.

Emerson Watson knew what it meant to be in community.

What few chats we had took place at past Men's Breakfasts and a monthly lunch gathering of former and current Green Meadow members. I found Emerson to be warm, inviting and filled with grace.

Incidentally, when I first learned of those monthly lunch gatherings I decided to show up uninvited and was greeted warmly and invited again, and again ... and again. The sense of community among those connected to The Meadow is evident -- and for that, I thank God.

It's that same sense of community -- and the desire to be missional -- that gives me great hope for our small fellowship, for the same Spirit that infused Emerson flourishes in The Meadow. The willingness to be relational with each other and invest our lives in those outside the walls of our church will go far in meeting the mission of sharing God's love. As I've shared before, there are churches struggling to achieve that which seems to come naturally in our community.

Tonight, I went to the funeral home to meet the family and share my thoughts with them about Emerson. The community was there, too, and despite my needing to move on to another appointment I found myself caught up with handshakes, sharing, and warm words.

And so, I'm reminded of the mystery, awe, and wonder concerning the "other side." We're told that to be absent from the body is to be in the presence of the Lord. Still, perhaps there is a part of our Spirit that remains in community even as we commune with God. As the song says, "we are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord."

Thanks, Emerson, for being part of The Meadow's community and allowing me to have a brief touch with your Spirit.

Grace and peace ...