Everyone who knows me knows I don't like summer heat! And it has been unbearable so far this summer – hasn't it? Almost makes me happy to have the excuse of “sheltering in place” for not going out – and that also seems to be the best way to stay safe from Covid-19 exposure too. But, when I do have to go out – I try to not stay out in the sun too long. It feels like the heat is just going to force my body to explode. Good thing we're maintaining six feet distance from one another – 'cause when I do go, it'll probably be messy.
All kidding aside though, we're only half way through this summer sizzle and I don't know if I can take it till the Fall. Look folks, I lived in Florida for a while years ago and moved back to PA because I just couldn't handle the heat (not to mention the bugs and mildew on everything). I am already dreaming of a blustery Autumn and a white Christmas and I am not apologizing for it to anyone.
Well, since I don't get to see you these days, I've been wondering how you have doing during these dog days of summer. You've really been in my thoughts and my prayers. Isn't it enough that we've had to adjust to the restrictions caused by the pandemic of 2020 – now the summer heat is threatening to melt us. When will it end?
Jesus says that at the end of the age, the angels will come and separate the good from the bad. The good will be heaven bound and the bad will be thrown into the furnace of fire where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And he asks “Have you understood this?” And the people said, “yes”. (Matthew 13: 49-51)
Well - me too, Jesus, me too. I get it! If this – pandemic / summer sizzle is anything like that furnace – from now on, I will do whatever I can to be good, to do good, to encourage good in others. Good – Good – Good – because, though I'm surviving these trying times, I do have hope of seeing better times when it's over. But, an eternity of fire – no way - if I can help it. And I can. And so can you. So, let's all Be Good – Be Safe – Be Well – Be Kind.
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.