Letter from our Conference Minister
My Dear Friends,
I write this today sitting in Steve’s hospital room. He will be fine, we pray, but he has pneumonia and myriad other health issues right now. And yet, I live in hope, as does he, that we have more years together. We will take what comes with prayer, hope, love, and grace. There’s always a lesson in these challenges.
Today, as yesterday as I spent the day in the Emergency Room with him, I am thankful for our access to excellent medical care, great physicians, safe hospital settings and the technology that allows all this to be possible for us. We are also thankful for access to our medical insurance, which will cover the bulk of the costs of this and his other care.
But there are others who I need to thank. Yesterday we held an open house lunch for our chaplains. I was not able to be present, but they shared with each other, were recognized by us and Christian and Barbara stepped in to thank them for me. The PNEC staff is wonderful! I could not do most of what I do without them. Really none of us could. Please take time to thank them, to show your appreciation and celebrate them. They truly are the foundation of the Penn Northeast Conference.
So, thanks to the staff. Thanks to our chaplains who have continued to serve daily, even while the rest of us were isolated in safety – they are the front lines. Thanks to our pastors who, in these difficult days, keep leading worship, offering pastor care in a variety of ways, and are managing the anxiety of our time with faith and courage. Thanks to all the front-line people who have worked diligently to sell groceries, work in service stations, staff pharmacies, direct traffic, fight fires, and on and on and on…. we couldn’t have made it through the last months without them.
I would be remiss if I didn’t also thank God. Thank God for hope and joy, for the blessings of love in our midst, for the courage to face these days, for the confidence to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
I have come to the realization that the world will never be the same as it was pre-COVID. I have also begun to realize that COVID will likely never leave us. As with other viruses, it will mutate and change, we will learn how to prevent and treat it, and we will adjust our lives in new and different ways each and every day. That could leave us with little hope, but that is not how I choose to live in the world. Rather, I will be thankful for what we learn, how we are and can be treated, what is good and helpful in the world and in our interactions with one another.
I will be thankful for my family, for my friends, for my pastor, for my co-workers, for all the ministers working to better the communities we serve, and for every breath I take. I hope you can find reason to be thankful as well.
In God’s hope and with blessings,