In Loving Memory of

The Rev. George J. Miller
July 30, 1935  --  May 3, 2020
 

MillerGeorge Obit2020     The Rev. George J. Miller, our brother in faith, Pastor Emeritus and member of St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Robesonia, 84 of Wernersville, PA passed away peacefully at the Phoebe Berks Healthcare Center the morning of May 3, 2020.

 

     The Rev. Miller served 26 years as the 4th Called Pastor of St. Paul's UCC in Robesonia (from September 1, 1975 until his retirement on January 31, 2002).  Initially, he began serving here as pastor of the Robesonia-Wernersville Charge (serving both St. Paul's UCC in Robesonia and First Church UCC in Wernersville simultaneously), until that charge dissolved in 1988, when he became the first full-time sole pastor of St. Paul's UCC.  Following his retirement he was honored by the congregation as "Pastor Emeritus."  He continued to actively, faithfully, and lovingly serve as a member of St. Paul's UCC throughout his retirement.

 

Miller-GeorgeAlberta 170122     Son of Lester J. and Grace (Hess) Miller of Northampton, PA, he is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Alberta, son James Miller and his wife Hyonhi, daughters Beth Miller and her husband Steven, Nancy Grander and her husband Matt and Sally Miller and her wife Greta and his beloved dog Joe.  He is survived by seven grandchildren; Jacob (Katie), Allison, Lee (Kelsey), Ben, Lauren (Michael), Ethan, and Grace and one great grandson, Wyatt. He is also survived by his sisters Dorothy and Esther.

 

MillerGeorge 75thBk-Qf     Rev. Miller graduated from Northampton High, Bloomsburg State College, and Lancaster Theological Seminary.  His first parish was in Delmont, PA and was followed by a merged parish in Zion, PA before moving to his longest parish at St. Paul’s UCC in Robesonia, PA / First Church UCC in Wernersville, PA and later after a reorganization, he continued at St. Paul’s UCC in Robesonia until his retirement in 2002.  Upon retirement he was named Pastor Emeritus of St Paul’s UCC.  After retirement Pastor George served as an interim pastor for 5 different churches and continued in the ministry until 2011 when he retired after 50 years of service.

 

     Rev. Miller later completed chaplaincy requirements and became a professional chaplain volunteering his services at Reading Hospital.  He also established and served the Conrad Weiser Ministerium, volunteered for after school homework programs and started the first local Kids Klub and day camp.  Pastor George also served on various committees of the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference, Heidelberg Association, and Western Berks Versammling.

 

     Rev. Miller initiated and actively pursued a low rent housing facility for the elderly which became Furnace Creek Manor in Robesonia.  He was also instrumental in helping to develop Phoebe Berks Village and found the property on which it stands today.  Rev. Miller served on the Phoebe Board for 14 years.

 

     He enjoyed the outdoors; gardening, hunting, and taking care of his property at Lake Wynonah.  After retiring to Phoebe Berks, he cleared and developed a nature trail for everyone to enjoy which is now known as “George’s Trail.”  

 

     A private burial service will be held at the Heidelberg Cemetery in Robesonia on Thursday, May 7, with a memorial service to be scheduled in the future.  In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations may be sent to St. Paul’s UCC in Robesonia, 301 W. Penn Ave. Robesonia PA 19551 or to Phoebe Berks Village, 1 Reading Drive, Wernersville PA 19565.

 

     Lamm & Witman Funeral Home, 243 W. Penn Ave., Wernersville, is handling arrangements.  Online condolences may be made at www.lammandwitman.com.

 

     In his honor and rememberance, the church was draped in black from May 17 to the end of the month, and then draped in white for June.

 

     Unfortunately, due to the social distancing needs in regard to slowing the spread of COVID-19, we are unable to have a public viewing, public time of visitation, or public services at this time.  The graveside service will be held in the near future and will be private.  There will be a public memorial service held at some future time, when we will be able to have larger numbers of people gathered together.  As the Rev. Miller was very much loved, we do expect a large number of people will be desiring to gather in memory and thanksgiving of him, and as such, for the safety of all, we cannot gather in that way now, but we do plan to do so in the future.

 

 

Dates & Times:

     Burial:  Private (due to COVID-19 social distancing needs)

                         Thursday, May 7, 2020

                         at the Heidelberg Cemetery, Robesonia

 

     Memorial Service:  Saturday, May 1, 2021 - Time is TBD 

                         at St. Paul's UCC in Robesonia

(We hope that the social distancing needs will no longer be needed or at least lessened significantly by this point in time)

 

     Prayers of Remembrance:  Sunday, May 17, 2020 during the 10:25am Live Stream Worship Service
                         at St. Paul's UCC, Robesonia

 

 

Draped In White

20200606 131610_White_cQf

     For the last three Sundays of May, the church building has been draped in black as we share in our common loss and common grief of the death of the Rev. George Miller, who served as the Pastor of St. Paul's UCC for 26 years and Pastor Emeritus for 18 years.

     The church building had previously been draped in black following the death of the Rev. Thomas Leinbach 111 years ago, in May 1909.

     In June we changed those black cloths to white.  We left the white cloths up through Sunday, August 16.  We had white cloth draped from the bell tower, across the sign in the front of the building, over the cross along the side of the building, over the "Miller Fellowship Hall" sign (named in Rev. Miller's honor), and over the lecturn and pulpit.

20200606 131422_White     Black is liturgical color for mourning and grief; white is the liturgical color for baptism and resurrection.  We celebrate the resurrection that Rev. Miller shares with Christ through his baptism, the same resurrection joy which Rev. Miller had proclaimed to us when he preached in the pulpit, stood by the graveside at the funerals, sat by the hospital bed side in prayer, shared while pouring the waters of baptism, and in so many other places and settings throughout his life.  We intentionally left the white cloths up for more than twice as long as the black; for our hope is stronger than our grief.  Death and grief do not have the final word for the Rev. George Miller or for any of us; resurrection and life are victorious through our baptism in Christ! 

     As we hear from the Apostle Paul, "Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?  Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:55,57). 

 

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