Touched My Life!
With exciting anticipation several of the graduating and ministers-in-training
went into great detail to welcome a visiting minister to the San Jose Religious
Science Church pulpit. The large congregation
with two Sunday services has been honored by many high-profiled spiritual
leaders throughout its long history. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, my youngest son
Jamie and I (both Texans!) felt fortunate to be a part of the church family. We
moved to the Bay Area from Scottsdale, Arizona, so that I could complete my
Dr. Robert Scott was the minister of the San Jose church, as well as the
Dean of the School of Ministry with associate Dr. Jack Holland of San Jose
State Professor. Before our relocating, much of my ministerial work was between
Phoenix, Arizona and the Founders Church of Religious Science in Los Angeles.
The founder of ‘Religious Science’ movement, Ernest Holmes was a bit humbled to
be credited for the religious-psychology that was established in the 1920’s and
1930’s. Holmes became a spiritual friend and teacher to many in the Hollywood
community, especially to a young girl neighbor that the world later got to know
as Peggy Lee.
To attempt to name only a few of the many special people who’ve become
part of this spiritual family would border on the impossible and would distract
from the purpose of this article. Early in 1985, we were caught in disbelief that
our dearly loved friend and teacher, Dr. Scott became ill. He and his beautiful
wife Janelle, (a good Texan, too), daughter Coco Dolenz and son Mickey Dolenz (yes,
the Monkeys) had welcomed us into an
extended family. Even though the months
long illness of Dr. Scott’s dilemma seemed to cast a cloud over all of the church
members, student ministers and the world-wide friends, we had to pull ourselves
up ‘by our bootstraps’ and do as the movie industry rule indicates ‘The Show
must go on!’
Knowing that most of the ministers were booked Sundays in their own
pulpits, calls went out to request ministers that would fill the San Jose Sunday
pulpit as guest ministers. Well, long-story short!! To our surprise, an Angel responded! Talk
about ‘divine order’! A new to the ministry, Della Reese conceded to a Sunday.
This gracious lady at the tremendously busy singing and acting career time
of her life, had gone through the similar studies that I had for 13+ years to
become another great spiritual teacher.
Della’s visit was like a new burst of sunshine during our gloom with Dr.
Scott’s illness and eventual passing.
Della brought great warmth and compassion to us. Laughter filled the
church while we adjusted to finding our way forward.
It was especially a difficult time for my son and I; not only were we
mourning the loss of Dr. Scott, my husband Merle passed away soon after I
graduated from the School of Ministry and a few months later my three children’s
father passed away, too. During the life journey we took in the Bay Area, we
became aware that it was guided and guarded by our Angels.
When I recall Della’s visit, I burst out laughing about the memory of the
time I reminded her that her lapel mic was live while she was in the ladies
lounge! What a joy to laugh with An
Reverend E.T.C. Russell
Touched by An Angel TV series - September
21, 1994 and ran for nine seasons
until its conclusion on April 27, 2003.
Della Reese was an American jazz and gospel
singer, actress, and ordained minister. Reese's long career began as a singer,
scoring a hit with her 1959 single "Don't You Know?". Wikipedia
According to CNN, November 20, 2017 - "On behalf of her husband, Franklin Lett, and all her
friends and family, I share with you the news that our beloved Della Reese has
passed away peacefully at her California home surrounded by love. She was an
incredible Wife, Mother, Grandmother, friend, and Pastor, as well as an
award-winning actress and singer," actress Roma Downey, Reese's co-star on
"Touched by an Angel," said in a statement on Facebook.
"Through her life and work she touched
and inspired the lives of millions of people," Downey's statement continued.
"She was a mother to me and I had the privilege of working with her side
by side for so many years."