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for May

May 7, 2023
“Jesus Is King”
Matthew 28:16-20
(Rev. Jim Cagle)

May 14, 2023
Mother’s Day
“Flowers and Floods”
Luke 2:41-52

May 21, 2023
“Zaccheus, Come on
Luke 19:1-9

May 28, 2023
Pentecost Sunday/
Memorial Day
“Holy Spirit Directs”
Acts 8:26-39


Mary, Clara, and Caroline

My two grandmas have always been my heroes. I loved visiting them, staying overnight, getting letters and cards in the mail. Neither lived close, but both were visited regularly. Until my mom died last fall, and I was trying to put words together to say at her funeral, I hadn’t given much thought to my mom being my hero as well.

I revere my grandmas for what they did. What they made of their lives, how they raised their kids in difficult times. I knew them for the food they cooked, for the activities we did as a family, for the distinctions they achieved through their work, for the crocheted, sewn, and painted items they made.

But mom, I revere her for who she was. Always there. Knew me inside and out. Didn’t make me eat liver. Did make my favorite cake for each birthday. As the youngest, I went a lot of places with mom. I tagged along to the grocery, on errands, and the occasional garage sale. Probably easier to take me along than convince my older siblings to watch me. But I was happy to hang out with mom.

In the first grade I had a severe reaction to a shot at the doctor’s office. I don’t remember what I had that needed the doctor’s attention, but I know sulfa made me break out in an immediate and brilliant rash that got me a one-week stay in the hospital. In the last year, looking through some old letters as I helped clean out the family home, we found one in which mom told grandma that she had not been feeling too well. She said, “I was so worried about Karen that I guess I just didn’t take time to go to the doctor about my sinus infection.”

I wouldn’t say she worried all the time. Just when necessary, I suppose. She rejoiced with all of us four kids when we were happy and successful. Probably
cried (when we weren’t looking) when we were sad or unsuccessful. Became my friend as well as my mother as I reached adulthood. Rest In Peace, mom. Your legacy of love lives on in me. All three of these strong, vibrant women have passed on. What women in your life are you thankful for? This is a good month to tell them how much they mean to you. And if they have passed away already, you can thank God for them.

Blessings to you,In the interim, Pastor Karen Johnson



Dear church family,
As you know, I was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) in February of 2020. Since then, it has been my blessing and privilege to continue serving as your Pastor despite my increasing physical difficulties and the weakness and fatigue that come with this disease.

However, after much consideration and in consultation with my doctor, Darby and I believe it is time for me to step away from working and take care of my health, so I will be taking a Medical Leave of Absence beginning Monday, July 25, 2022. We anticipate that the leave of absence will run for three months, during which time we will be working on getting the necessary approvals for long-term disability.

We have already discussed this with the church leadership, and the Search Committee is exploring options for bringing in an interim pastor. I know you will be in good hands and that God will lead all of us in these decisions.

Going forward, Darby and I hope to continue worshipping with you on a regular basis, and Darby to continue working part-time for the church, at least as long as these arrangements seem appropriate to our needs and those of the church.

Please know that I am deeply grateful for your prayers, your love, your gifts, and the many ways members of this congregation have helped us. You have shown us extraordinary grace through this difficult period, and we thank you all.

God bless you!
Pastor Ken