Bishop Mark Lawrence writes about his final visit with his mother, Bertha Ann Coombs Lawrence, on Dec. 11-12:
It was a grace-filled time for which I am grateful. For the prayers of many; for the chance to see and talk with her while she was still lucid; for time to pray and read the Scriptures with her; for time with family and long-time friends I give thanks. But most of all I rejoice in this: For the opportunity to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ and the hope of the Resurrection — recalling those influences that had helped to shape her faith. She had several phases in her spiritual journey during which she read writers such as Evelyn Underhill, Richard Foster, Henri Nouwen which I mentioned in the sermon. But finally I focused on the most important of the influences (excepting of course the Bible): John Wesley’s life and writings. To bring Wesley into the mix was to speak of the New Birth, Assurance of Salvation, the Atoning Work of Christ, the Resurrection, and of course the doctrine of Justification by Faith for unworthy sinners — and Wesley’s heart strangely warmed.