Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 21 at Bethel UMC in Lower Burrell for Erin Jedlowski, 23, the missions and youth director of First UMC in Waynesburg who suffered fatal injuries July 1 when a mission team van crashed en route to Slidell, LA.
On the Caringbridge webpage set up for Erin her family wrote:
On Sunday afternoon, Erin went home to the Lord. Her spirit will live on in others because she selflessly made the decision to donate her organs. In death as in life she wanted to help others.
A 2011 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Erin joined the staff at Waynesburg First UMC later that year and almost immediately re-energized the congregation’s youth ministry and mission efforts, said Washington District Superintendent Eric S. Park. The difference she made was evident at the congregation’s last charge conference, he said.
Waynesburg First's administrative board chair Janice Gottschalk, who instrumental in establishing the position of youth and missions director, was with a group that met in the church parking lot about 10 p.m. to commission the mission team before they left for Louisiana.
“In trying to find some sunshine behind the clouds," she said, " I remember someone said Erin was talking on a cell phone to a pastor who knew her as a child. The conversation was taking place as she was traveling on the mission trip to Slidell, Louisiana, the same trip where the accident happened. She was telling the pastor that she wasn't a little girl anymore and that she was working with youth and missions and she was all grown up.
“ I like to think that we gave Erin her first real experience serving the Lord as an adult and that she gave us her best fresh outlook on ministry and serving in those areas. We were good for each other and God sent her to us. He knew what we both needed. I believe she is with Him now because he knew she would not be able to function again in a way that would fully Glorify Him and make her fulfilled on earth.
“Ours is a religion of faith, not understanding. I believe He did was best for her and he will guide First UMC forward to honor the work she did with us. My prayers to her parents, Darryl and Kim and her sister, Kristen and family. We loved her!”
Erin was a lifelong resident of Lower Burrell, PA and a member of Bethel United Methodist Church there. She worked in various summer staff positions at Jumonville camp and retreat center during college.
Surviving are her parents, Darryl and Kim Jedlowski, sister Kristen O’Connor and nephew Brayden O’Connor, her grandmother and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
Visitation will be at the Rusiewicz Funeral Home in Lower Burrell on Thursday, July 19 from 6-8 pm and Friday July 20 from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm. The funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Bethel UMC, Lower Burrell. Read complete obituary. .
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:
Waynesburg First United Methodist Church
112 North Richhill Street
Waynesburg, PA 15370
Designated to the scholarship for mission trips
Bethel United Methodist Church
150 Alder Street
Lower Burrell, PA 15068
Designated to the campership fund