The Marriage of Linda Carolyn Passaro and Juan Camilo Schrader
The Marriage of Linda Carolyn Passaro and Juan Camilo Schrader
Last Saturday afternoon, September 20th, Barbara and I made our way down a steep hill to a beach at the shore of Lake Candlewood in western Connecticut, north of Danbury. We thought we were arriving comfortably early, more than an hour before the scheduled hour of the wedding. But I misread the invitation. The reception was scheduled for 4 PM; the marriage ceremony was set for 3. Was I ever glad we arrived more than an hour early! Guests in celebratory clothes mingled in the parking lot of North Beach at Candlewood Knolls. A family of bathers without invitations or the right clothes occupied a picnic table on the beach. The sun shone brightly. Fall was in the air. Wedding party and guests faced the lake and occupied the shade. I faced them, with my back to the water, while the bride, on her father's arm, processed to the waiting groom. The service proceeded with only one interruption, by a passing motorboat, its passengers shouting but not providing the display for which passing motorboats are infamous.
Linda and Camilo chose Ephesians 4:25- 5:2 for their Scripture reading. I took that passage as context for this message:
Well, there it is. You have chosen the theme for your wedding and, I think you mean us to understand, your life: verse 5:1 Ephesians, “Live in love.” Sure, it can be taken as a romantic sentiment, that Linda and Camilo will go through their lives holding hands, smiling ever at each other, building their own little nest against an often hard world, a place where they can indulge the intimacy and affection which sweeten and spark our marriages.
Sure. But, and I say this not so much to you as for you, the love in which you intend to live is far wider and deeper than a cozy respite away from the troubles of the rest of the world. The model for that larger deeper love is, as the reading identifies him, Christ. Sometime later when you have a mind for it I’ll cover with you the echoes of Christ’s own life and teachings hinted at in the opening paragraph, like “Be angry but do not sin.” For the moment let’s dwell on living in love, according to our Lord.
Which has many, many applications for the way Camilo and Linda treat each other. For one, just as the Apostle Paul says in Ephesians, that it’s OK (and very, very human) to get ticked off with each other from time to time; provided you kiss at bedtime and mean it every night when you say to each other, “I love you.” Letting the grace on which every enduring relationship relies well up and put into perspective the petty irritations of the moment. Like Paul says, put away from you all bitterness… and be kind to one another… before the sun goes down.
But the good apostle claims more about living in love, and I hope it is another reason why you chose this passage for your wedding, that line that hints at your obligation to the far wider world, the one beyond your loving and intimate nest, and beyond your close circle of family and friends: “so as to have something to share with the needy.” That thought will be reiterated in a few minutes after you have been announced husband and wife, in the concluding prayer: “Grant that their love for each other may reflect the love of Christ for us and grow from strength to strength as they faithfully serve you in the world.” Out there, beyond the beaches and waters of the sometimes idyllic scenes of Lake Candlewood, there lives and breathes and hurts a desperate world. It needs all the loving it can get. And you, Linda and Camilo, out of the generous love you share with each other are expected in the name of Christ to share it with others. I’ll not take away time from the reception to spell it out.
But when you do, live in love, with each other and for all others, what you will discover, and have already, I suspect, is that your love, Camilo for Linda and Linda for Camilo, is strengthened and deepened.
God bless you. We all bless you too.
Linda Passaro, another of "my junior highs" from Long Island, spent the summers of her youth at Lake Candlewood. Her grandparents, Arnold and Evelyn Ericksen, built a cabin high above the shore of the man-made lake. The bride and her family visited and enjoyed North Beach, the site of the wedding, day after summer day through the years. Linda's brother, Phil Jr., was married three years ago (see The Wedding of Philip Passaro Jr and Denise Hanner)and the reception was held at an inn along the lake's shore. When it was time for the bride and groom to take their leave, Phil and Denise hopped into his motorboat and powered across the lake to the Knolls. Linda and Camilo favored no such getaway, preferring to walk in wedding attire from the beach to the reception hall.
Linda is "Dr. Passaro," Ph D in chemistry from Syracuse University. The daughter of one of her professors was the flower girl. Linda works for a company specializing in essences, using her professional skill with pheronomes. She also teaches chemistry at Western Connecticut State University. She met Camilo when both lived and worked in Maryland. He works with Green Tree Toyota car dealership. They now live in Bethel CT, just a block or two from the highway I traversed for a full year (July 1954 to June 1955) when I was the pastor of a two point charge, one in West Redding, the other in Newtown (Sandy Hook). My, my, how life comes full circle... and I haven't confessed to you about the Boy Scout canoe trip in the summer of 1945, and the "midnight requisition" of a case of orange soda from the clubhouse at the northern tip of Candlewood Isle.
The reception was held in another clubhouse, the one at Candlewood Knolls. The caterer, Barcelona, provided Latino cuisine, delicioso! and in keeping with Camilo's heritage. As the afternoon turned into evening and night settled on the lake guests and wedding party dined, danced, and, especially for me, caught up on each other's journey from here to eternity. A wonderful day, a beautiful bride, an adoring husband, plenty of friends, good food, lots of laughter and conversation: who could ask for anything more? Well, maybe we could... ask for something more: a speedy recovery for Linda's aunt Ruth Jackson who suffered a fall on stairs on the Thursday before the wedding, broke her leg in two places, and was still in Danbury Hospital on the day of the wedding.