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In tribute to Elaine Levitt Tapsall

The community of Beerwah was saddened last week to hear that a dear friend and mate had passed away at Caloundra Private Hospital. At the funeral of Elaine Levitt Tapsall at Glasshouse Country Uniting Church , the buildings were overflowing with those whose lives had been touched by Elaine’s big hearted generosity as she served in the Uniting Church , Lions Club, Meals on Wheels, and the wider community.

Elaine chose in her life to follow the way of Jesus. She was always seeking to live in the path that God had given her to live in. In the words of the Psalm heard on the day, she knew God kept her safe, she knew that all good things came from God, and she was happy to be one of the saints of God as she lived her life.

One of the things Elaine wanted to do was to visit Uluru / Ayers Rock. And although she was trying to plan a trip with friend Heather Siddans, that unfortunately didn’t happen before her death. I had a friend who is an artist who I knew drew picture of Uluru with the face of Christ. So I rang and asked him to do one for Elaine. This congregation helped pay for this piece of art work.

The people who loved Elaine were an inspiration to her over the last few months. “I never knew so many people loved me,” she told me one day. In is so important that we love one another and through our words and actions let others know that they are loved. God loved us in this way. Elaine drew great strength from the love of family and friends over the last few months.

For Elaine to follow the way of Jesus meant that she gave a sacrificial commitment to the local church.

Here in this church she gave of herself in so many roles. She was at various times, Church Treasurer, Adult Fellowship Treasurer, Adult Fellowship President, Church Elder, Bible Study Group Leader, ConneXion Co–ordinator, Alpha Chief Caterer, Sunday School Teacher, RE Teacher at Beerwah Primary School, Host to many Church Functions at home, and back in the early mid 90s she able supported her husband Doug in his role as Sec of the MB Presbytery of the Uniting Church.

I want to share with you three stories that show us the wonder of the way Elaine loved because she knew that God loved her. About eight weeks before Christmas last year I became aware that Elaine was not well and I began to call on her every other week.

Two days before Christmas I called late in the afternoon and we had a good yarn and I had prayed with Elaine. It was 6pm and she wanted to know what I was doing so late and not at home. I told her I had a Christmas service at Eden at 6.30pm.

It took me some work to convince that the cuppa we had shared was adequate. Then only three days before Elaine died I visited her, she was very ill but she still wanted to hear how I was going and then she asked how my wife was. Elaine gave her life caring for others. This is the way of Jesus.

We draw comfort and hope from the way Elaine lived her life following the way of Jesus, we draw comfort and hope from the way Elaine died and the certainty that she now lives in the place that God has promise for all who follow his way, we draw hope and comfort  from the words of Jesus, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.

Let not your hearts be troubled neither let them be afraid.