A Country Mile
Steve Mizel
Hey Y’all,
Man. I am so ready, y’all.
It’s been a long, hard year and a half, and it has taken a massive toll. I’ve lost friends to Covid19. I’ve lost friends as a result of mental health issues. I’ve struggled with my own mental and emotional well-being.
But, thank God and his gift of science, we are getting close to the new normal on the other side of this thing.
It’s been like a long car ride to grandma’s house. In the beginning, there was noise and confusion, but everyone piled into the car for the trip. Then, as we started getting on each other’s nerves, fighting broke out – the worst of it from the kids in the back seat.
Then comes the last part of the trip. No one really knows how long this final stage is, but it feels longer than all the rest of the driving combined. Time warps and the road ahead stretches down a tunnel of exhaustion that feels like the universe’s test of our endurance.
“Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” The calls come from the back seat.
“Almost. Almost.” We wearily respond, “It’s just a couple more country miles.”
Of course, no one really knows how far a “country mile” is – it’s as long as it needs to be to get us where we want to be. The one thing we do know is that nothing feels as long as a country mile.
I do believe, though, (at least in the US) we are in the last “country mile” of this pandemic and it’s restrictions.
We’re almost there, friends. Even as reports come out that the coveted “herd immunity” we’ve been talking about for the last year is now an impossible goal, I am sitting in a coffee shop, fully vaccinated, writing this newsletter a little like pre-pandemic times, and it was announced earlier this week that Illinois will be shifting into phase 5 of the pandemic response in early June.
For some of you, this news is long overdue and, in your opinion, should have come long ago. You are (and have been) ready. For others of you, letting go of the precautions will be a real challenge. The idea of being with other people in close, indoor spaces feels just wrong after so much vigilance for so long.
It’s been a long stretch and, personally, I am soooo ready for this pandemic thing to be over. I long to gather with you in worship, shoulder to shoulder, with our unmasked faces beaming, and our raised voices singing (and even some raised hands!), and hearts knit together in the unity of gospel.
It’s close, y’all.
Wherever you are in your convictions, I appreciate your patience as we continue to navigate how to exit this season of restrictions appropriately and safely.
I don’t have any announcements. I don’t have any breaking news.
I just want to assure you that we’re almost there. Let’s be patient. Let’s allow the waiting to awaken within us a godly yearning instead of a worldly bitterness or fear.
P.S. Well, even as I am just getting ready to hit send on this email, I got an email update that the CDC just released a new statement lifting many of the pandemic’s recommended restrictions regarding masks and social distancing… oh man. Stay tuned – we need to process what this means with existing regional guidelines and how to best equip our teams to move forward!
Trailhead Town Hall THIS SATURDAY 8pm
Well, Steve, that was short notice!
Yup. It is. But it’s still happening and you’ll want to tune in if you can. We’ve got A LOT of ground to cover in this town hall.
We’ve got a lot to talk about – so plan to join us at our Town Hall on this Saturday, May 15, at 8pm.
Check Steve’s weekly update email (Subject: A Country Mile) for the link.
Building Work Day: May 22
We’ve got a building work day scheduled for May 22nd, from 8am-12pm. Our primary focus will be on deep cleaning the classrooms and lobby in preparation of Trailhead Kids returning!
We also have an outside project happening too. We’ll be finishing the path from the sanctuary exit staircase to the sidewalk with pavers.
Please sign up on Church Center app (Events Tab) or online
If you have any questions, please contact Lori Louderback at llouderback@trailheadonline.org
Media Team Training (A Great Time to Jump In!)
On Saturday afternoon on May 22nd from 1-3pm, the media team will be conducting a training on its new software (ProPresenter 7).
The media team is a tight community of people dedicated to making sure our slides are organized and presented well on Sundays. These guys equip the leaders on stage to lead the church into gospel transformation by providing the media support necessary for engagement.
If you are looking for an impactful way to serve (without being in front of a ton of people), this team would be a great fit. To find out more about serving on the media team or to attend the media training event, feel free to contact Lori at llouderback@trailheadonline.org.
Connect with Us!
Text List: If you haven’t yet, please text Yeah Buddy to 618-266-3210 to get on our text list – this will allow us to connect with you quickly in case of urgency as well as send you weekly reminders and encouragements.

Prayer and Needs Request
: If you have a prayer request,, we’d love to know! We have people eager to pray with and for you! Do you have a need request? You can let us know here!

Online Bulletin:
 I’d love for you to check out our bulletin each week. It has important announcements, links, and of course, the weekly sermon quotes. You can access it directly on our website, from the Church Center App, or you can get it here.

Looking forward to Sunday

So, we finished Romans 6 last week and I don’t want to jump into Romans 7 and then leave on sabbatical – we’ll save that for the fall when I return.
I’m looking at a couple different passages for Sunday, but it looks like it’s going to be a Sunday Surprise!
I’d love prayer as I try to settle on a passage – and you’ll find out what it is on Sunday!