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Service Order for Celebration Of Life for Anna Young

Celebration of Life for Anna Young

Video to play with Pictures prior to service (Cameron)

Greeting/Welcome: Pastor Chris Cooper

One of my favorite books has a quote that I would like to share with you. The author is seeking to provide comfort to us all when we contemplate death. The author says, “The little infant that is sent into this world, so strange to it, has everything provided for it by the One who sent it; those who are sent by the same One into another world shall not be worse off.

Anna discovered that this quote is true. God always watched over her and took care of her in every situation from the beginning of her life to the very end.

This past Thursday Buzz showed me a book that he had found. It is a book that is called, ‘First Five Years’. It contains some of the interesting facts about the early years of Anna which had been recorded by her mother. For example:

  • Anna Lillian was born on December 8th, 1937 @ 7:00pm in Dayton, Waupaca County, Wisconsin. (She passed away on January 24th, 2022 @ 7:00 pm. This means that she lived 84 years one month and 16 days to the very hour.)

  • When Anna was born Anna weighed 8.5 lbs.

  • She was named Anna Lillian after both of her grandparents.

  • She had dark blue eyes at her birth but they later turned dark brown.

  • At one week she weighed 8 pounds; @ three months she weighed 12.5 pounds; @ one year she weighed 21.5 pounds. And at 18 months she weighed 22 pounds.

  • She could hold her head up at 12 weeks

  • She could sit up alone at 6 months

  • She stood at 8 months

  • She took her first steps between 12/13 months

  • She climbed the first stairs at 10 months

  • She recognized her mother at feeding time and her father from the very first day.

  • First tooth at 4.5 months, 6 teeth at 8 months, 8 teeth at one year, 14 teeth at 12 months.

  • Words she could speak at 13 months: ‘kitty’, ‘bye-bye’, ‘daddy’, ‘woof woof kitty’, ‘mom-mom’, ‘tickle-tickle’.

  • Songs she could sing at 2 years old: ‘Close your dreamy eyes’, ‘Little Skipper’, ‘High-o for Santa Clause’

  • Earliest playmate: was her dad. Leona and Lila and Nelda.

  • She loved to play with other children

Few of us knew Anna when she was this young, but we all have had the privilege of knowing Anna at some point in our lives. Some were blessed to have known her for very long periods of time. It was my privilege to have known Anna for a relatively short period of time. I have known both Buzz and Anna since 2015.

Shortly after they began to attend Community Church they wanted to become members. Both Anna and Buzz were baptized on March 13th, 2016. They became official members of Community Church on April 3rd, 2016 when they were presented to the church body and we celebrated Communion together.

Since that time our church has received more blessings by getting to know Buzz and Anna than we could possibly have imagined. I speak for all of us when I say, ‘We give thanks to God for our time with Buzz and Anna’. I am certain that whether you are a family member of Anna’s or a friend of hers, that all of our lives have been immeasurably enriched by having known Anna Lillian Young.

Having known Anna at the end of her life I can say that some things never changed from when she was described by her mother as a very small child.

  • She always had beautiful brown eyes.

  • She always held her head up high with a smile and lifted our heads too while she was at it.

  • She liked to sit up to the very end and hated it when she was not taken out of bed to eat breakfast.

  • She worked hard over the last years to regain her strength and keep walking down the halls of Eden Brook so that she could come home to Buzz.

  • She loved to sing right up to the end. The last time I saw her she sang a hymn with great strength and fullness of sound. She introduced me to the song, ‘Learning to Trust in Jesus’.

  • She loved to hang out with friends and family. She especially loved to be with Buzz. They enjoyed doing everything together.

  • Buzz and Anna enjoyed a 68 year play-date that got better over time. Their relationship began when Buzz was sitting behind her in school and he would poke her head. And at the very end of Anna’s life Buzz would comb her hair and help her with anything he could.

  • Anna was named after her grandmother’s and in life she was known by another name, Anna Lillian Young, a Christian, a follower of Christ.

  • Finally, her grand-kids, great-grandchildren, and so many of our young kids around here can testify that she always loved to play with the children.

I began with this quote, “The little infant that is sent into this world, so strange to it, has everything provided for it by the One who sent it; those who are sent by the same One into another world shall not be worse off.

