Summertime is typically a time when people are focused on getting outside and going to interesting places and having a good time – except for the last two summers – thanks to the pandemic. But, thank goodness THIS summer we can do so without hesitation or limitation. That is, if you are fully vaccinated and going someplace where the restrictions from Covid have been lifted. So – you still have to be careful – but it's better than last summer when we couldn't go anywhere safely. Now, we can really look forward to seeing people we've been missing and having fun in all the ways we love the most. I hope you are having a wonderful summer so far – enjoy it with your whole heart!
And while we're talking about our whole hearts - make this summer a time when you nurture yourself in spiritual ways as well. Even if you're away traveling – you can still tune in to worship with us wherever you are because we'll still be live streaming our services each Sunday. And wherever you go – take opportunities to tap into the spirit of God that is around you wherever you are. Here are some ways to do just that . . .
Summer often takes us out into nature more often – connect with the spirit of God in nature all around. Summer often sets us on a slower pace – so be still and listen for God's still, small voice in every moment. Summer often brings us closer to family and friends we don't get to see all year long. So, “be” with those you love as much as you “do things” with them. Make this summer a time to nurture your spirit – be kind to yourself and let others be kind to you as well. You deserve it.
Look – life always brings challenges – and this past year has been especially challenging to all of us. And we're still recuperating. But we ARE recuperating.
And if ever in doubt, always choose to be kind. Remember that anyone can sound confident, but still be struggling with anxiety. A person can look healthy, but still feel like crap. You can seem happy, but still be miserable. You can be good looking and still be ugly inside. SO LET'S BE KIND – because every person may be fighting a battle that you know nothing about – and they need your kindness – and you need theirs!
So, let's make this summer a time that is devoted to kindness, a summer focused on spirit, a summer that brings more light and love into the world through us so that amazing and wonderful things will happen because of what we say and do. Make it a summer to remember that love can make a difference, that love is the right thing – always – and that, quite simply ---Love Is Everything!
Let's do all we can to make it so in this summer of spirit.
Love, 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 email@example.com or by cell phone at 610.393.6971.
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