|"Irish Blessings" performed by Ralph Boehm|
|Old Testament Lesson|
|Isaiah 40: 28-31|
|"His Eye Is On the Sparrow" performed by the Sanctuary Choir|
|New Testament Lesson|
"There are people who pass in and out of our lives who barely make a ripple,like the checkout person at the super market or the person who takes your ticket atthe airport. Then there are those who affect us profoundly, like Bob Lauffer.
"Bob was a family man. His wife, his sisters, his mother, his uncles andaunts, his family were of primary importance to him. He loved them joyfully. He loved his friends.
"Bob was a music man, Anyone who knew him, knew that he lived and breathedmusic. It was who he was. He truly was gifted with music on many levels and heshared that gift with others.
"Bob was a gentle man. A gentleman in a sense that his outlook on life wasearnestly peaceful. Someone who had a sympathetic ear, someone who cared.
"Bob was a dedicated man. He was an advocate for the hurting, an advocatefor those who needed help. He would go gleaning with our United Methodist Men. He cared passionately about causes, like "Heart Havens", a system of homes formentally retarded adults. He worked with many other organizations like the St. Luke's Clinic here in town that helps those who cannot help themselves. That was his concern - for those who could not help themselves. He was a tireless campaigner on public education issues. For he was concerned both about the quality of teaching and also the quality of life for the teachers. He was never shy about writing letters to the editors on matters that he thought were important.
"Bob was a man of faith. His relationship with God, his faith, his church,were also an integral part of him. As clear and visible as his ever present smile, hisfaith gave him inner strength, and that stood him in good stead during his years ofillness.
"Bob was also a creative man. Not only did he share his music talent butwere you aware that he built a home in the mountains. This was a geodesic dome. Not an easy thing to do to start with and he did it from a kit. I am beginning to think there was nothing that he would not tackle.
"Many of us here know the basics about Bob. Some of it is written in your bulletin.About how he was born in Pennsylvania. How he received an under-graduatedegree in music theory and a master's degree in education. How he served our country in the Air Force, where he was member of the Symphony and of the Strolling Strings. And he graced the Arlington County Schools with his love of music for 19 years.
"Everyone who is here has his own special memories of Bob. I will miss hissense of humor, that wonderful sparkle that would come into his eyes when he wouldshare a joke or had one of his wonderful one-liners that he was so good at giving. And I will miss his musical talent that he so willingly shared with the church, and with thecommunity.
"Bob's inner strength from his faith and his positive attitude were aninspiration to all who met him. He showed people how to live and in his last years, especially in his last days, he showed people how to die with dignity and with grace. He was loved by his nurses who found him to be a very patient patient. He said in his last week, that he had been enjoying gathering up love from his life in these last days. And maybe one of the most precious stories revolved around something that was told to me. It was called the "Heineken Toast". Now you can figure from that what the toast was done with and from styrofoam cups. On his last day in the hospital he gave this toast:
To the love of God"We are here today to support each other in this love, in our sadness, in ouremptiness, yet to voice our thanks for being able to know someone like Bob Lauffer.
"Bob loved his life. And he is now continuing that life directly with God.We who are left can learn from his example, and we can continue to do the tasks thatGod has for us with love and with gentle grace. Bob has laid down his tasks and he is with God. God's spirit is with us, helping us through until we, too, will someday beimmortal with Jesus ourselves. May our faith in Christ bring us comfort both now and in the days to come.
"Thanks be to God for the life of Bob Lauffer."
|"God Will Take Care of You"|
|Hymn #143, "On Eagle's Wings"|