In bestowing so much divine grace upon Anna the world was truly blessed through her from beginning to end. I have met so few people in my life that reflected the character of God the way that Buzz and Anna have. It has been said that true holiness and godliness is evident because it is dispersed throughout the entire soul of a person and not just a part of them. We have all witnessed in Anna this sort of profound grace. We have all witnessed this sort of diffused holiness in Anna.

Let me finish by looking Buzz in the eyes this morning and simply encouraging you that I have seen all of these same qualities of faith, godliness, holiness in you as well. Each of you displayed these things as individuals and they only became more pronounced in your union together.

I know that the coming days will be quite the adjustment for you and your family. It has often encouraged me to see that the same grace that was so evident in Anna as she approached death is the same grace that I see God now giving to you at this time. May the grace, peace, and love of God sustain you and your family in the days ahead.

Opening Prayer: Klaven

Obituary: Chris Cooper

Anna L. Young, age 84, of Stevens Point, WI, formerly of Almond, WI, went home to Jesus on Monday, January 24, 2022. She was born December 8, 1937 in the Town of Dayton, Waupaca Co., WI; daughter of Frank L. and Zada (Lewis) Wiora. On April 25, 1953, Anna married Morris A. Young in King, WI and together through the years they raised three wonderful children. She enjoyed walking, hiking, painting, baking, and watching the Packers. Anna was a member of the Homemakers of Almond and the Waupaca Bells singing group. She was the church secretary for many years for the Almond United Methodist Church. Anna will be dearly missed by all of her loving family and friends. Anna is survived by her loving husband of 68 years Morris Young of Stevens Point; her three children Andy Young of Warrens, Roxana (Christopher) Crye of La Crosse, and Roger Young of Almond; grandchildren Matthew (Jenny) Crye of Chicago, IL, Aaron (Lindsay) Crye of Richfield, Minneapolis, David (Jana) Crye of Raleigh, NC, and Kimberly (Jon) Hoffmann of Milwaukee; great-grandchildren Asa & Kairo Crye of Chicago, IL, Ella Crye of Richfield, IL, Leona & Arlo Crye of Raleigh, NC, and Lily & Zander Hoffman of Milwaukee; and also by several nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents Frank and Zada Wiora and her four sisters June Baker, Alta Guyant, Lila Larson, and Leona Larson. A Memorial Service for Anna will be on Saturday, February 5, 2022 at 1:00 PM at the Community Church, 3516 Stanley Street, Stevens Point, WI 54481. Pastor Chris Cooper will officiate. Burial will take place at a later date at East German Methodist Cemetery in the Town of Almond, WI. The Hardell-Holly Funeral Home of Almond is assisting the family with arrangements.

Music: Amazing Grace

Scripture: Psalm 121 Chris Crye

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

Video with pictures: Cameron

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18and Homily

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

A long time ago, Anna wrote down all of the information that would direct us concerning the type of service she wanted to have here today. For example, she made it clear that she wanted 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18to be the text from which this homily would be given. It is a fitting text for this occasion for many reasons and I would like to share just a few of those reasons with you today.

First, one of the things that immediately caught my attention was that the apostle Paul begins this paragraph concerning eternal life and the resurrection with a conjunction. He begins with a word that is meant to link this passage with something that has come before. This particular conjunction can be translated with many different words in English like: but, and, now, then, yet, so, nevertheless.

The most literal translations of this text all translate this text with the conjunction ‘But we do not want you to be uninformed...’. Surprisingly, however, there are some translations that remove the conjunction from the translation and simply begin with the words, ‘Brothers, we don’t want you to be uninformed…’ or ‘Now we do not want you to be uninformed...’. I think that when this conjunction is removed as if it is unnecessary is a profound mistake. The conjunction is there in the Greek and it is a very important part of this text and the message that the apostle Paul is trying to convey.

The conjunction ties this text to something that has been said before. This conjunction can connect us to either...

  • the words that immediately proceed this text

  • or it can connect us to everything that the apostle Paul has said from the very beginning of this letter.

I think that the latter option is exactly what the apostle Paul is trying to do with this conjunction.

