October 9, 2018
Dear Friends in Christ,
As many in the Panhandle and other areas of our synod are watching the information about Hurricane Michael closely, we join in prayer and preparation. Please be proactive in maximizing the probability of your safety and that of those who are close to you (see https://apps.floridadisaster.org/getaplan/ to help form a plan for your home/community). As you do so, be attentive to those who are particularly vulnerable for one reason or another and who might need a helping hand. May this be an opportunity to be the presence of Christ in the lives of others.
As per the Synod Disaster Response plan (available HERE), Assistant to the Bishop for Administration, Michele Hilton, is watching the storm information closely and staying in touch with conference deans in areas likely to be affected. She, in collaboration with Sister Michelle Collins, will continue to gather information and provide guidance related to personnel and congregations in this synod through Facebook, emails and the synod web site.
Pastors, please communicate with your Conference Deans with respect to what is transpiring within your own context.
As we continue to learn from our partners in Haiti about the impact of this past weekend’s earthquake, and as I was recently able to be in Puerto Rico for the installation service of Bishop Idalia Negron and saw the ongoing recovery still happening in that region, we join together in ongoing prayer for those affected by storms, natural disasters, and tragedies of any kind:
Eternal God, in the midst of turmoil, storms and disasters–both locally and around the world–we pray for peace, restoration, and strength for those affected. We give thanks that your love is steadfast and your strength never fails. We pray for all in leadership positions in our communities, cities, states and nation that they may demonstrate courage and compassion as they seek to fulfill their responsibilities of providing care for those who seek guidance and relief. And, O Lord, in the midst of our own fears, by your Holy Spirit, grant us the gifts of faith, hope, and love and enfold us in your peace. Amen.
May the peace of Christ, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and minds this week.
Together with you in Christ,