Family Death:  Aunt Darlene

We received news on Sunday that Scott’s great-aunt Darlene died.  She was a vivacious woman.  Even at 98 years old she enlivened a room when she entered.

Here is the obituary, published in the Quincy Herald Whig January 2-4:

GOLDEN, Ill. — Darlene P. “Mema” Myers, 98, of Golden, died at 11:50 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, at Golden Good Shepherd Home in Golden. She was born Jan. 8, 1918, in Bowen, to Clarence Edmund and Bessie Enid Powell Phillips. She married Evans W. Myers on June 29, 1946, in Galesburg. He preceded her in death on March 3, 1997. Darlene was a homemaker and also had worked as a telephone operator in the old switchboard days in Bowen and later worked for the Crossland Locker in Bowen. She also was the special baby-sitter for the Rick Ramsey family. She was a 1935 graduate of Bowen High School and a charter member of the Bowen United Methodist Church, now the Living Faith United Methodist Church in Bowen. Mema enjoyed sewing quilts, reading, gardening, doing find-a-word puzzles, baking and cooking, with homemade noodles being her specialty. She loved watching harness racing at the summer fairs.

The Phillips Sisters at a family gathering in 1956.

She is survived by a daughter, Maureen Leenerts of Linn Creek, Mo.; two grandchildren, Jeffrey (Madchen) Leenerts of Tulsa, Okla., and Wendy Leenerts of Arthur; a great-granddaughter, Emma Leenerts; a brother, Lee Phillips of Coatsburg; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her son-in-law, Roger Leenerts; three brothers, Donald, George and Lawrence Phillips; and three sisters, Marjorie Warner, Alice Barnes and Doris Hemphill.

SERVICES: 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 6, at Living Faith United Methodist Church in Bowen with the Rev. Dr. David Bigley conducting. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Augusta.

VISITATION: 9:30 a.m. until the time of services Friday at the church.

MEMORIALS: Living Faith United Methodist Church or Golden Good Shepherd Home.

ARRANGEMENTS: Hamilton Funeral Home in Augusta. Condolences may be expressed online at

Resurrection & New Life: Power of Death & Resurrection

image found at:

Left, Tou Yang

Today I invite to my blog Tou Yang who will be my guest blogger.  He will take a few minutes to give you some background on the Roman world and what Resurrection means to him.  Tou is a student at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and an intern at Christway United Methodist Youth Ministries.

The Power of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection In Everyday Life

The Roman Empire used violence as a way to control large populations throughout their conquered lands. One example of this violence was through crucifixion on a cross such as endured by Jesus. Crucifixion was not only seen as a consequence for not conforming to Roman law but it was also a form of humiliation to the individual and the individual’s family. This act was meant to oppress the very spirit of the people and to dehumanize the non-Roman citizens. This made Jesus’ crucifixion not only physically painful but also psychologically painful to the local population and Jesus’ family.  

Jesus’ resurrection was proved God’s victory over death but just as important it gave hope to the followers of Jesus that victory was possible in the face of Roman oppression. “Carrying the cross” was no longer something to be feared but instead became an empowering image and a sign of hope over the punishment of death. Even though Jesus’ movement was broken with the death of its leader it was made whole again both physically and spiritually by the news of Jesus’ resurrection from the grave. The fact that Jesus’ death did not mean the end of his believers or the end of Jesus’ ministry gave inspiration to future apostles such as Paul to share Jesus’ message with full confidence.

Jesus’ victory over the cross and oppression is still a powerful and relevant message for today. Everyday hundreds of millions people all around the world face oppressive social and political systems meant to destroy the will and beliefs of the individual. Through Jesus’ example there is hope for redemption and restoration even in the worst conditions. Not that suffering should be a part of life nor that oppression is needed to understand the resurrection of Jesus but that suffering and oppression is not the end of life. That even when we face the brokenness of everyday life no matter big or small we can be reassured of God’s ever restoring power and victory over oppression. The power of Christ’s death and resurrection is not only connected to an event that happened 2000 years ago or a future apocalyptic event but can be understood and relevant everyday of our lives.  That is the true power of Easter. That is the true power of the love of God.