It is common for us to not think much about the day of our death until we go to a funeral or until we face a moment that reminds us of our mortality. Each of us is really good about being able to compartmentalize the life that we are living from the day of our death; but the Scriptures don’t allow us to do this.

Paul is reminding all of us in our text today…

  • That to live by faith is to also die in faith.

  • That to apply the gospel to our lives is also to apply it to the day of our death.

  • That to trust in God throughout all of life, is to entrust ourselves to God when the struggle ends in death and we breath our last breath and depart from this body.

  • To find true peace in this life means that we will have peace in death and even in the judgment to follow (Hebrews 9:27).

  • To give up things in this world for Christ, means that we believe that we will receive better things in the life to come.

If you go back and read the letter of 1 Thessalonians you will find that Paul did not compartmentalize this present life, death, the resurrection, and the final judgment to come. He taught that a believer should embrace all of these realities and they should inform our faith in every aspect of our lives.

Consider what Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 1: 9-10, ‘For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.’

The life that we are experiencing now as believers in Christ Jesus is inseparably connected with the day of our death and the resurrection that will one day happen. Jesus illustrates this for us when He says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”(John 11:25-26)

Today, let each of us who are considering this text determine to always live our lives with an appreciation for this conjunction. Let us determine to live as dying men who have a living hope in Jesus Christ who rescues us from our sins and gives us eternal life.

Next let’s consider the words, “that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope”.

On January 24th at 8:00 pm I received a call from Buzz. He informed me that Anna had passed away about an hour earlier. I asked Buzz if I could come over and he gave me permission to do that. In these moments I never quite know what to expect when I arrive to be with people in a moment of such loss. Yet, I will tell you that when I arrived I walked into a room that was full of people who had hope. There was sadness and a sense of loss, that is normal, but there was also the reality that Anna was now seeing and experiencing the realities of what she had professed faith in so consistently in life. Jesus had been faithful to Anna in life and He was faithful to her in the day of her death and departing.

The greatest gift, the greatest inheritance, that you will ever leave your loved ones is to have displayed your faith in Christ in a consistent and sincere manner. Anna lived each day with her hope set upon the LORD; therefore, now in her death we have no doubt, no fear, no sense of hopelessness concerning where she is at. We don’t have to guess if she had a living and active faith or pretend that she may have trusted in Christ. She lived out her faith through her words and her actions; both in the good times and in the bad times. As a result of these things we did not grieve with great sorrow and anguish at the news of Anna’s death as if we had no hope.

There are so many funerals in which there is real grief and real sorrow because the one who has died did not know the LORD. The apostle Paul spoke of this sort of grief when he considered most of his unbelieving countrymen who were rejecting the Gospel and Jesus Christ. He spoke of this in Romans 9:1-3 when he says, “I am speaking the truth in Christ – I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit – that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.

There is no doubt that before Anna’s death she would have said this same thing concerning some of you. She would have given up her fellowship with Christ for some of you to profit from it. Even now, while she is in the presence of Christ and experiencing the rapturous and unspeakable joys of heaven, she may well be pleading before God for some of your souls. If the rich man in Luke 16:19-31 pleaded for the souls of his brothers while in hell, is it not the case that Anna is right now in heaven reminding the LORD about how much she has prayed for us while she was here. If there are any here who have not humbled themselves before the LORD and found true life, this should be the day that you turn to Him and find salvation.

Finally, let me simply point out that there are four evangelists in our text today who are seeking to encourage our hearts in moments such as these. There are four preachers with one message that we are to believe and find comfort in today. First, the apostle Paul, and all of those who were eyewitnesses of Christ’s life, suffering and resurrection want to encourage you about these things. Verse 15 begins with these words, “For this we declare…”.

In the scriptures we have the eyewitness testimony of the men who saw Jesus. They heard all of Jesus’ sermons: the ones that drew the crowds, and the ones that scattered the multitudes. They remained with Him throughout His ministry and testified, ‘Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.’ These men all spoke the same message and all of them demonstrated their faith in the resurrection from the dead by laying down their lives for the gospel.

Second, we see that the LORD Himself is testifying to these truths. We read in verse 15, ‘For we declare to you by a word from the LORD…’.

