Of the four seasons of the year – my favorite is Autumn. First of all, it brings us “all things” pumpkin! Whether it is something you are eating or drinking or decorating – pumpkins are great! And then, there is the arrival of cool, crisp air – it revives your body, mind, and spirit and there's nothing better than that! Autumn is that time of year that gives us a visual explosion of color that is beyond compare! And let's not forget the sweet fun holidays ahead that we all love to celebrate with friends and family!
But, there's more about the season of Autumn that makes it my favorite. This is the season that brings with it important lessons for life. It reminds us that change is constant – it's happening all the time. Not only does change happen, but the season of Fall shows us that change can be a beautiful thing!
And – fair warning - Fall's colorful display of trees is about to show us how easy and wonderful it can be to let go of things. Especially those things that we don't need any more or need to rid ourselves of in order to weather the challenges that will surely come.
It's that time of year for clearing things out. “Spring Cleaning” may be for clearing out stuff in the house – but Fall is for doing our “Spiritual Cleaning” when we clear out old ideas and past mistakes and remember the lessons learned in the past. It's a time for more walks in nature, spending more time meditating on life, getting rid of things that we just don't need to hold onto anymore – physical stuff and emotional and spiritual stuff. When we see how easily the trees let go of leaves – it helps us to get into the spirit of “letting go” too.
And when it comes to decorating - my favorite are the Fall ones. I guess you could say I “fall” for Autumn in every way! That's why this year, I don't want to miss out on every opportunity to spread Autumn cheer. This year, we'll even be able to get back to decorating our church windowsills as well. Harvest Home Sunday is October 17th – so if any of you want to adopt a window to decorate – let me know. Won't it just be wonderful to transform our church inside to reflect what is happening outside all around us?
The season of Autumn only lasts so long – but it can be a great season for all of us in our church family – whether you are with us in person on Sunday mornings or participating in worship from home. We love being one-in-spirit together each week. So, here's to “Falling for Autumn” - may our homes and our hearts reflect our passion for the season, and may our church show the beauty of the changing times to the greater glory of God.
In His 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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