Some of the present and former students at SJP, rugby players all.
For the love of the game and of their recently deceased colleague, Josias Sterling, they gathered in Fairmount Park on a blustery Thanksgiving Friday. The gathering honored Josias and is raising money in his memory to provide swimming lessons for kids and to provide help for any Prep rugby player who attends Temple University
The event was organized by Bill and Angela Gregory who coached and mentored Josias. (Bill is kneeling near the center of the front row, in the dark shirt.)
We gather today in a spirit of thanksgiving for God’s glory shown in our brother Josias Sterling during his brief life, a happy life, a life in which a young man fulfilled the hopes and promises suited to his age. We thank God that Josias was a grace for his parents and siblings, for his relatives and friends. We are grateful that God saw fit for Josias to attend St. Joseph’s Prep and Temple University. The emptiness in our hearts caused be his absence reveals to us how eagerly we made a space for him, and tells us how prominent a place he took in his family , among his classmates, on the rugby team, and in the hearts of all who got to know him. His relationship with us is God’s work, letting us know in Josias more about the richness of creation.
So we pray. Dear God, let the memory of this happy young man lift from us the gloom we experience in his physical absence. Help us know that his cheerful, resolute spirit continues to enliven us whenever we who know him gather together. May his spirit help us build on the heroic desires of his own life, help us be men and women for others just as Josias became more each day a man for others.
Yes, Good God, Increase our faith in the saving power of the Lord Jesus who welcomes those who have died into a new heaven and a new earth. When our day comes, give us a place in the new creation so that we may be with our brother Josias in your kingdom. But today on this field, dear God, help us to know that Josias joins us and commits his spirit to bring joy and enthusiasm to our company and our competition.
We ask these things through Christ our Lord.