Here is an email message circulated November 28, 2007 to the North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) Staff from NPUC President Jere Patzer–
This evening we received word that Marcia Stanton, administrative assistant for the Trust Department, passed away at 7:37 p.m. She was with us in worship Monday (which was her birthday) and then as a severe headache developed was rushed to the hospital where several hours of unsuccessful surgery were performed in an attempt to stop a hemorrhage in her brain. Marcia is known and loved for her sweet spirit and dedicated service to the Lord and His Church. To say she will be missed is a great understatement. Additional information regarding a memorial service will be shared as it becomes available.
As I reflected on this latest tragedy I realized anew that we are living in the “land of the enemy”. We are indeed in a Great Cosmic Conflict. As I told Bryce, we here at the NPUC seem to be particularly vulnerable almost as though the devil has painted a target around our office. During the last months we have been significantly impacted by:
- The sudden and unexpected death four weeks ago of Dee Rivera’s (administrative assistant, GC Auditing) husband, John, which left her and little Abby without a husband and daddy.
- Annette Koelsch‘s (administrative assistant, Ministerial Department) husband, Emmett, had a severe stroke forcing her to resign her job to care for him.
- Bonnie Rhoades (administrative assistant, Association Treasury) husband, Boyd, suffered a stroke-like event (TIA) and is currently still being tested.
- Silvia Dovald (administrative assistant, Hispanic Ministries) is currently on medical leave.
- Norman Klam (treasurer) diagnosed with prostate cancer and treated at LLU, then suffered a severe stroke and is currently in treatment and on medical leave.
- Jere Patzer (president) diagnosed with Mantel cell lymphoma is currently in remission/cured.
- Sylvia Culmore’s (administrative assistant to Treasury Department) husband, Wayne, suffered two strokes and has just resigned from his pastorate.
- Kim Schroeder (assistant treasurer, Trust and Association) was diagnosed with breast cancer and is currently in remission/cured.
- Patti Revolinski (associate, Education Department) cancer, is currently in remission/cured.
I am reminded of the words of the apostle Paul who said; “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down, but not destroyed” 2Corinthians 4:8,9. The devil is an equal opportunity destroyer and, but for the protecting hand of God, would wipe us all out. But, praise the Lord, “He that is with us is greater than He that is against us” 1John 4:4 .
And as Sue and I learned to say during the uncertainty of last year, “It gets better either way!’ For Marcia and all of us that is the assurance we have as Seventh-day Adventist Christians.
So our faith is strong. We won’t lose heart. We must stay focused on our mission as Jesus is coming soon!
Jere D. Patzer