Dick and Pat Crane started attending Advent Lutheran just a few months after Dick was diagnosed with caner in April of 2004. While spending time in the hospital shortly after his diagnosis, it was pastors from Advent that came to visit him. They were surprised by the visits since they were not attending Advent at that time.
The pastors chatted with Dick every time they came to the hospital, just to check in, make small talk, and see how he was doing. Pat wasn't present for those talks, but she knew they must have been impactful when Dick told her that he wanted to have his funeral at Advent.
To make that happen, Dick and Pat started attending services at Advent right around August. Even though they were very new to Advent, they were treated like lifelong members. Dick and Pat were able to attend a few services together before he passed away in December, just 8 months after his cancer diagnosis.
Two days before Dick's funeral, Pat and her family came to Advent to test out the music equipment in preparation for his service. The church was bustling with people cleaning and decorating for Christmas. Amidst the chaos of Christmas trees, lights, and ornaments, many people stopped to ask Pat how she was doing, even thought they did not know her. A man, who happened to be a retired pastor, even sat down with Pat and asked her to share her story.
On that painful day, when she was preparing to say goodbye to her husband 25 years, she felt immense kindness from Advent and its members. It was the day Pat realized that Advent was her church home. These strangers had treated her like family, and she has been with us ever since.
Pat describes the people of Advent as "welcoming and interested in who I am and what I have to say".
It's amazing that such a simple act, such as visiting someone in the hospital or asking someone how they are doing, can make a person feel like they matter and belong. That is what Advent does for people every day. From baptisms to funerals, from weddings to fundraisers, your kindness makes an impact on peoples' lives to our members and beyond. Thank you all for being such a compassionate and loving congregation to our neighbors.