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home : religion : religion January 23, 2021

10/25/2020 12:02:00 AM
Seasons Pass
Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is  10% what happens to you and  90% how you react to it.'

Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is 
10% what happens to you and 
90% how you react to it.'


Rev. Susan Smith
Guest Columnist


Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”.

I have truly enjoyed writing this column for the Lincolnton community. L Town is quintessential small-town America with a personality and culture all its own. Your deep roots here and close-knit ties to each other are admirable in a world where many people do not know their neighbors. Holiday parades down Main Street, the Apple Festival, and help agencies like Christian Ministry are all great examples of who you are and what you stand for. The Lincoln Herald does a wonderful job of letting you know what is going on in your community and I have been honored to be part of that great work.

I came to this community in 2016 to serve as a bi-vocational pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church on Main St. and soon after began writing this column. My time at Emanuel will always be a sweet memory of serving in a historic traditional church with a rich history and many special people I will always love like a shepherd loves her sheep. That season was over last May when I had to let go because of tremendous demands in the Exodus ministry in Hickory where I have been for 24 years. It had become too much to serve in both places, but we will always celebrate the wonderful things God did during our time together at Emanuel. It has one of the most beautiful sanctuaries you will ever see, and the congregation there is loving and friendly. If you are looking for a church home, I encourage you to visit there. They are currently searching for their next pastor so this would be a great time to join them in their next adventure in ministry. www.emanuelreformedchurch.net.




I continued to write this column because you the readers have been so faithful and loving. Your calls, emails, and letters letting me know how much you enjoyed a weekly inspirational message means more to me than you will ever know. So many of you have told me that you save the columns and share them with your friends. Although I had to leave Emanuel, I hoped I could continue writing this column, but now God has let me know that this season also must pass. It’s hard to let go but I know I must because the demands of ministry are increasing as disease and economic hardship wreak havoc in our communities.

The good news is that in the Exodus ministry, the COVID 19 pandemic has not stopped us from providing faith based supportive housing to homeless men and women returning to the community from substance abuse treatment centers, jails, and prison. With 73 beds, nine program locations, a vocational training program and a thrift store we have had tremendous challenges remaining open and keeping everyone safe. I’m very happy to report that so far in the pandemic no one at Exodus Homes or Exodus Church has tested positive for COVID 19 and we are still standing. Our challenges to survive in the days ahead are big, but God is bigger. Many homeless people from the Lincolnton area have gotten back on their feet again in the Exodus ministry and we hope to be here for many years to come.

I pray God’s blessings for you and would love to hear from you anytime!

Rev. Smith is the Assistant Executive Director of Exodus Homes www.exodushomes.org and Associate Pastor of Exodus Missionary Outreach Church www.exodusmissionaryoutreachchurch.org. She can be reached at 828-962-8196, revsusansmith@gmail.com or P.O. Box 3311, Hickory NC 28603.


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