September 12, 2018

First Baptist Family:

As we prepare as best we can for the unknowns of Hurricane Florence, some of us are readying to welcome family and friends evacuating at-risk areas; others are checking on neighbors; most of us are eyeing the latest satellite reports; and I think all of us are sharing in concern for loved ones, loved things and loved places. It’s okay for us to admit we’re worried, and as we do so, I wanted to take a moment to remind, as ever, that we are not alone.

Our pastoral team has talked about how we can best prepare as a church for the possible effects of the storm, and wanted to share a few ways we are planning to love one another and love our neighbors.

First, as we seek to love and care for one another, please know that we have compiled a list of those members we know who might be most vulnerable in the event of severe weather. Specifically, we have put together a list of older members who live alone at home. Our pastors plan to reach out to these members if there is elevated concern here locally amidst the storm. If you are concerned about someone in our church community in the event of any severe weather, would you let us know so we can make sure that they are on our list?

Second, as we seek to love and care for our neighbors, we want you to know that we are in ongoing communication with local and state partners about the resources we have available and the needs they anticipate.

  • Locally, we are already beginning to collect supplies for the IRC for their emergency shelter this weekend, and you can bring those supplies to the church if you would like to contribute. Requested items are: blankets, breakfast bars, and grab-n-go snacks (no crackers).
  • Statewide, we are well-connected to a number of churches and partners, who know our willingness to help. Our primary church resources will be directed to the post-storm efforts of CBF Disaster Response, and you can see an update from them here. As you can see, they are simply monitoring for now, and preparing for quick response after the storm.
  • Additionally, we are setting plans in place for a response team from our church in the event that there are clean-up and repair needs with which we can help. If you would like to be a part of such an effort, or know more should the need arise, please contact Amy Grizzle Kane and let her know.

Finally, beyond our physical responses and preparation, we all join together in prayer to the God who works in ways beyond our capacities. We pray for strength and safety for any who will face the storm. We pray for faith to know that God is with us when we pass through challenge, crisis and worry. We pray for those most vulnerable amidst disaster, who are so often the most affected by a storm. And we pray that God will show us how we might respond in love for our neighbors, whatever might come.

We prayed such prayers¬† at Midweek @First Baptist, and we will Sunday morning in worship. Should any plans change unexpectedly due to weather, we’ll communicate through our usual channels, but otherwise we will look for you.

A Pastor’s Love,

 

 

If you would like to be contacted for future opportunities once Hurricane Florence passes, please let us know by signing-up here:

 

Disaster Relief Volunteer