“Freed from the Fear of Death”
John 11:17-27 Romans 6:8-9 2 Corinthians 1:9 Hebrews 2:14-15
Rev. Paul E. Capetz
Christ Church by the Sea (United Methodist),
Newport Beach July 28, 2019
As some of you know, I was raised in Glendora, a small town in the San Gabriel valley. There I attended the United Methodist Church from the time I was in pre-school until I left for college. I had a very good experience growing up in that little church. It profoundly shaped the person I became. I know others who say the same thing. That is testimony to the fact that a little church can make a huge difference in the lives of its members. I made many good friends at that church and I am still in close contact with a number of them.
When I was fifteen, two boys in our church were killed in a car accident. They were also fifteen years old. Their names were Van and John. Those of us who were in the Methodist Youth Fellowship with them served as the pall bearers at their funeral. I helped carry the casket of my friend Van to the grave. I had known Van much longer than I had known John. Van and I had been in Sunday School together at the Methodist church while in elementary school. We had been on the track team together in junior high school. I admired Van and looked up to him. He seemed fearless and confident in ways I wasn’t. Van’s parents are still active members of the Methodist church in Glendora. Even though it was forty-seven years ago, every August on the anniversary of Van’s death I send a note to his parents to let them know that I haven’t forgotten their son. They are deeply appreciative of this.