Dear siblings in Christ,
As you know by now it has been a difficult five days since Hurricane Ian hit us. The destruction and loss of life is like none we have experienced in recent history. None of us could have imagined our present reality. Some of our full time members have lost their homes, cars, and possessions and are scattered around the county and beyond. Some of our seasonal members believe they have lost their homes but have no way of being certain. Some know that their homes are gone.

In the midst of this unbelievable suffering, we give thanks that those of us who experienced the storm’s destruction are still alive. We are broken-hearted for our fellow FMB community members who have died and are injured. We pray for all who are affected by the storm’s continuing devastation.
As many of you may know, we still do not have access to the island or our church property. The buildings are standing but their condition and structural integrity are uncertain. We will keep you updated as we can. Cell service has been spotty and we are still without power, so please be patient with us.

I know that we are all heartbroken by the damage to our beloved St Peter. So many of you have poured your time, talent, and treasure into this ministry for decades. Please know your sacrifices have not been in vain. You have already served so many people in our community and no storm can take that away from you.
Pastor Tony Campolo preached a sermon about the death and resurrection of Jesus. He described the grief and despair that the disciples, both men and women, must have experienced after Jesus’ death. They must have thought all was lost. Pastor Campolo said “it may be Friday, but Sunday is coming!”

He was describing that waiting time between the death and the resurrection. That time when God seemed silent, and they felt abandoned. We may be feeling that way right now; our vision veiled by death. Yet, as people of faith, we need to remind one another that “Sunday is coming”. Resurrection life is coming. God promises to bring life out of death. That life will not be the same, but it will be imbued with the love and light of God that never leaves us! Please pray for one another. Support one another. Hug your family. Live each day with gratitude as if it is your last. Serve others.

It is a privilege to serve as your pastor. I send my love and prayers to you all wherever you are. May God bless you and keep you as you move through your grief and trauma. We are here for you and so is the wider church. We have already received so many emails and calls of prayers and support. However God leads us forward, we will be held by the Body of Christ around the country.

Please be safe. If you have not checked in with me, please send me an email and let me know you are safe and where you are.
May the constant love of God be your comfort and strength.

Peace and Love, Pastor Sharon Taylor