Monday, January 23, 2006

Progress??..

Are we making progress? How do we progress? Two good and different questions...
Lately the signs have been mixed. Some folk do seem to be getting there. Little signs of hope, of change. Some of the debris piles are beginning to disappear (although not along the beach). New construction is still a long way off as local officials struggle with elevation requirements and building codes. One of my folks was told that it may be as long as 24 months before sewer service is available to his slab....how can you think about rebuilding without water and sewer? So two steps forward and 1 or 2 or 5 back....
Two Saturdays ago the people of St. Patrick's gathered corporately on our beach property for the 1st time since the storm (we don't say Katrina any more - it's just "THE STORM"). We worked hard cleaning the lot, then had a box lunch. We then made our way to our outdoor chapel, most of it was ok, in the park behind our church that we had donated to the city 4 years ago. We had Eucharist and my deacon and I laid hands and annointed the people with healing prayer and oil. Our seminarian, former youth minister, played and sang for us (he is quite the musician / singer). It was a very cathartic time, lots of tears were shed.
This coming Saturday we will have our Annual Meeting. We will elect 4 to vestry, then we will move into a "town hall" type meeting. During that time parishioners are invited to share their thinking, their hopes and dreams, their comments, on where to rebuild our church - return to the beach or not. We are also receiving written comments.
In letters sent out by me this week, I have stressed to everyone that the container for our deliberations must be the mission of our church - why are we here, who are we called to be. That must determine where we go, along with the practical and emotional pieces.
I appreciate your prayers as we go through this important and difficult process.

2 comments:

Sophia said...

David,

I will be thinking of you and your people as my internship congregation also holds its annual meeting this Sunday.

All of you remain in my daily prayers and in my thoughts. I continue to encourage everyone I know not to forget your region over the long term.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with the online community.

You have shown us all what discipleship truly looks like.

Tripp said...

Peace and all good things to you, David. I'll pop back in to find out what has been decided. It sounds as though it could be a couple of years before you guys have a church building to call your own.

How can I help?