Dear South Georgia Conference,
While we watch closely the track of Hurricane Michael, I want to assure our annual conference that our South Georgia Disaster Response Team is already standing by and ready to respond. Over the past two years our area has experienced hurricanes, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding. Our members have risen to the occasion by providing disaster funds and Early Response teams to other areas of the country and to those at home in South Georgia. Thanks to the leadership of Allison Lindsey and Luis Morales we have more trained Early Response Teams than ever before. Thanks to each of you who have helped build our response capacity. Knowing that you are trained and ready is a huge comfort.
I also want to lift up our brothers and sisters in the adjacent annual conferences, Florida and Alabama-West Florida. The panhandle of Florida is actually in the Alabama-West Florida Conference, and that area will bear the brunt of the impact. Many of us have been to areas such as Apalachicola, Port St. Joe, St. George Island, and Panama City. I have assured Bishop David Graves of our support. Our disaster response coordinators are in contact with their counterparts in those conferences. Through the connectional system we are prepared and ready to help each other.
Our district superintendents will be especially attuned to conditions within each of their districts. Pastors: if, after the storm, your congregation has been impacted, please contact your District Superintendent to let him or her know the condition of your community, church, and immediate needs. Your District Superintendent will then contact the Conference Disaster Response team, which will be coordinating our conference-wide response.
Continue to monitor the Conference website for the latest, most up-to-date disaster response information.
Let us join together in prayer for those in the path of Hurricane Michael, for those who will respond, and for the officials in charge. We ask God for safety, comfort, wisdom, and peace. Lord, you are in the midst of all our storms, and we lift up your children and churches and give thanks that you walk with us.
Ephesians 2:5 reminds us that by God’s grace we are “Alive Together in Christ.” And that is how we will move forward through this storm.
R. Lawson Bryan