Weekly Minute with Pastor Susan

Weekly Minute with Pastor Susan

Dear ones,

This fight against Covid has gotten really personal for me. My brother, John Thisell, lost his life to complications of this disease on Sunday (the day before his 63rd birthday), after 4 weeks in ICU, three of which he was on a ventilator. He leaves behind his grieving widow, 2 beloved step-children and daughter in-law, our mother, my sister and me, 5 nieces and nephews, and a plethora of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who love and miss him. The world feels so empty without him in it, but I find consolation knowing he is no longer in pain and is held securely in God’s loving arms. 

I deeply appreciate all the love and care from this congregation and the grace I’ve been shown this week as I have been less than effective all week. I have brought my mom to my house temporarily – she is scheduled to move into Shannondale Retirement Center next Friday. That will be a huge relief since we have been planning this since February. Please continue to pray for us as we navigate new ground in so many ways. I will do my best to be available, so please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have pastoral care or other needs that the church can provide. 

As you might imagine, this has made me even more uneasy about resuming in-person church services. I’d hate for anyone else to go through what we are experiencing, and even more I do not want our congregation’s decisions or activities to be responsible for anyone’s illness or death. I assure you I understand that everything has some risk, but I will not be willing to get back in the church with more than 10 people until we can assure you that we can limit the risk as much as possible. In the meantime we will continue to explore protective strategies and plan for reopening when it’s reasonably safe to do so.

Thursday I learned that TVA is offering incentives to some businesses and schools to install UV-C germicidal lights that remove viruses, like COVID-19, and bacteria from indoor air. We may need to ask y’all for additional donations to fund such a project. The Property and Covid teams will evaluate the benefits and costs, and we will get back to you. 

Pastor Susan


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