Husband and wife to share sermon Sunday

Friday, March 21, 2008 | 1:34 p.m. CDT; updated 10:53 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — The Rev. Bonnie Cassida knows the tension of life and death, and the power of hope.

The Easter Resurrection is more than a story for her: It is a hope for new life in her husband’s body.

The cancer he has been battling for five years has taken some strength from his body and has kept him from preaching alongside the wife with whom he co-pastored for 10 years.

On Sunday, Cassida and her husband, the Rev. David Casto, will be preaching together.

It takes extra energy, Cassida said, because their styles are so different.

“David prepares a 20-minute sermon and he preaches a 20-minute sermon,” she said.

Cassida prepares an hour’s worth of material and reads faces as she speaks. If the faces are responding to something, she will move in that direction.

When they share the pulpit, Cassida has to remember to stay united with her husband when she gets on a roll. He has to be flexible to her more flamboyant style.

The pastors will be sharing a message relevant to their lives: As the chemotherapy treatments Casto is undergoing kill harmful cells in his body, the couple prays for new life to replace the death inside him.

“Jesus was called from the grave, and God may be calling all of us from a form of death that is holding us back,” Cassida said.

Cancer is not a hidden battle in their lives. They share their struggles with the church family.

“We walk through troubles with others, so we want them to walk with us,” she said.

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