Merry Christmas dear friends!

2020 is a year for the record books! Michael and I are grateful for technology and the ability to still meet with clients via telehealth for counseling, grief care, and spiritual direction. Anxiety, stress, loss and grief have only increased during these difficult times. We depend on God’s wisdom for each appointment. Many are finding hope and life despite, and in the midst of, extreme pain and soul-crushing circumstances. Dana has also provided training (virtually) to a number of groups on Processing Pandemic Grief. Please keep us, HOPE RISES, in your prayers that we will not take on the emotional weight of others, but trust God to do the heavy lifting. Soul care is truly holy ground.   www.HOPE-RISES.com

A HUGE joy this year is the arrival of little Theo, born April 11th. Though our first meeting was through a glass door, he immediately stole our hearts!  We’re all being super cautious of Covid-19 and grateful to visit him now. Jess and Joey are amazing parents!!! It’s quite a trip, and beautiful, to see your baby with their own baby!   “Papa Ru” and “Nana” are thrilled.

Along with caring for Theo full-time, Jess started graduate school to become a high school counselor. She also leads worship often.

We should name Joey “Gumby” as his role of Youth Pastor has required extreme flexibility. His love for the kids keeps him going despite all the ever-changing plans and platforms in church ministry.

Chris and Amy have also had a crazy year as teachers at Valor Christian High School in Colorado. Pray for teachers!!! They long to give students the best possible education amid the challenges of a global pandemic but it is rough.

We’re grateful we got to see them for a week this summer when we drove to CO. Covid-19 has changed our holiday plans so we’re not sure when we’ll be together again.  Zoom is good but just not the same, as you well know. Fun fact: Chris and Amy will celebrate 2 years of marriage on December 29th.

If ever there is a time to be reminded of the transforming message of Immanuel – God WITH us – it is now. May you steal away for quiet moments to reflect on this truth and perhaps ask, “What am I waiting for? Longing for?” and dare to whisper, “O come, O come Immanuel. Come, speak to me.”