Our family first met Pastor Jacob Breeze on a warm June day three years ago. My Mom had passed away just three months earlier and we could not bear the thought that Dad would walk through the doors of Shady Grove United Methodist Church without her. So, we traveled full circle and came back to the church I had attended as a child and where Larry and I were married. Little did we know that this was all part of God’s plan.
Inclusion is a buzzword that has been used in the disability community for many years, but over the last three years Jacob showed our family that inclusion is how Jesus intended for all believers to live out their faith. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
Dad and I accompanied Jacob on a Sunday afternoon in 2012 to deliver Holy Communion to homebound members. As we were driving, I explained to Jacob that due to autism, Adam was orally defensive and did not eat food that had to be chewed. Immediately, Jacob asked if Adam would drink the juice representing the blood of Christ from a cup and I replied that he would. The very next Sunday there was Adam’s cup, and from that point forward, Adam participated in Holy Communion each Sunday.
In the fall of 2013, Jacob asked Larry and me if Adam had ever been baptized and God began orchestrating another milestone for Adam. Jacob met with us and discussed with Adam what baptism was and the different methods that Adam could choose to follow Jesus in this act of obedience. After viewing different baptism methods on YouTube, Adam called me in the bathroom one evening while he was taking a bath. He held his nose and “immersed” himself. We had our answer as to how Adam wanted to be baptized! On December 22, 2013, Adam made his profession of faith public and the baptismal font was in the very place where Larry and I stood on December 30, 1978 and said our wedding vows.
When Adam stood up after being baptized, he turned to the mural of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to His Crucifixion and Adam clearly said “Amen”. I Googled “amen” and it means “so be it”.
Tomorrow, June 14, 2015, our congregation will bid Jacob and his wonderful family Godspeed as they move to Houston, Texas to plant a new church–Holy Family United Methodist Church.
We will all miss this family, but want them to know that the impact they have had on our family, at Shady Grove and in our community will live on forever.
Breeze Family, the Nation of Texas awaits you and a community in need of understanding inclusion into Holy Family United Methodist Church is being raised up as God prepares you all for the next chapter. Blessings to you all.