Roger Slideshow

Friday, May 1, 2009

Share Your Stories About Roger

Our family is so thankful for the outpouring of loving support as we continue to both mourn the loss of and celebrate the enduring legacy of Roger's life. To that end, we'd like to invite you to share any memories you have of Roger here on this blog. We hope this will be a fitting way to publicly testify to how he exemplified God's love through all of his various roles (husband, father, church elder, teacher, missionary, neighbor, etc.), as well as enable those who cannot join us for the memorial service on Monday evening to participate in this remembering process.

To post your story:
1. Click on the comments link below this paragraph
2. Type your message in the Leave Your Comment box in the right column
3. Click on the orange Publish Your Comment below the box.


Kurt said...

Roger was the very first person to welcome us to New Life Church when our young family arrived in the area back in 1989. So many other times over the years, I would go back to him just to receive again and again that genuine smile, that same sense of welcome. You could always tell that Roger was "for" you-- and in this way, he showed us the love of Jesus.
Kurt Wood

luskwater said...

Hmm, I think the Statute of Limitations has expired on this one, so I'm safe.

I was teaching fifth-grade Sunday School back in the gym in the early eighties. (This was part of the Leadership Training plan: you finish the course, and find somewhere to serve.) The girls and boys in class always sat apart from each other, and I asked, "Why do you always sit on opposite sides?"

"Who would want to sit with them?" one of the girls replied. A boy quickly responded, "Well, who would want to sit with you dogs?"

Bad idea: I was standing right behind him. Without thinking, like a real knee-jerk reflex, I slapped him on the cheek. "You will never speak that way of a girl, not here, not anywhere."

Later that day, I told my wife about the incident. She had a degree in elementary education, and was horrified. "You touched a child in class? You'd better talk to Roger about it." (Roger was then the Sunday School superintendent--I believe that was the title.)

Roger asked, "Who was the boy?" When I told him, he replied lightly, "Him? Oh, his parents will thank you for it. Don't worry!"

Over the years, Roger kept me up on that boy's status: model student at his school, "poster child for recruitment" at college. I met the young man fifteen or twenty years later, and he said it had been a turning point in his life.

A few months after he and I met again, a friend introduced me to the young man's mother at a wedding. On hearing her name, I told her what a good job she had done, for I had seen how her son had turned out. Roger had been right, though. When I explained how I knew her son, she exclaimed, "Thank you!"


An Ami in Berlin said...

There are so many special moments that it is hard to pick just one. I remember coming home from lunch out with Karen on one of our visits. David was a preschooler, and, well, let's just say he was God's gift to me to prove that I was anything but a perfect parent. Walking in from lunch, I was surprised to see David sitting on the couch, glaring at Roger. "I'm afraid I'm not too popular with him at the moment," announced Roger cheerfully. "He's had a spanking. He needed it."

When I read about Roger's homegoing, that same David took me in his arms to comfort me, and prayed, thanking God that our college visits allowed him to have special time with "Uncle Roger" last June. "Uncle Roger" is not just precious to us, but also to our kids.

Lest you believe Roger only coolly administered discipline, another story demonstrates to me the depth of Roger's love and the priority relationships were in his life. It seemed that every time Roger and Karen would save money to visit us in Berlin, some major catastrophe would take their savings. I still remember Karen's call. "We once again won't be coming, Lyn. You would not believe it, but our ceiling caved in!"

But in spite of Roger's illness, they were finally able to make the trip, Noni juice arriving before they did, Karen totally organized according to Rick Steve's travel suggestions. :) That evening, we sat together at our table after dinner. Thinking of the Berlin Wall, the German Parliament building, the site of Crystal Night, of a former concentration camp not far away, and myriad fascinating places they might be interested in seeing, I posed the usual question. "So!" I said brightly. "What would you like to do while you are here?"

Roger looked at me directly, his eyes filled with love. "I've got everything I came for--right here."

Thank you, Jesus, for Roger--
Lyn and Tim

Anonymous said...

Always a smile and a question; "how's Dave"
whenever I would see you no matter how much you were hurting.
We had some nice times of prayer on Mondays these last few years.
Thanks for always welcoming me.
I mowed the lawn on your dying day knowing you would love to be outside doing that, doing a project and rejoicing in Springtime. That was you!! Roger B.
Que Dieu tu Benisse
Avoir, Nan (and Dave) Powlison

Penny said...

Roger stories? Let me condense a few.
He never ceased to ask for our children. He prayed for each and celebrated their accomplishments and cared to know how their souls were. All three of my children will attend his memorial service, not because they are forced to come; but because they chose to honor a man who prayed and looked them in the eye and asked them how they were doing each time he was in their presence.

He prayed me through comprehensives, a dissertation, and finally the license exam. All terrified me. He celebrated them each with a party at his house with our beloved mini-church.

He kissed me me when I walked in the door, his eyes lighting when he saw me. It is rare to have another person other than your spouse really look at you and enjoy your presence. He led our mini-church meetings affirming each person for their uniqueness. He never had a critical thing to say; and rebuked us often if we wandered into mindless gossip.

I am a richer woman because of Roger. My husband is down one friend because Roger is no longer here. We grieve his presence in our midst. We knew this day would come: we chose to walk this path knowing he would leave us, but we are thrilled to have known him so intimately.

Anonymous said...

Roger, the man of prayer. Roger prayed for the congregation while he was ill. We recently, within the last few months, received a post card from him stating that he was praying for the congregation and letting them know through postcards. What a wonderful gift that was. He truly was a man of integrity, prayer and unpretentious. We are so thankful to have known him and we are also thankful that he is at home now with Jesus. No more pain, no more chemo, no more exhaustion, no more being uncomfortable. We hope he is dancing and singing with Jesus.
Much love to all the Clark family.
The Hagerty's

Rick Hadley said...

Roger, years ago when he was the Director of Christian Education at New Life, helped me a lot when I was teaching the Friendship Class.He would check in with me and the students. He was also concerned that, due to space limitations, we had to meet on a landing. He advocated for us have a classroom when New Life moved to Glenside. When New Life relocated, we did indeed have our own classroom.

I also remember sitting next to Roger during a church seminar. He mentioned a Christian brother we knew who had been psychiatrically hospitalized. He had been to visit him. He cried as he bemoaned the broken appearance of our brother. I was impressed by Roger's obvious compassion for his friend.

My wife said that Roger was "a can do person who listened well." We agreed that you don't always see those two traits together. I always had the sense that Roger, when he talked with me, genuinely cared how I was doing. He listened aggressively, empathetically and non-judgmentally. He was transparent and genuine. He would try to help, but without being preachy. I could trust him.

He was a visual expression of Christ's love for me. He was a good friend. Although I will miss seeing him in this life, I am glad that his pain is over and that we will meet again.

cprguy said...

As a young man in the church I began watching Roger early on. I watched him as he greeted visitors. I watched him put his arm around people and lovingly pray for them. I watched him look people in the eye and sincerely ask how they were doing. I am grateful for his shepherding example as an elder.

I later had the privilege of praying with Roger many a Friday morning at men's prayer. I remember like it was yesterday the morning Roger came in 6 years ago and tearfully shared the news that he was diagnosed with cancer. We all cried that morning. His honest struggle left a very large impression on me.

Jim Spaulding