In recognition of this heartbreaking reality, Gardinier Funeral Home, Visiting Nurses Association of Venango County and Atlantic Avenue Church teamed up for the annual Sharing of Comfort & Hope.
This years’ service took place at 3:00 PM on Sunday, November 16 at the Atlantic Avenue Church in Franklin. It was the fifth year for the event. We were blessed to host over 150 people from the families of 60 people who we gathered to remember.
The service consisted of some words of welcome, a time of singing with the church’s worship band, some readings and a message by Pastor Gary Small, all leading up to the reading of the names of our loved ones. Pastor Randy Kightlinger explained the significance of the candles and trees at the front of the church. As each name was read, the family members in attendance walked forward, lit a candle of hope, hung a card on the memory tree with a message to the loved one, or a favorite memory that the family members had writ-ten as they arrived. After placing the cards on the memory tree, the family members proceeded to the decorated hope trees where they removed a crystal snowflake ornament to take home.
Julie Martin then performed a beautiful interpretive dance piece that brought tears to a lot of our eyes. Following the service, we gathered in the fellowship hall for a time of refreshment.
The service planning team wishes to thank all those who helped make this a special afternoon for the families that attended. It is our desire to respectfully honor the memory of their loved ones and let them know that they are not alone through the holidays.