Sense de Jong (brother)

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This place, this auditorium, has many memories. One remembers all kinds of people, some still here, others long gone. We remember their faces, we hear their voices. One such person was our brother Herman.

Herman's voice resonated through this space on several occasions. I remember how he would assist Stiny in worship leading by taking upon himself the congregational prayer. These prayers were moments when one could glimpse into his heart, and feel his dedication to the Lord, his love and compassion for God's people and his concern for God s creation.

Here he played the organ and piano, given of his musical talents. And here he showed Jubilee his sense of humour, his witticism, his ability to laugh about himself and others.

For a long time, Herman was absent from the morning services here because of his commitment as organist/choir director at St. John's Anglican Church in Thorold. I would accompany him occasionally. And each time it would bring back memories of times together in distant Holland. He played that pipe organ with the same gusto and his enthusiasm was contagious : the little choir at St. John's just wanted to sing for him. When I was there, I joined them.

You'd hear the chants which are an integral part of the Anglican liturgy. As Henry wrote somewhere, Herman would often compose these himself on Saturday afternoons before the Sunday a.m. service. One need only to hear this to realize that there is an intricate liturgical interplay between the pastor and organist to do this well. St. John's Church organized a beautiful farewell evening for Herman when he retired.. It made me feel so proud of him.

And now Herman's hands:
- which so skillfully touched the keys of many instruments, including monumental pipe organs,
- as well as the keys of his computer when he wrote his poems, articles and stories,
- hands, which were used to handle axe or hammer, shovel or rake,
- hands, which restored and/or re-upholstered many a chair or sofa
- hands, which could also compose music and direct choirs, large and small;
- hands, which would reach out for a loving touch,
- these hands are now still. I could'nt help but look at them, and touch them, one more time this morning.

Of one thing I'm sure: his powerful voice now resonates through the heavens together with the multitude of those saved by the blood of the Lamb.

Finally, a few words of thanks. On behalf of Herman's siblings and their families (and of Stiny and her family), we want to warmly thank all those who, during Herman's illness, either by their presence or via the internet reached out to us with their love. Thank you. Thanks be to God for the communion of His saints.

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