An occasional series of reflections from parishioners on Emmanuel Church
Dan and I visited Emmanuel a few times on holidays when we lived in Washington, DC. Christmas Eve 2017 we were there in another capacity, having moved to Charlottesville the day before from Duke Hospital. It was a major transition for us. I was on heavy doses of immunosuppressant drugs and had to force myself to go to the early service at Emmanuel. The scent of pine boughs, the candles and the lovely voices of the choir there were mesmerizing. God was everywhere, in the service, in the carols and in the warmth of the congregation. Emmanuel and God would help make Charlottesville home.
Dan died of Parkinson’s during Covid in May, 2020. Emmanuel was closed along with all of the other churches. The amazing Emmanuel staff helped us put together a zoom memorial service for him. It was the most beautiful memorial service I have ever witnessed and a wonderful tribute to Dan. Jamie and his family, Catherine and I are forever grateful to Emmanuel.
A year later, with strict Covid rules still in place, I spent some time at UVA hospital. No visitors were permitted at that time, but I had Emmanuel with me in the knit blanket which had been blessed earlier.