From Lament to Story: Memorializing

Happy 10th Sunday after Pentecost! 

In a pair of tombstones reads a tragic story in the history of my family.  August 1850 was a terrible time for the panhandle of the newly-created state of Florida, and yellow fever took the lives of 30-year-old Elizabeth Matilda Baker, her newborn daughter of the same name, and her two-year-old son Simmons Jones Baker, Jr.  Their memorials still stand in the graveyard of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, a testament to a father and husband’s grieving heart and his belief that he would meet them again one day in heaven.  This was the third wife he had lost in his rather long life, and it would mark the end of what was a promising start to a new family.  He had only had one child prior, a son, born in 1799 when he was 24. 

And still, 171 years later, a relative of his can look down and see the history of that terrible month and feel a bit of sorrow for all that Dr. Simmons Jones Baker, my 4th great-grandfather, had to endure during that long, hot summer.  Also, with all that we’ve been through recently, I do feel more of a connection to him.  And that’s what memorializing really does; it keeps a connection alive.  We turn the grief into a memorial, keeping our connection to the person or the thing we have lost.  As we read from Lamentations 5:1-3, and 15-22, we’ll see how memorializing might be the best thing we can do as we rebuild our identity in light of our loss.  Instead of trying to get to this step too quickly, as we are often want to do, we need to approach it with the grief and lament still in our hearts and see the throne of God as a place we can lay down our old self and get help creating the new self.  Is it easy? No, it’s like walking to church every day and being reminded of the wife and two children you recently lost.  But memorializing helps us see our connection to our grief, not an absence from it.  What in the world am I talking about?  Well, you’ll find out on Sunday! 


Sunday’s Livestream Service—We recommend logging into your Facebook account a few minutes before 10:30 am so you can troubleshoot any issues you might have. You can find a direct link to our Facebook page at You can chat once the Livestream service has started. If you don’t have a Facebook account you can also access the Livestream at without the chat feature. A pop-up will ask you to log in and in small letters at the bottom you can click “Not Now” and still be able to watch the service. We will also post the Livestream service to YouTube after the service is over. 

Sunday’s In-Person Service –Our in-person indoor worship is currently in the Sanctuary, starting at 10:30am.  Please go to our website to get the latest COVID-19 Update. There will be space for those who still wish to social distance, and masks are still welcome, but not required, for worship. 


Our regular Children’s ministries include the nursery, SPKidz, and iClub.  They are currently meeting at 10:15 am in the Fellowship Hall.  

 The next Praise New Generation practice is in August! Our Youth will be taking a break for the next two weeks and will relaunch on Sunday, August 15th. Our regular Youth schedule is: Praise New Generation meeting from 4:00 pm-5:00 pm every Sunday and SPYouth meeting from 5:00 pm-6:30 pm every Sunday. You can always check the calendar at for updated info. 

We so appreciate you keeping connected with us. You may contact the church office by email at or by phone at 352-694-2161 if you have any questions or need any help. We will get back to you as soon as possible.