Dear Friends in Christ,
Rev. Myrna Bethke, Superintendent of the Gateway South District and Dean of the Cabinet died this afternoon. Our friend and colleague Myrna gave everything she had to survive a very serious stroke. In the end, the stroke and continued seizures following the stroke were more challenge than anyone could overcome. Myrna never regained consciousness.
Myrna and her husband Drew, eleven years ago, decided end of life decisions and developed a living will. Drew and the family with tenderness and care carried out Myrna’s wishes. It was Myrna’s faith that sustained her throughout life and is sustaining her as she moves from this life into the next with the sure and certain hope of resurrection.
Just prior to Myrna’s entering hospice care yesterday, I had the opportunity to share with her. I shared with her that she was loved by the cabinet and the GNJ staff and that she was loved and deeply respected by the United Methodist clergy and laity of Greater New Jersey. I also shared that we wanted nothing more than her peace and that we now release her into God’s hands. I told her we would miss her and that she will always be in our hearts.
I ask that you continue to keep the family in your prayers.
Myrna would want us to know, “now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” (John 16:22) We give thanks for our savior Jesus Christ and a loving a graceful God in times like this.
I invite you to love today for we do not know what tomorrow brings, hold fast to those you love and know that best of all, God is with us.
Keep the faith!
Bishop John Schol
United Methodists of Greater New Jersey