Isolation and Hope

Reflection from a COVID ICU Survivor:  As we contemplate what church looks like after the pandemic, I want to share my thoughts about life, death and godliness as one survivor.  Six months ago, the devastating virus and I became too familiar:

  • 10 days of hospitalization, three in ICU and six hours away from intubation
  • 2 months tethered to an oxygen tank afterward
  • An additional month before medical clearance
  • Lingering side effects – my lovely wife Dee is patiently filling in gaps from my memory loss, and I have difficulty swallowing are just two examples.
But what lingers the most is the incredible loneliness that I felt in the hospital.  It was overwhelming.  Pandemic.  Isolation. Loneliness. It was something very physical but also emotionally.  Now, I can see God leading me through it all; God leading me out of the pit, and I hope to be back in the pulpit soon as a Commissioned Pastor.
Now recovering still from Covid, I have a sense of “being on the outside looking in” – not out of body – but seeing the world through a different set of Christological lens.  This past Good Friday was insightful.  It viscerally hit me. God used this malady for this very moment in time.  God will use me; this comes with a sense of peace and joy.  I would never wish this virus on anyone, and I am convinced that nothing can separate us from the love of God.  I’m hopeful for God’s next plans.  Yes, sisters and brothers in Christ, God is good.Steve Sullwold, CRE, Wichita Falls

149th Stated Presbytery Meeting

April 30th 5-7 via Zoom. Link Coming.

Guest Speaker: Rev. John Williams, Ph.D.
Chaplain with Austin College

“Church Hope Post Covid”

Lamentations With Our Asian Siblings in Christ

With other Americans, Presbyterians are experiencing grief and outrage at the anti-Asian hate that is by no means new but has been shockingly manifested in the murders of eight precious human beings in the Atlanta area by a young white Christian man. Those of us who are white can feel some of the grief and outrage, but cannot really know the heavy burden of fear that our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) siblings have been carrying, exacerbated by this egregious act of violence.

The National Caucus of Korean Presbyterian Churches (NCKPC) has called its own congregations to prayer in an urgent message that all of us need to hear. NCKPC is also inviting donations to support the families of the victims. You may wish to participate, and to spread the word about this opportunity in your mid council. This is one way to respond—in addition to our prayers and the ongoing work God is calling us all to undertake in dismantling structural racism (and, we might add, misogyny). May our actions speak along with our words. A message from the Stated Clerk is available in Korean, Spanish and English.

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