I am writing to you out of care and concern for the safety of our congregation. It seems that Hurricane Florence has not moved from coming toward our vicinity. We continue to have a strong likelihood of Tropical Storm level rain/wind (through Sunday AM), flooding, hazardous road conditions and power outages. Yesterday I had considered cancelling all extra activities (Sunday School, Nursery, Coffee Hour) but I thought it best to consult with the Vestry as I am not familiar with this type of storm and its effects on Florence, SC. The Vestry responded with clarity that they expect the aftermath of the storm to take some time and cancelling all activities Sunday (including the service) would be the safest and most reasonable course of action.
Based on their wisdom and knowledge of this area, I have decided to CANCEL ALL SUNDAY ACTIVITIES THIS WEEK (including the Sunday Service). The Healing Prayer Team will also not hold Soaking Prayer this afternoon. We hope and pray that the aftermath of the storm will be minimal and that we can return to all normal activities early next week. But we as leadership also do not wish to encourage anyone to be on the road Sunday morning except for emergencies. This decision may seem premature to some, but as we consider the strong likelihood of power outages, waiting to make this decision increases the likelihood that many will not get this message and we want to avoid confusion.
I know many of you have already made the decision to get out of town and others are hunkering down.
For those who are staying I would really like to make sure you have a line of communication with someone so we can get help to you should you need it. If you feel unsafe, or have concerns about your needs (food, water) please contact us at (843) 662-7061 and we will do everything we can to assist you. Each of you is cared for and loved by God and this congregation.
We have tried to get All Saints’ Church secured and prepared and I am planning to making sure that anyone who does not receive emails gets this information too.
Our children came home from school yesterday with many emotions. Times like these can place a great strain on us. I’m always reminded of Jesus who was able to sleep in a boat in a raging storm. It is the only time he is recorded sleeping. I think it shows great significance that the chaos on the outside didn’t rage on the inside of Him. It is so easy for us to become the very extension of the storm in our own lives and in our relationships with one another. But when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, the one who is bigger than any storm, the one who created the whole universe, and defeated death itself, we have hope that the chaos of this world does not define us. He is bigger than the storm. The temporal pain and suffering is not something he dismisses but He wants to be with us in it. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us.
My prayers are with you and all those in the storm’s path.
If you have questions about how to contact the City of Florence during or after the storm, please see this article below:
Fr. Jason Hamshaw