The Church of the Transfiguration
6909 Maryland Avenue
Braddock Heights, MD 21714
8:00 AM Holy Eucharist
9:00 AM Christian Education
10:15 AM Holy Eucharist with singing & choir music
9:00 AM daily Morning Prayer
7:00 PM Wednesday Vespers with Rite of Healing
Sunday 24 June and 22 July at 10:15 AM
Interpreted service for the deaf with Fr. Croft.
Mark Your Calendars
Rooted in Christ
Bound in Love
Called to Ministry
The Church of the Transfiguration
Braddock Heights, MD
I am so pleased that you are visiting our website -- either as a parishioner seeking information, or for the first time, as someone seeking a spiritual home, looking for a new way to keep your faith young and alive. I hope you will find what you need, and that what you find will nourish you. Most of all, I hope that you will discover in The Church of the Transfiguration a people and a spirit that will lead you ever closer to God, by the grace and guidance of our Savior Jesus Christ.
A Funeral Homily for Frances Ann Randall
All Saints Episcopal Church, Frederick, MD
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
“Do not let yours hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.” John 14:1-2
To say that Franny Randall was a rugged individualist is to make a gross understatement! That she knew her own mind and was never afraid to let you know what was on it was borne out by anyone who ever met her. With Fran there was no mincing of words, there was no beating around the bush, there was no testing the winds to know how others felt. There was only and simply open and honest—and always authentic—Franny! Straightforward, guileless, true to herself and to her principles, to her view of the way things ought to be.
And yet for all her independent spirit, Fran was not self-centered. Her individualism was not merely a matter of private opinion, a defiant “This is what I think—Take it or leave it!” There was, instead, a purpose and direction to her views, a sense of usefulness, even hopefulness, in what she thought and felt and sought to express—through the many works she promoted, the many books she wrote, the many people and organizations she supported. Her ideas always had some positive end-product intended for them.
For finally it was the community that mattered most to her. It was her city and neighborhood, it was her college and her church. It was the people around her. It was the family she loved and nurtured, and saw through joys and hardship, happiness and loss. But it was also that “family of families” that drew her, that communion of heart and hand by which we draw closer to the meaning and essence of our lives on earth, and so closer to the God who put us here and who seeks to work good through us while we are here.
The Irish poet Yeats said, “We reach out to the universe with a gloved hand. That glove is one’s country, the thing we think we know even a little about.” To country I might substitute—or add—the word community, that “glove,” that garb of friendships and connections and common dreams. Not a society of one, but a society of many that become one. I believe Franny understood this connection, this communion very well. I think she tried to live it all her life.
Our Gospel reading this morning is from St. John and is one frequently read at funerals. It is itself drawn from a longer passage in the Christian scriptures called the Farewell Discourse. In it, Jesus is shown preparing his disciples for his imminent departure from the world, his returning to his Heavenly Father. Part of the Discourse, then, is consolation and this matched to the promise that they will inherit with him the Kingdom. They will dwell in a house of many mansions; they will know the joy and peace that only oneness with God in Christ can give.
The other part of the Farewell Discourse is Jesus’ preparing his disciples to live in the world that he is physically leaving; to live in it honorably and bravely and uncorrupted by it. But most of all, to live in it with love for one another. Jesus’ followers are not to go their separate ways. They are not to remember him in prayerful isolation, but rather to grow in community. They are to cast their personal, individual “lots” in with the whole—their private hopes and dreams and fears, both their struggles and successes, their triumphs and failures, all these to become part of the beloved community that is the image and spirit of God on earth, a foretaste of that eternal community we sometimes call Heaven.
As it turns out, our dear Franny in her passing has realized both of these conditions. She has followed her Lord to the place where is going, the place that God has prepared for those who love him, there to await the resurrection he promised. And in so doing she has left us with an example which mirrors that heavenly realm. Her journey, it would seem, has come full circle. Fran was a light and energy and joy to this community, and by extension to the whole world. And so she now invites us to follow her in the spirit in which she lived—for the sake of the love she shared, in the Name of the God she served, by those blessed ties that bind us and make us one—she invites us to do and to be the same. Amen.
The Rev. Gordon J. De La Vars