Chris Geddis: Of Loss and Love

December 15, 2016

Sunday a beloved husband, father, friend, humble servant and disciple of Jesus went to bed and, unexpectedly, entered into the rest of our Lord and Savior. Christopher Geddis passed away quietly in his sleep during the night. Many of us had just enjoyed his company at church Sunday morning and our Family Christmas Party that evening. His beloved family: wife Christine and children Kaitlin, Nathan, Meagan, and Winona, have been surrounded by family, friends and church for the last few days as they – and all of us – deal with this loss.

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For those reeling from news of Christopher’s sudden departure, Christine’s words on Christopher’s Facebook Page encapsulate it best: your shock is understood and your sorrow is shared. Christopher has been loving brother, friend, dutiful co-worker, servant-minded volunteer, and a blessing to SO many; he will be sorely missed. Our highest comfort is that Christopher’s comfort and covenant were in Christ Jesus, and while we mourn deeply, we are certain that he is welcomed, loved and experiencing unparalleled joy in the presence of our Father in heaven. Chris has awakened into a joy we hope to share, on the day we see him again in the kingdom to come.

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“…Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” – Jesus, John 14

One might suppose it would have been easy to overlook Chris; his quiet, humble service in the life of his church – and friends, family – never came with a trumpet or spotlight. Most days the whole family was a part of those loving contributions, such as the image Chris and Nathan – father and son – serving side by side in the production booth on Sunday. The Geddises comprised Refuge’s Film and Theology event crew, a tiny part of the portrait of a family that worked, served, and played together. Their loving service record predates our church by years and years, and I personally have been blessed beyond words by the Geddis family in multiple ministries and the everyday life of the Harleman family.

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Thankfully, the sheer volume of folks who have expressed their appreciation this week demonstrate that while Chris’ consistent and family-sized help may have often been behind the scenes, it did not escape notice. So many want to come alongside and be a blessing, it actually needs to be coordinated… and that’s a wonderful thing. Here are a few details:

  • A Memorial Service is being planned for the afternoon of Wednesday, December 28th and we will update with more details as they become available.
  • There are some practical ways the family are being helped presently: meals, gifts, the upcoming memorial service as well as transportation needs and more. If you’re desirous to know more about these or have questions/ideas please email Stephanie Thoen: stephthoen@gmail.com
  • We will be taking a special offering for the Geddis family at our services this Sunday the 18th: for those unable to attend or who would like to contribute online, all donations to our Deacon’s Fund from now through Christmas will go to supporting Christine, Kaitlin, Nathan, Meagan and Winona: simply select “DEACON’S FUND” from the menu on our GIVE page.

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Just as my wife and I have been blessed by this church living up to its name as a “refuge” I already see the groundswell of support here, and beyond our church borders, for the Geddis family. It’s that juxtaposition of God’s providence – in and around his people – that makes my tears in this a mingling of sorrow and joy. I look forward to the day I meet Chris again in the presence of our Father in heaven, I know that many of you share that assurance, and hope that more find that assurance through this time.

For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep…Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. – 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18

Thanks to all for your comfort, your prayers, the memories and moments of Chris you hold in your hearts, and the love you have for his wife and children.

– James Harleman

Pastor, Refuge Church
james@findrefuge.com