It's March - the month in which we all become Irish — at least for a day. And that makes me think of all the things we change to green for that celebration — from milkshakes to ice cream to beer — if it isn't green on March 17th — itls not good. But, as for the rest of the year — well, Kermit the Frog said it first. "It's not easy being green." He even sang a song of lament about it.
Kermit wanted to express how difficult it can be in life to be green to blend in to your surroundings so that nobody really takes notice of you. He sings, "It's not that easy being green; having to spend each day the color of the leaves. When / think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold - or something much more colorful like that. It's not easy being green. It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things, and people tend to pass you over 'cause you're not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water - or stars in the sky.
Good ole' Kermit has a point there. It's not easy just being an ordinary, everyday kind of person. And yet, that is exactly the kind of person that Jesus is always looking for to do his work — to be his heart and hands and voices in the world. In every generation, Jesus calls us to follow him and do what we can, when we can, where we can to make the world a little bit better through small acts of kindness and love and doing good. Jesus knows, it's the little things that really make the difference. He's not looking for "flash" - he's looking for sincerity, honesty, humility, compassion, and kindness.
Even Kermit can see the value in being green when we look at it that way. He changes his mind about what it means to be green when he sings, "But green's the color of Spring. And green can be cool and friendly-like. And green can be big like an ocean, or important like a mountain, or tall like a tree. When green is al/ there is to be, It could make you wonder why - but why wonder? Why wonder? I'm green and it'll do fine. It's beautiful— and / think it's what I want to be."
We all dream of being significant, important, admired, even famous — and WE ARE! — to the people who really matter. What we say and do makes the difference between someone in our lives feeling safe and protected and loved — and them being afraid and unhappy. We are that important even if we blend into the crowd and no one else notices us. That's okay — because God does.
God has made us the caretakers of the earth — the people in our lives, the animals, the birds, the wildlife, the trees, even the air and water — all created by God and placed in our care. That gives a whole new meaning to "being green" - doing all that we can to make certain that all of creation has the chance to be clean and fresh, to grow and prosper, and give the glory to God. It may not always be easy being green, but it's certainly what God intends — so let us go forth into this month and "think green," "go green," "be green" for the sake of all creation and to God's greater glory!
Amen, Pastor Susan
Reverend Susan Hanson has been serving churches since December 19, 1993, when she delivered her first sermon to her first congregation. Since then, Pastor Susan has served in 12 different settings of churches as an interim pastor and to nursing homes as a chaplain, primarily helping to heal hurting congregations and institutions so they could recover and start anew. Reverend Hanson came to St. Vincent UCC in 2013 - her lucky number 13, as she says - and has been with us ever since. How lucky we are because on Sunday, April 8, 2018, Pastor Susan was officially installed by the PA Southeast Conference of the UCC as St. Vincent UCC’s permanent pastor!
Susan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development from Florida State University; a Master of Divinity from Lancaster Theological Seminary; and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling from Moravian Theological Seminary. She was ordained in her home church, St. John’s UCC in Lansdale, PA, on January 9, 1994.
Susan and her husband, the Reverend Doug Hanson, pastor of St. Peter’s Pikeland UCC, live in Chester Springs. They have a daughter and son-in-law who live in Alabama with Pastor Susan’s two grandchildren, a daughter and a son who live locally, and a Golden Doodle. In addition to meeting new people, Pastor Susan enjoys reading a good book, taking walks in nature, and visiting with family and friends.
In her Statement on Ministry, Reverend Hanson says that “a pastor assists the congregation in living out our call to be the heart and hands and voice of God here on earth in our own particular time and place. We can be assured that all of God’s hopes and dreams for us will be realized when we allow God’s Spirit to work within our own lives, and through us, to help others as we seek to do God’s will in the world. Together, we celebrate that when good people seek to make a positive difference in the world, it is there that real ministry happens.”
Feel free to contact Pastor Susan via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by cell phone at 610.393.6971.
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