I hope far all of you things are beginning to get back to normal following Hurricane Irma. If not - if you are in any need dealing with the effects of the storm - please contact the church office as soon as you can and let us know. We are ready to help.
Some good news - St. Michael's is intact and apparently undamaged by the storm. Many thanks to Mike Johnson, our Junior Warden, Jane Riner, our Altar Guild chair, and Judy Naylor Johnson, our Parish Administrator, for their tireless work securing the property prior to Irma's arrival. Thanks also to Nancy Relyea, our sexton, for her mighty efforts cleaning up afterwards on Tuesday. Our Cub Scouts are coming Thursday night to clear away the sandbags, and by Sunday, things should look pretty much as they did beforehand. We have some good folks here, but y'all already know that.
The Revival at Honey Creek with our Presiding Bishop has been postponed until Saturday, 20 January 2018. Honey Creek was hit hard, but we are delighted that no buildings were badly damaged. We lost some shingles, and the dock did suffer a little, but nothing that cannot be repaired. We will still charter a bus, and if you made a reservation, it is secure. We will have the bus roster available on Sunday for you either to confirm that you will still be going or to release your seat for someone else. Look for it in the back of the church this Sunday. Since the revival has been delayed, we will follow our normal Sunday schedule this week - services at 8:00 and 10:30, with Rector's Forum and Lectionary Class in between.
As of this writing, it appears only one church property in the diocese suffered any real damage. Holy Nativity, St. Simon's has three trees down on the church and rectory. One of those is fairly large, and they haven't yet been able to remove it safely, but it has damaged the roof of the nave, directly over the organ. Glynn County was hit hard overall, and it will take them many months to recover fully from all the damage. If you'd like to make a contribution to Holy Nativity, you can do so this Sunday.
In the meantime, there are still countless individuals and families whose lives have been totally disrupted by the recent storms. What can we do to help? First off, we continue to pray for them and for those assisting them. Prayer is a powerful way for us to enter into God's healing and restoring work in the world. Pray for their safety and recovery; pray for God to move others to generosity and willingness to help; pray for a clear revelation of God's presence with all those in danger or sorrow.
Other than prayer, there are many ways to be involved. Perhaps you loaded up on canned goods or other items in anticipation of days without power or water in your own house. Bring some of that surplus to the I AM Food Pantry. Many of our clients are among the hardest hit by and the least able to deal with the storm. Check on your neighbors nearby and see if they need help with clean up or debris removal. Even if they don't, invite them over for dinner one evening; a friendly welcome and good fellowship go a long way to healing the anxiety and uncertainty this kind of event can bring. Make a donation to a reputable charity - Episcopal Relief and Development is an excellent choice, or make an extra contribution to St. Michael's designated for storm relief.
Lastly, and just as importantly as any of these others, take stock of what you have in your life now and give thanks to God for all of it. Gratitude is an incredibly potent pathway to serenity and joy, and in these major crises, we cannot get enough of either of those.