Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Mirjana (Minja) Lausevic Memorial

Guiding Star Grange, Greenfield, Massachusetts

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A memorial celebration of the life of Mirjana Lausevic (affectionately known as Minja), wife of Tim Eriksen and mother of Luka and Anja Eriksen, was held on Saturday, July 28. This all-day memorial, to which visitors came from many states and from Canada, was organized in just two short weeks after Minja passed away on July 15.

The congregation was called to order by Moderator Peter Irvine leading 59, followed by a moment of silent prayer. Peter then thanked people for coming to this memorial, thanked everyone for their help and support, and told us the outline of the day. He invited people to make comments about Minja before singing their songs.

Leaders: George Seiler 347; Dan Hertzler and Laura Timmerman 556; Deirdra Montgomery 146; Andrew Magee 56b; Martha Henderson 383; Lorrie Sabourin, Robert Stoddard, and Joanne Fuller 61; Aldo Ceresa and Jessica Beer 542; Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg and Dana Borrelli 475; Jeff Colby 512; Laura Clawson 430; Neely Bruce 254; Kristin Zoellner, Steve Luttinen, and Kim Bahmer 384; Justin Squizzero and Laura Borrelli 53; Diane Menella 349; Kate Richardson 429; Scott DePoy and Jeannette DePoy 201; Dean Jens and Rachel Speer 318; Paul Butler took up a collection for the Luka and Anja Eriksen Education Fund, then sang 490 and dedicated it to his fellow cancer patients past and present.

RECESS

Singing resumed with Amy Finlay and Sheldon Finlay leading 87. Leaders: Joanna Lampert and Jennie Brown 82t; Lydia Vernon-Jones, Russ Vernon-Jones, and Jan Dreschler 448b; Greta Holbrook and John Holbrook 339; Duncan Vinson 229; Kitty Kagay and Sheila Kelley 312b; Kelsey Sunderland and Jeff Ryan 457; Briana Bean Hirsch and Oona Coy 400; Bill Holt and Richard Schmeidler 84; Jenna Strizak and Kelsey Wessels 218; Alexa Gilmore 348b; Kshama Ananthapura and Donna Kwon 39t; Liz Meitzler 245; Eliza Cavanaugh and Linda Shea 270.

Tim Eriksen stood to lead and said, “I think that you’re here because Minja loved you. That’s why I’m here.” Tim told three stories about Minja that illustrated her courage to stand up for what she believed was right. He then led 340. Leaders: Allison Schofield 217; Matthew Wojcik, Rosie Wojcik, and Marian Wojcik 138b; Kelly House, Sally House, Bill Dunn, and Joseph Dunn 448t.

In closing comments to the singing, Peter Irvine said that we should try to carry on what Minja taught us about loving others and living fully in the present moment. Tim Eriksen recognized everyone who came and mentioned that singings and memorials for Minja are being held all over the world. Peter Irvine, Anna Maria Irvine, and Alexandra Irvine then led 68b.

LUNCH

Peter Irvine called everyone back from lunch. He read an e-mail from members of the Oromo community in Minneapolis (whom Tim and Minja had befriended and with whom they had shared music, food, and good times) which spoke of Minja’s intelligence, humility, love for others, and joy in living.

The format for most of the afternoon included remembrances by attendees until about 3 p.m. Then the Balkan brass band Zlatne Uste played. They invited everyone to try out the dances of the Balkan countries, including Minja’s native land of Bosnia.

At 4 p.m. everyone gathered around Tim and Peter and sang “Millbrook.” (“How long, thou faithful God, shall I/Here in thy ways forgotten lie? Oh, let the troubled waters move/And minister thy healing love.”) It was deeply sweet and sad.

There followed a time of silent prayer. Everyone was then dismissed, carrying with them their memories, and everyone else’s memories, of our dear Minja Lausevic, whom we shall sorely miss.

Moderator—Peter Irvine; Memorial Organizers—Amy Finlay and Eliza Cavanaugh; Secretary—Martha Henderson