It was the LORD Jesus who spoke to the apostles about life, death, and the resurrection of the body. If we are encouraged by receiving a word from the apostles then we are to really comforted to hear this word that is from the LORD Himself.

Jesus is the only one who can testify of these things because He conquered death, defeated the devil, and freed all who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery (Hebrews 2:14-15). Jesus is now in heaven surrounded by angels and saints who are declaring, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.’ (Rev. 5:9-10)

They also say, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’ (5:12)

They also cry out, ‘To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!

Third, we see in our text that we are also to encourage one another concerning these things. In verse 18 we read, “Therefore encourage one another with these words.” We are all to be ministers of comfort with this message. Believers are to encourage others about these things regarding eternal life.

Anna Young lived a life that was not separated into different compartments. For her, to live as a believer meant to think of eternity and to rest in the hope of passages like 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. I know this is true because she picked this passage to encourage you and I long before her death. She made the decision a long time ago to encourage us with these things. And we also saw her over the last several years encourage herself in these things as her health began to fail at times.

Fourth, consider the fourth evangelist that we are to listen to is the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who works through the message of the Gospel which is spoken through so many means that makes it powerful and effective upon our hearts.

  • Today, as we remember Anna, she is a testimony to the grace of God and the Holy Spirit will use her life and faith to encourage us in the LORD.

  • Today, we turned to scripture to hear the apostles message concerning these things and it is the Holy Spirit will make His words powerful and persuasive upon each of our consciences.

  • Today, we have considered the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and it is the Holy Spirit who will bring conviction and conversion upon the hearers of the Good News regarding Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Consider what Paul says of the Thessalonians as he began this letter, ‘For we know, brothers, loved by God, that He (God) has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and the Holy Spirit with full conviction.

Again, in 1 Thessalonians 2:13 these words, ‘And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which at work in you believers.

Let us end this afternoon by repeating the words of Jesus and then considering the question that Jesus asks, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

My friends, do you believe that there is salvation in Christ?

Do you believe that your a sinner and that God has sent His Son to die for the sins of the world?

Do you have hope in life?

Do you have real hope in the day of your death?

Today we remember the hope that Anna enjoyed. And we honor her by responding to the hope that she wanted us to share with her in Christ.

Music: The Lord’s Prayer

Poem: Kim Hoffman

Should you go first and I remain

To walk the road alone,

I’ll live in memory’s garden, dear,

With happy days we’ve known.

In Spring I’ll watch for roses red,

When fades the lilac blue,

In early Fall when brown leaves call

I’ll catch a glimpse of you.

Should you go first and I remain

For battles to be fought,

Each thing you’ve touched along the way

Will be a hallowed spot.

I’ll hear your voice, I’ll see your smile,

Though blindly I may grope,

The memory of your helping hand

Will bouy me on with hope.

Should you go first and I remain

To finish with the scroll,

No length’ning shadows shall creep in

To make this life seem droll.

We’ve known so much of happiness,

We’ve had our cup of joy,

And memory is one gift of God

That death cannot destroy.

Should you go first and I remain,

One thing I’d love to do;

Walk slowly down that long, lone path,

For soon I’ll follow you.

I’ll want to know each step you take

That I may walk the same,

For some day down the lonely road

You’ll hear me call your name.

(Albert K. Rowswell)

Scripture: Klaven

Isaiah 25:6-9

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. 7 And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. 9 It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

Closing Prayer: Chris Cooper

Almighty God, we praise you for the great company of saints who have finished their lives in faith and now rest from their labors. We remember especially our loved one, Anna Young, whom you have redeemed by the blood of your Son and received as your dear child. We thank you for given her to us as a companion on our earthly pilgrimage. In your compassion, comfort all who are sad in this hour.

We praise you for your love in Christ, which sustains us in life and death. In our earthly sorrows, help us find strength in the fellowship of the church, joy in the forgiveness of sins, and hope in the resurrection to eternal life.

You do not leave us comfortless but strengthen and care for us through your Word and the work of the Holy Spirit who is our great counselor. You give us family, friends, and neighbors to help when there is loneliness now and in the days to come. Brighten our future with a firm trust in your promises and care.

In the name of our precious Savior and LORD Jesus Christ, Amen.

Invitation to the meal and fellowship: Chris Cooper


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