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From Pastor Susan in the November edition of Within These Red Doors :

An article in the New York Times (written with a byline from Chicago) says it all: As the Coronavirus Surges, a New Culprit Emerges: Pandemic Fatigue. There’s a new surge of Covid- 19 cases and hospitals are being stressed again. “Shared, though, is a public weariness and a growing tendency to risk the dangers of the coronavirus, out of desire or necessity: With no end in sight, many people are flocking to bars, family parties, bowling alleys and sporting events much as they did before the virus hit....” And so, yes, people are caring less about the restrictions and, well, predictably, cases are rising. Many people don’t know how they contracted the virus; they can’t even pinpoint which event was the ‘spreader’ event. Done with hearts in the windows and teddy bear scavenger hunts, people “have had enough.”

It is understandable. People are tired; apathy and impatience are the culprits, they say. “Citizens have made huge sacrifices,” said Dr. Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Europe. “It has come at an extraordinary cost, which has exhausted all of us, regardless of where we live, or what we do.” Bottom line of the article: “Fear has been replaced with fatigue.”

Even as the Church Council, at the time of this writing, may have to consider suspending worship again, we hold on to the promises of God and our faith, along with scripture and hope.

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

May we be encouraged by those around us who are ‘on the front lines’, helping and working and determined to not give up. May we all gain our strength for the ‘long run’ – this marathon - with faith in God who, alone, can empower us all. We will get through this together.

Even if you do not know anyone personally who lost their battle with the virus, you have read or heard about the heartache. On November 8, 2020 during worship – whether we have In-Person worship or via Worship on the Web on Facebook - we will honor and give thanks for the lives of all those who have died in the past year (Covid and non-Covid related). Called Totenfest, it is a German tradition, also known as Memorial Sunday. We will not forget those whom we loved in any time or place in our lives by lighting a candle in their memory.

With the holidays looming may we turn to God and pray for resilience to withstand any foe. Fear has no foothold when the power of God is summoned; every believer across generations has known this. And we will continue to call upon the Lord in this time and place, as well.

Pandemic Fatigue will NOT triumph.

Holding you in my prayers,

Pastor Susan

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