This has been a difficult week for folks in the South after the devastating storms hit Alabama and other states. There are over 230 deaths reported in Alabama alone. My prayers and my heart go out to so many who are hurting. It has been difficult to get news and communicate, so I'm blogging this while I'm briefly out of town in hopes that it reaches those praying for us in Huntsville and Madison.
My family is fine and our house had only minor damage. Our power will be out for possibly another week and I'm getting poor mobile phone reception so texting and talking is very spotty. So here's my chance to give everyone an update.
As far as church, Grace UMC will indeed hold worship this Sunday at 8:30 and 10:45 and pray for Ford's Chapel and many others affected by the tornadoes. We will not have nursery or Sunday School (since there are no windows for light in some rooms). Youth Sunday will be rescheduled for later. We will not have power but the water is fine and the building was undamaged. Bring flashlights for the bathroom! Simple and warm worship of prayer and singing. We need to gather. Come as you are.
Thankfully, as far as I know no one at Grace UMC was hurt and no one lost their home. Pray for the Blackwells, the Hardins, the McMullins, and the Pizitz's who I know have had significant damage to their homes. Also pray for Emily Parker, one of our students in Tuscaloosa who I've heard from. She's fine, but she lost a sorority sister and another friend and roommates to death.
My family spent part of yesterday with our friend Rev. Dorothy Ann Webster viewing Ford's Chapel UMC's destruction and visiting families in Anderson Hills neighborhood. They are only about 15 minutes from my church. Their historic chapel built in 1870 was destroyed when a tornado ripped through Harvest, Alabama. But the other buildings can be repaired. Many of the homes in that area near Sparkman High School were destroyed and there were a few deaths. Praying for their ministry there in the community during this difficult time.
The church office will reopen when power is restored. My mobile phone is not getting much reception so I can't talk, text, email, etc. If you need something please feel free to come by the church or the house. Let's all help others get through this.