Tim’s Memorial Service

The memorial service will be streamed from Harrisonburg Mennonite’s YouTube channel starting Saturday the 13th at 10:00am and will be available for viewing anytime afterwards.  The family will also be holding a drive by visitation following the service at the pavilion at Harrisonburg Mennonite Church in from 11:30am to 1:30pm.

Link to Memorial Service (HMC YouTube Channel)

Link to Obituary

Link to Tree Planting Ceremony

2/25/2021 One year later we are grieving many losses during a pandemic that continues and vaccinations are just beginning. We still can not gather as we hoped to celebrate Tim’s life. Irene Tim’s granddaughter diagnosed with retinoblastoma 07/13/2020 continues with treatment to save her life, her left eye and eyesight in the left eye. We remain hopeful and happy that no one in our family has gotten the corona virus and some have been vaccinated. I will get my 2nd dose 02/27/2021.

The family invites anyone who has a good memory or reflection about Tim to please post here in the comments and help us celebrate Tim’s life!

American Chestnut Tree sprouted from seed by HMC Creation Care Group and planted in memory of Tim in the church memorial garden. Rock tower made from stone that was chipped away to make a hole, in a rock underground, to make way for the long tap root the tree will grow. Ann planted the flowers for our anniversary 07/04/2020

The following reading was read at the tree planting ceremony.

Memorial Reading for Tim Brenneman

Leader: Oh, Lord of the unimaginably vast and awesome universe,

All: Hear our prayer.

Leader: Oh, Lord of the tiny and awful corona virus that has upended our lives in unimaginable ways,

All: Hear our prayer.

Leader: Oh, God of the tall and mighty American Chestnut tree, the aristocrat of the deciduous forest (1), the finest of the chestnut trees in the world (2), and God of the fungal infection that brought it down,

All: Hear our prayer.

Leader: And Tim, strong among us, brought down by a small cell that changed form and devastated his body

All: Oh, Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: Hear our prayer as we come to you grieving and wondering why. It is hard to accept some of the things you allow to happen: A fungal infection which kills mighty trees, Tim’s cancer, the Corona Virus which keeps us from even grieving as we would wish.

All: Oh, Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: And yet.

And yet, we know your ways are past knowing.

We are learning that trees communicate by scent, by visual cues, by electrical and even by sound signals (3). You are at work in the world in infinite ways that we cannot imagine.

All: Oh, Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: We have found some chestnut trees resistant to the fungus, and you have granted those among us with knowledge of how to amplify and encourage that resistance. Help us to sense your communication to us; teach us to focus on your messages to us.

All: Oh, Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: As the chestnut trees’s wood is strong with undulating fibers running the full length of the tree, so let our confidence in you run throughout the full length of our life (4).

All: Oh, Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: As the chestnut tree produces a deep tap root, so let us be deeply rooted in our confidence of your love.

All: Oh, Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: Chlorophyll, the life blood of trees and all plants, and hemoglobin, the life blood of humans, are the same except for one exchanged molecule (5). Tim had a deep awareness of the interconnectedness of all life. We honor that today by planting this chestnut. We acknowledge your love and your caring for all of your creation and accept your care for us even when your ways are past understanding.

All: Oh, Lord, hear our prayer. Amen

(1) Platt, The Great American Forest p.171

(2) Wikipedia

(3) Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of Trees p.p. 6-13

(4) Platt, p. 171

(5) Platt p. 95 Magnesium in chlorophyll is exchanged for iron in hemoglobin

Service trip to Philadelphia Mennonite School, Philadelphia, PA

08/13/2020 Memorial plaque placed by Tim’s tree this day.