Weekly Minute with Pastor Susan

Bible

Greetings, dear ones!

Once again I must thank you all for the amazing support you have extended to me and my family in this difficult time. I feel so well-loved and cared for by this congregation. You really are amazing and I thank God daily for you. I am happy to report that my mom is now safely residing at Shannondale Retirement Center and is getting settled. She’s been through a lot in the last weeks and months and I’m sure her transition will take some time, but she’s happy to be here in Knoxville and I’m thrilled to have her nearby.

I’m happy to announce that in the month of August (on 3 Sundays) we will be receiving 12 new members! Information about them will be emailed early next week so that you can “meet” them. I encourage you to reach out to them and introduce yourselves by card, email or phone contact, perhaps get connected on Facebook or other social media, and show them our great Messiah welcome! We will plan a big celebration when we can once again gather as a congregation and we hope that then we will all be able to meet them in person! 

Covid numbers continue to rise dangerously in our county and state but as far as I know, we have had no one in our Messiah family that has contracted the virus. We’d like to keep it that way but please let me know immediately if you or a loved one becomes ill with it. We will support you and your family in any way we can. Please continue to practice safe distancing, avoiding high-risk activities, wearing face-coverings and staying home if you are sick or are aware of being exposed to someone who has the virus. It is certainly discouraging to watch the numbers rise, but we are not without ways we can respond positively. 

First of all, pray. We are Easter People and we believe that God hears our prayers and that they are powerful in changing the world and our own selves. Lament if you need to but follow the guidance of the Psalms of Lament and move from sorrow, fear and pain into the joy of God’s great promises that we know are reliable and true. If you would like to know more about prayers of lament, please let me know. In the meantime, I am providing a prayer for this time. Feel free to amend or adapt it according to your need.

All powerful God, We beseech you to show mercy on the people of this nation and the world. Open pathways for science and medicine experts, public servants and policy makers to discover how to address this threat to so many lives so that we might find a way to curb this pandemic and preserve life for those who are or will become ill with this virus.

Hold close to you all who are now sick, and their loved ones who watch and wait; the medical care teams who are striving to treat this illness and those officials who are making decisions about preventive measures to stop the spread; and mostly all who have lost those they love, lost homes, jobs or other income sources.

We ask you to use us as you will in caring for those whom we are responsible for, and in communicating with all in our sphere of influence information that will help them make sound decisions that will help all people in this dangerous time. 

In your love we pray. Amen

Always abiding in the grace and love that has been given to us through our Lord and Savior!

Pastor Susan

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