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A Time of Loss

An old professor of mine once said that most of us are in grief and loss most of the time.  This is especially so for us this day.  Saturday evening, First United Methodist Church of Grapevine, the Central Texas Conference and the greater ministry of the church universal lost a great leader.  Dr. Ken Diehm joined the church triumphant.  Sunday morning Rev. Randy Wild, Mid-Cities District Superintendent and I shared with First UMC Grapevine in all 5 worship services.  The following is our statement: Episcopal/DS Statement to First UMC Grapevine February 20, 2011 Bishop Mike Lowry and Rev. Randy Wild  Dear Friends in Christ,             As your bishop along with your District Superintendent Rev. Randy Wild, we are here with you today in worship to share in the deep sense of pain and anguish at the sudden tragic illness and loss (having been taken off life support) of your beloved Senior Pastor Rev. Ken Diehm.  He was and is and always will be a great man of God.  Simple words cannot adequately convey our loss or yours.  When the Scripture speaks of “sighs too deep for words,” it only hints at the shock and grief we are together experiencing.       It is here, at the juncture of loss and faith, that the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ speaks to all of us.  Let there be no denial of the hurt present this day, but in our pain let us live as the people in a manner in which your Sr. Pastor, Rev. Ken Diehm so ably lived and taught.  Especially in times like this, the gospel word of faith, hope and love must be lifted up in the face of life’s cruel storms.       I invite us now to come into a special time of prayer before the Lord; prayer for Ken, for Kenda and the whole Diehm family, for you as a church and for all who with us this day are in pain and loss.  You may be in prayer at your seat or if you prefer the altar rail is open for a season of prayer. If you wish me or one of your pastors to pray with you at the altar rail, we will stand available.  You simply need to give us a small sign.       I recall the counsel of the Apostle Paul to the Philippians in a situation also wrought with pain and struggle. “The Lord is near. 6 … In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:5b, 6b-7).      May we be in prayer either at your seats or at the altar rail.  The service to celebrate the life of Dr. Ken Diehm will be held this Saturday, February 26, at 2:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Grapevine (http://www.firstmethodistgrapevine.org/).