Friends, we are fortunate that the worst of Hurricane Dorian evaded our area. We lift up prayers of gratitude to God that our homes, family, community, and church were spared from receiving any damage. In many ways, given the forecast of the previous week, it seems unbelievable.

Our relief is tempered by our concern for those in North Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas who remain in the path of the storm. We offer prayers for their protection and safety during the storm. Similarly, we are sobered and sorrowed by the devastation and destruction that has occurred in the Bahamas. Our hearts break for communities that have been destroyed and lives upended. We offer prayers of healing and hope that the people of the Bahamas would be met by the comfort, companionship, tenderness, and power of the Spirit of Jesus. May the islands experience an outpouring of God’s presence and love as they seek to heal – physically, emotionally, and spiritually – and rebuild their communities. I pray also that the Church would embody the presence of Christ and be an agent of healing, love, mercy, kindness, tenderness, service, restoration, and renewal to the Bahamian people. In the coming days and weeks we will look for opportunities for our congregation to find ways to help the relief efforts in the Bahamas that are just now beginning and that will last for years to come.

Our own church received no damage from the storm. Again, we are incredibly fortunate. I would like to invite anyone who is able to join me tomorrow, Thursday, September 5th at 10:00am to come to the church for an hour or two and help set things to right and prepare the church for our worship service on Sunday. If you have work gloves and a rake, please bring them, for there are some pine needles and a few branches that will need to be cleaned up.

We will resume our normal hours beginning tomorrow and all will be per usual for our education and worship schedule on Sunday. I invite you to join us for worship this Sunday at 10:30am in the Sanctuary as we reflect during our sermon time on “Lessons from the Storm,” and we together give thanks to God for our provision during the storm and lift up the people of the Bahamas, North Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas in prayer.

I look forward to seeing you all this week.