Monday, March 7, 2011

Honoring a Man Who was an Important Part of My Faith and Marriage

Last night my mom called to tell Carl and I that our former Minister, Rev Reg Miller  had passed away. At first I shed a tear and reflected upon the impact he had had on my life and then my sadness turned to happiness for him. He was finally Home, and finally back with his beloved Monica.
Born in 1918 in Cadiff, Wales, he trained as a Marine Engineer and served with the Royal Navy during WWII as a Chief Petty Officer. In 1954, he immigrated to Canada with his wife, Monica and 2 sons. He attended Mount Allison University and Pine Hill Divinity Hall and was ordained in 1959.

As a student minister, Reg's first charge was in Malpeque, PEI, where he condusted his visitations on horse and wagon in the harsh island winters. The Reverend Reg Miller, served the United Church in Nappan and Springhill NS, where he frequently served as Chaplin at the Springhill Insitution, a medium security facility.

In 1963, he and his family moved to Chatham NB, where he served as minister until 1983. Until his death he filled an honored role as Minister Emeritus with our former church, St Paul's United and this is where I first met this wonderful man.
He was a short man with a huge Welsh-accented voice, a huge heart and an even larger faith in God.

I had always believed in God, but not until I took confirmation classes with Reg did I find my passion and understanding of the Lord. During our classes he told stories of how he found his faith as a young man, mixed with stories from the war. He had a deep passion for God, and for serving others. When Carl decided to join the church, he also took confirmation classes with Reg.

So when we were planning our wedding we couldnt imagine anyone else marrying us then Rev Reg. He was going to be 89 the week before our wedding and he had a tendency to forget things but we didnt care. A few weeks before our wedding we met with him at his office at the church. We discussed marriage and he offered us one piece of advice. "if you argue, never go to bed without making out" , now both of us heard him but didnt say anything till we left his office and looked at each other and said "did he tell us to make out?". We know he meant make up but but it became a wonderful joke between us that an old minister told us to "make out"  and now it sometimes it becomes a great way to end an arguement when one of us jokingly says well "lets make out now cause Reg told us too". He made our wedding day so special and I am thankful everyday that he was able to be there and perform our ceremony. He created one of the most memorable moments of the day for me. When I started down the aisle, Carl wasnt facing me, all I kept thinking was, "oh he is nervous and cant turn around, he is missing this" all of a sudden I see Rev Reg nod his head and Carl turned and looked at me, all I could hear was "WOW". Later Carl told me that Reg had told him to face him and he would tell him when to turn and face me, thank you Reg for creating that special moment for me. Another cute memory we have is that he had our names written on a piece of paper in side his Bible so he wouldnt forget our names during the ceremony.

during our wedding rehersal
I feel so blessed that he was there to marry Carl and I. We were truly lucky to have him perform the ceremony and bless our marriage.

He played Santa at the church Christmas party. He always called everyone his "Brothers and Sisters" and he loved to sing, always made us sing a hymm a second time if he thought we didnt give it enough effort, and he loved the song "Jesus Loves Me"When he gave sermons at church he would remove his watch and set in on the pulpit in front of him so he wouldnt preach too long. His sermons were always about not fearing death, how wonderful it would be to go Home and be with his beloved wife again. He taught me not to fear death, to have faith in God, and to have a passion for everything I  do.

So today with the passing of the man who taught me those things, maybe I will "make out " with my husband and sing "Yes, Jesus loves Me" with as much passion as Rev Reg did. I pray that he is happy at the foot of His Father today holding the hand of his beloved Monica and smiling down on all of us. I was so blessed to have met him, learned from him and have had him made an impact on my life. Thank you God! See you some day Rev Reg!


No comments:

Post a Comment