Pastor's E-Letter

Pastor's E-Letter

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Pastor's E-Letter 9/2/19

Hurricane Dorian Update – All Wednesday Activities, Including Journey, are Cancelled

  “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God…God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns…Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” Psalm 46

It was so good to be in worship yesterday, to take a break amid the anxiety and preparations for Hurricane Dorian. It was good to sing, pray, and be reminded of God’s presence with us in all the uncertainty. I reminded the folks at The Gathering and 11:00am of the story of the Jesus and the disciples in a boat in the middle of a storm. The disciples were panicked, (understandably and we know what that is like) and went to Jesus and said, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Jesus awoke and stilled the storm.
Unfortunately, we know that not every storm is stilled. Not every hurricane turns away in time. Right now, our brothers and sisters in the Bahamas are suffering greatly because the storm is there. It breaks our hearts to imagine their pain and devastation. But what that story, and the whole story of the incarnation (God becoming flesh to walk among us as one of us), tells us is that Jesus is with us, God is always with us, in every storm. And God in Christ Jesus has the power to bring us peace and hope in storms of all kinds. That is my prayer for you as we wait. That you will find the still center of Christ in you during the storm. The Psalm above is one of my go-to scriptures when I need to find that stillness, that peace. It reminds me that God is our refuge and strength in the storms of life and in the aftermath.
In the meantime, please be safe. Look after yourself, your family, and your neighbors. Once the storm has passed, (and it will pass eventually) we will begin the work of cleanup and assessing how we can love our neighbors in extraordinary ways in the aftermath of the storm. The church office will be officially closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. If we can open the building sometime on Wednesday to assist others with power or ice or whatever, we will let you know. But all activities for Tuesday and Wednesday are cancelled.
Know that I’m praying for all of you, as well as all those in the path of the storm. May we all find some peace in the presence of Christ with us as we wait.
 Grace and Peace,

Pastor's E-Letter 8/30/19

As I am writing this on Thursday afternoon, I know many of you are preparing your home and your possessions for a potential direct impact by Hurricane Dorian here in Brevard County. We here at Suntree United Methodist have also begun preparations for the church building and have a team of volunteers working with those who may need help preparing themselves. We are grateful to all of you for your patience as we watch the track closely and help you prepare.

We wanted to make you aware of a few notes about this as we prepare:

  1. At this time, we will still have all our services Sunday morning, but after worship we plan to shut down our facility.
  2. All other activities after worship on Sunday are canceled. We will keep you updated about programming later in the week as we watch the storm’s progress.

Please make your best judgments about being in worship on Sunday. Of course, we would love to see you, but we respect your decision making as you exercise extreme caution regarding this storm.

In the meantime, this storm has me thinking about our legacy as a congregation in our community. In 2004 and 2005, the years when multiple hurricanes crisscrossed Florida, Suntree UMC became known as a place for hot food, power, and ice. Last year, when Irma devastated Key West and power was out here in Brevard County, Suntree again rallied for our neighbors near and far by providing food, space to charge phones, ice, and help after the hurricane.

All this work is what it means to be servant-hearted and is the true embodiment of the vow of “service” that we take when we join The United Methodist Church. When we each use the gifts that God has given us to help one another, we can be a force for true good and transformation in our community. When we vow to serve, we remember that we do not have to go it alone and that with the help of others, we can rest in the safety and security of our community and our God.

We are praying for you as you wait out this storm. If you are evacuating, we wish you safe travels and a safe return to us here in Brevard County. If conditions change or any other pertinent information needs to be shared, we’ll be sure to do that through our e-Letter, Facebook, and website, in order that you might feel informed and connected to our efforts here.

Be safe! See you Sunday,


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