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.

21 thoughts on “Tim’s Memorial Service

  1. Tim was a one-of-kind individual. He was totally dedicated to God, his family, the church and to live a life consistent with his relationship with Jesus. I worked with him at EMHS for quite a few years, but my greatest memory of him was his desire to make a joyful noise in song! He didn’t have perfect pitch, in fact, he had little pitch, but that did not keep him from engaging fully in the singing of hymns! He made making music a new experience for me forever!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My Dad certainly did know how to make a joyful noise. I remember being embarrassed the first time I realized how loud he was singing on one particular Sunday in church. Eventually I began to cherish those moments, and now I will miss them. I did break the rules and sing a little bit while we watched the memorial service at church just because I couldn’t stand the thought of being silent through the hymns my dad had chosen.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ann, Mary Hope, Joshua, Jacob — thank you for sharing this service with us. We are touched again by your loss. We wish that we could be with you to share our tears in person.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I really like the photo at the top.

    I wish I had gotten to know Tim better. He always seemed like the kinda guy I would connect with in many ways.

    I also studied physics, I also did a cross cultural in Tanzania.
    I studied at Goshen with Jacob, and when I moved to Harrisonburg, it was pretty obvious that Jacob was the son of Tim, but somehow it still took forever for it to click.

    It was a lovely service. Condolences.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a beautiful service to celebrate Tim’s life and legacy! We appreciated the ability to join you virtually! May God’s peace and presence continue to guide you! We love you!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Tim was a good friend and such an important part of Sinapi. His enthusiasm, big smile, and thoughtful contributions made the class and our get togethers much richer. Sinapi just isn’t right without him. He left us far too soon and is very missed. I send my love and prayers to Ann and the family.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. In the late 90’s, I recall being stuffed into the Little Grill in Harrisonburg as a middle schooler being freshly exposed to a blisteringly loud rock band by the name Summer Daze. It was overwhelming but an invigorating new experience for a budding musician, but suddenly I couldn’t find my dad. I pushed to the front, nope, I checked outside, no dad there… I eventually forced my way through the mass of humanity to one of the back booths, and there sat dad and Tim amid the raucous cacophony, unmoving like statues, playing a game of chess. I’ll never forget that. This was a beautiful service for a beautiful man; in the pieces of himself that live in all of you, he will be with you forever. Sending my love from the city. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Nick for sharing this story. We were talking about your story at the table today and Joshua remembers that your dad and Tim had toilet paper earplugs stuck in their ears while they were playing chess. :0

      Liked by 1 person

  7. We remember Tim as a man of his convictions. He lived his faith. He was intelligent and fun loving, always a welcome addition to any group.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. How wonderful to be able to participate in the celebration of Tim’s life in this way. One thing that I remember when I think of Tim is how we were in “instruction class” together at DMC – in preparation for baptism. I always sensed Tim’s sincerity and love for Jesus. It’s obvious his love for Jesus has only grown through the years and many people have been recipients of Jesus’ love through Tim. In the past years when Tim would show up at DMC, César would be eager to greet him and have conversation with him. He always appreciated Tim’s warmth, genuine interest, integrity, and his big smile. We pray for blessings of peace and comfort upon all the family. We know he is greatly missed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I remember that whenever we would visit DMC with Grammy ( Grace), Dad and Cesar were always so happy to see each other. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. They’re nice to read.


  9. It was a sad day when we learned of Tim’s passing. We enjoyed playing Rook with Anne and Tim whenever we could. Our last time a playing Brooke with Tim and Ann was last year when we were in Harrisonburg. It was a good game however by the end he was exhausted. A good final memory of a good time with Ann and Tim. There are other good memories as well as Jacob shared about his reciting the Christmas story. He did that one year at our extended family gathering. When Ann and Tim lived in Hellertown we spent a great deal of time with them for birthdays and just getting together. Of course as life got busier and P them moving to Harrisonburg that changed.It is sad that we will no longer spend time with Tim however his memories live on in our hearts. May God’s peace and comfort be with Ann and her children and grandchildren and all who knew the pleasure of knowing Tim Brennaman.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Our condolences to all tthe family. I have such good memories of Tim. Especially April 1st when he would take his first plunge into the frigid pond/pool water at the Doylestown family home.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I loved being a colleague of Tim’s from 1999-2018 at EMHS. We had lots of shared memories from growing up in Doylestown. Tm was passionate about his subjects, his students and his love for God. He was never afraid to voice his opinions or share tears and emotions at faculty meetings or in chapels, and his voice did boom. His smile and eyes always warmed my heart. A particularly fond memory I have is performing a play with him and others at a faculty orientation one year. His role was Mr. Memorizer, and he nailed it! He also drove Derek and Jacob to Toronto before they headed to Germany, and I am so grateful for that. I truly miss him!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Tim contributed a lot to the Cornerstone School in Philadelphia. He had a heart for the kids there too. We remember your family in a special way this Father’s Day, Ann. Peace, mark keller


  13. Dear Ann,

    I support you and your family for moving forward and arranging for a service for Tim. I really like the idea of planting the American Chestnut tree in his memory in the memorial garden. He would’ve loved to cupcake I developed for West Virginia. Apple butter cupcake with chestnut frosting. One third of all the trees in WV in early 1900s were chestnut trees until the blight hit. Tim was so supportive of the cupcake project and loved taste testing them at creation care group meetings. I need to finish this project!!!

    Jon and I will listen in to the online service next Saturday. We will be in Apex helping to care for the twins as Dan takes Suz out to celebrate her birthday as a date that day. I will miss seeing Beth Styer. Give her our love as we are there in spirit.

    Hugs to you in these days as you gather.

    Much love,

    Liked by 1 person

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