I am typing this on Friday morning after the storm and I pray you are safe. Many of us could not wait to go outside this morning, to see the sun and start getting back to normal. But while we were inside and watching our televisions, I guess you saw this.

It went viral on the internet and was all over the local and national news stations on Thursday. Then came the memes, but that ‘s another story. This jeep was stuck in the sand, surf and storm after someone drove out onto the beach to watch the sunrise. There are consequences to our choices!
Today, I encourage you to continue making choices that bless others and reveal the Kingdom of God to a hurting world Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas and done damage here. This morning, the death toll in the Bahamas is at 30 and expected to rise. Headlines concerning the islands use words like “catastrophic” and “devastating” to describe the damage. The pictures seer our eyes and pull at our hearts. The despair in their eyes haunts us.
Closer to home, there is the aftermath of tornadoes and power outages. We clean up our yards and help our neighbors.
This past June, in the Annual Conference Bible study, Dean Jones of Duke Divinity School made the statement, “The antidote to despair is the community of saints.” I have thought about those words a lot this week in the face of human hurt, fear and loss. We are a part of the community of saints. What can we do?

PRAY. Give thanks, ask for comfort and help for those in need, ask for help for all, ask for guidance, ask for mercy, ask to be guided into helping.
HELP OUR LOCAL NEIGHBORS. Does your neighbor need debris cleaned up? Help with kids until they return to school? Help preparing for possible flooding?
HELP WITH CONFERENCE DAY OF SERVICE ON 9/21/19 for those still suffering the effects of Florence. https://www.umcsc.org/make-a-difference-disaster-recovery-day-of-service-sept-21/

4. GIVE through UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief. https://www.umcmission.org/umcor/learn 100% of gifts made to UMCOR go to that relief effort. The administrative parts of the mission are paid for through our apportionments.
5. GIVE BLOOD, if you can.
6. LOVE GOD AND LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR. In the earliest days of Methodism, John Wesley established 3 simple rules:
1) Do no harm
2) Do good
3) Stay in love with God.

Those are good rules for every day.

Pastor Scarlett