Saturday, October 01, 2016

Remembering Susan Spencer Camphouse

The Pastor’s Corner

Dear La Verne UMC Family,

During the next week I will be gathered with friends and family to celebrate and remember my mother, Susan Spencer Camphouse.  The service will be at 1PM, Thursday October 6th, at the Bishop First United Methodist Church, in Bishop California, the home church of my parents for the last 37 years.

With Mom’s illness, decline, and eventual death, August 24th, at San Gabriel Valley Medical Center, we witnessed many of the qualities which enlivened those around her. Mom was always able to make a friend.

My daughter, Sophia has picked that up, to the point that we could say of both of them, “She has friends that like her, friends that don’t like her, and friends that haven’t met her yet, but they are all friends.” Mom made friends of her roommates in the care facilities and hospitals over the last year. Mom made friends of the Doctors, Nurses, Care Givers, and staff, as well as keeping up with friendships she has formed over her lifetime. Some of her High School classmates remarked that they would not have come back together in friendship and been so blessed by reforming the groups they had without Mom’s work and effort to reunite.

Mom was always looking for a way to help, support and encourage others. She had started to collect “good dresses” while she was in the care facility, reaching out to her various networks of friends, to help a woman at the Care Center who was trying to help a recent immigrant get a new business selling dresses off the ground. Even when her sight began to diminish and her energy ran low, she would peruse Facebook and like all the posts she could, just so others would know she was thinking of them. In her death we have continued this, helping several mission projects, including Sowing Seeds for Life, the Assistance League, Medical Missions to Mexico, United Methodist Social Services of Bishop, and several other agencies, through various donations and gifts.

Mom taught school for nearly 30 years, off and on, with most of her years of service in Special Education, and Adaptive Learning environments. She had a heart for the least, the last and the lost. She taught me that all are welcome to the Lord’s Table. We do this with people regardless of where they are in their faith development, or their particular beliefs. We come to the table with the people we like, and the people we don’t like, and the people who are a great deal of struggle for us to deal with in daily interactions. Mom reminds me that not only do all get to come to the table, but that all get to receive the blessings of communion with Christ, and most especially that it is not my job to change that person, but to love that person so deeply and fully that the changes God is enacting in their spirit have room to take place.

Susan Spencer Camphouse will remain with me, and us for many years to come. She had a note of encouragement in her Bible which reminds us, “You can count the seeds in an apple, but you cannot know how many apples will come from one seed”. Mom planted a lot of seeds, was blessed enough to harvest a few apples, and pulls us forward into the future God is creating because she was always dreaming of the next great project or possibility. May we also grow in that hope.

David Camphouse