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Those who have the “right touch” in any given situation are blessed with a special gift. Lucy Turner embodies this for me and I know for many in the IPC congregation where she has been a Pastor for the last 16 years. She has touched many lives with her intuitive ability to dig deep into the real  meaning of an issue whether it be a baptism, homily, Bible lesson, counseling session, or sermon.

I am writing to announce my intention to retire from IPC on October 31, 2020. I can hardly believe that it has been 16 years since I answered God’s call and accepted your invitation to join the staff. It has been both a joy and a privilege to serve as your associate pastor—particularly as the director of pastoral care and counseling.

A recent article passed my way yesterday posing the question, “Why are dentist’s discovering so many cracked teeth after the start of the pandemic?” I didn’t read it, but I suspect the answer has to do with gritting our teeth (bruxism) while sleeping and awake. While there are many causes, one of the primary ones is stress and anxiety. Most times we are unconscious about how our body responds to stress. We just acclimate to it and assume it is normal.  However, the data shows that if we become more aware of how our bodies react to external stress, which today because of the pandemic is more acute, we can start doing something healthier than letting it “grind us down.”

Remember what St. Paul said in Romans 8, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God,” -not even pandemics. 

There is hardly any way to describe fully the change in our daily lives or the outlook for our post-pandemic world. These circumstances are unique to us. The longer the social distancing and isolation go on, the more I compare the experience to that first plunge into grief when we find ourselves in uncharted territory and walking unfamiliar paths.