Mourners attend Dillard remembrance service

By Ben Robinson, Courier Staff

PICKENS — Rain Saturday dampened a candle lighting service planned at Dillard Funeral Home and Hillcrest Memorial Park, but about 50 people braved the weather for a service held in memory of loved ones lost in 2013.

Rain also forced the cancellation of a candle lighting service at Liberty Mortuary, but the event will not be rescheduled.

The crowd was comforted by a Christmas medley played on the piano by Tim Breazeale as they waited for the ceremony to start. Joe Nosko, widower of former Pickens County Red Cross Executive Director Roberta Nosko, was selected to light the remembrance candle to start the evening’s events.

Rev. Lewis Edwards welcomed the members of the audience and said he hoped the candle’s light would help reflect memories of “that person who meant so much to us.”

Guest speaker for the service was Rev. Jamie Duncan, pastor of East Pickens Baptist Church.Duncan offered words of comfort to members of the congregation who had lost someone in the past year.

“I can’t make it better for you, but the Lord can,” Duncan said.

Duncan said one of the greatest fears many deal with during the holidays is the fear of being alone. Many face the holiday season fearful because they lost someone they relied upon. But we do not have to fear being alone, he said.

“God cared enough to send Jesus,” Duncan said. “There is something about His presence. There is comfort in being together like this.

“Really, you are never alone. God is with you.”

Duncan said said people should find joy in the Christmas message.

“Jesus came to save us from our sin, death, darkness, ourselves,” Duncan said. “Jesus came to save us from death.”

Duncan compared life to a sporting event.

“If we don’t have hope in the resurrection of the dead, it’s over,” Duncan said. “Life on this earth is just practice. The game actually begins at death.”

Duncan said that that people should use prayer to help them through fears, worries, and anxiety. As we become more dependent on God, our prayer often changes, he said.

“We say something like ‘God, how are you going to help me through this?’” Duncan said.

Duncan encouraged the mourners.

“God can bring peace to you in the midst of your loss,” Duncan said. “We can’t bring back those we have lost, but we can ask God to fill that void.

“There is peace on earth, but sometimes it does not seem like much peace.”

Duncan warned the mourners that their time on earth is limited as well.

“Our lives will come to an end, unless Jesus comes again,” Duncan said. “What are you going to do about that? Trust Him as you move forward, knowing it is in his hands.”