When organizations are attempting to articulate their values, they usually make two important discoveries: (1) There are values they aspire to; and (2) there are actual values they live out.

We commonly hear the words “Foursquare” and “family” in the same sentence, reflecting “family” as a value we hold as a movement. Some may feel this is a value to which we merely aspire, but I recently saw this value actualized at its finest when our dear friend and comrade Veronica Reece was unexpectedly taken from us. Suddenly, everything that had seemed so important and had consumed our days came to a standstill. The only thing that mattered was being together and caring for her family.

As hundreds of people traveled to Atlanta, the circumstance seemed somewhat bearable, because we had gathered together to share it. Hearts were joined in grief, yet there was a shared gratefulness for the eternal life that establishes our hope that physical death is not the end.

We laughed and cried as we honored Veronica, and there was a strong sense of support for each person who stood to share memories of her—from the district staff, divisional superintendents, state superintendents, and district supervisors to church staff, friends and family. The service so perfectly honored Veronica’s life because we knew her. We didn’t just gather together in loss; we’d been together in life, and there was such great comfort in being with one another in this moment.

I was so proud to be part of this family! Supervisors and superintendents from every district immediately began offering assistance with district responsibilities, convention planning and office needs. Others were making sure Scott and the children knew they were welcome in their homes and began planning getaway trips for them.

Every practical need was addressed to make sure the Reece family was in good hands. There were multitudes of calls, e-mails, Facebook posts, flowers, food, tears and laughter. We were one—both in our sorrow and in our care for the Reece family and one another.

Sometimes we get busy and focused in our own world, causing us to become isolated. I would ask each of us to take a moment and recognize that when real life happens, we will find the value of the Foursquare family to be a most-important reality.

Let’s not take it for granted! No one should feel alone or disconnected, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen.

When is The Foursquare Church at its finest? When we’re truly being family: loving God, loving one another and loving our world.

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By: Tammy Dunahoo, interim general supervisor of The Foursquare Church