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Complete with people coming out of the woodworks and a communal meal following the service, the final worship felt like a funeral for our church. Our pastors recited Scripture and preached briefly, and four speakers shared their own words, eulogizing the church that they've loved. What a gift to be part of the remnant that stayed to the very end. Had my family left prematurely, we would have avoided some pain, yes, but also denied ourselves rich blessings and relationships deepened through shared grief. We did what Christians have done for thousands of years when a loved one has passed on—celebrated life, treasured memories, and grieved a deep loss together as the body of Christ.

Rev. Angie Mabry-Nauta is a writer, speaker, and ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America. She is a contributor to Gifted for Leadership, and is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild. Angie is the creator of "I Love My Mom, But…" a Christian workshop that brings hope to strained mother/adult child relationships. Follow Angie at www.angiemn.com, on Twitter @RevAngieMN, and on Facebook.

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Mourning the Death of a Church