It is with a heavy, shocked, and broken heart that bring you the news that Ida Ford, our church custodian, was shot and killed last night outside her home. We know of very few details at this time. We in the office are heartbroken.
Ida joined our staff a little over three years ago and it did not take long for her to endear herself to her co-workers. She had a big, expansive personality that had an orbit all of its own. You couldn’t help but be pulled in. She exuded a warmth and generosity of spirit that was such a big part of our staff family, and was noticed by many of you. She knew just about every one of our “regulars” by name. She cared about you, your families, and the ministries of this church. Ida was more than simply a custodian, she truly was a part of our church.
She also excelled in her job in tending to our building. She kept fastidious care over the cleanliness of the church, and took great pride in shining this old place up as much as she could. The primary areas under her charge were the youth and children’s wing (she nearly had a heart attack a few weeks back when she saw all the glitter on the floor from Parent’s Night Out!), nursery, and adult Sunday school classes. Ida will be greatly missed for the care she extended to our church, both the building and its members.
Ida’s family came up to the church this morning to gather, cry, vent, and pray. They said they knew no other place to go, and wanted us to know how much this church meant to Ida and to them. We were grateful to have an opportunity to tell them how much she meant to us and our congregation.
I have offered our church and ministers to assist in funeral arrangements in any way we can, and will keep you posted as to what they decide. We will also be in touch about other ways to support them in this time, including addresses to send cards, flowers, or other offers of condolences. In the meantime, hold Ida and her family in her prayers. She was, in many ways, the rock of the family upon whom many others depended, which makes her loss all the more tragic.
The Gospel of John tells us the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it. We have just celebrated a season in which we meditate upon this promise, and we now find ourselves grappling with its depths. And yet the promise remains. It was this promise that we lifted up with Ida’s family this morning. And it is this promise I lift up to you, that it would continue to sustain us in the days ahead, and beyond.
In the light,