I want to thank everyone for all the prayers, love, support, and material help. I have been overwhelmed with calls, texts, and emails. Please be patient as we try to get a handle on things and decide how to go forward. Our community is crazy right now with fabulously generous disaster relief groups. I am so glad they are here. At the same time, I know they will not be here long. There are needs in other places beckoning to them. Therefore, I have asked our people to focus on future needs more so than immediate needs. FBC Rockport and Coastal Oaks Church, along with the Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopals and so many others are the ones that will be here for the long run. We will work together to help our community recover. We are really just getting started.
I am proud of Mayor Wax, Mayor Kendrick, Judge Mills, Chief Jayroe, Sheriff Mills, and all the workers from near and far who are working to help things move forward.
What follows is information I want you to know. It will begin with general information about how to support and get involved with our recovery efforts, followed by a special word to the residents of Aransas County, especially ACISD employees. Then I have information for members of FBC about what is taking place with the functioning of our church. Finally, I will share some personal information about my family. This way, you can stop reading at any time depending on your interest level.
Worship Services: Beginning this Sunday, September 3, FBC Rockport will hold Sunday morning worship services for those who are in town, as well as those who are commuting in and out of Rockport. Services will be at 10:00 a.m., outside, on our church property. Dress for the weather and bring a chair if possible.
Supporting our recovery efforts and volunteering: The church website will have information on how to give to a fund that we have to help our recovery efforts. There will also be information on where to mail donations.
For information on how to donate goods, please contact Kim Jones at 361-205-4343.
For information on how to volunteer, contact our Youth and Missions Pastor, Jordan Mims at 706-399-2772.
To the residents of Aransas County, especially ACISD employees: When you are able and ready, we hope you will come home. We at FBC Rockport, along with the whole faith community, will be here to welcome you home and assist you with whatever you may need to get your life back again. There will be a variety of resources available to you and we will try to communicate often and accurately. Let us know what you need.
ACISD employees should know that some of our members are organizing an effort to specifically help you as you return. As that effort progresses we will communicate that to you. We want to help all of you come home when the time is right.
To the members of FBC Rockport: I have heard from many of you. Please continue to check in and let us know how you are. If you are in town, come by the church, I would love to see you. Please let us know if you need anything.
Here are things I can tell you for now:
• Jeff, Pam, Patty, and Maria have a makeshift office up and running and are communicating regularly. We are looking into the possibility of setting up a temporary office off-site or bringing in a trailer temporarily.
• Our mail can go to FBC Portland and we may get delivery at our church pretty soon.
• We are setting up a link on our website for you to make your tithes and offerings. I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important this is so that the church can continue to meet its financial obligations in the near future. Our insurance company is also expediting needed funds to help us maintain payroll.
• The building is severely damaged. The adjuster is scheduled to inspect the building on Friday, September 1. Jeff is also ready to work with the insurance company to bring in a recovery teams to inspect, clean, and repair the building. We should know more next week.
• Jordan and Marcie are working with my wife and others to coordinate donations and volunteers to help those in need. This has become a full-time job for them.
Please know that the way we have been doing church in our community is irrelevant in our present situation. I invite you to join me in embracing some new realities for the immediate future.
• The main focus of our church will be to join God in His work to bring healing and restoration to our community. I want us to spend our time helping one another and volunteering to help others in Aransas County.
• There will be no committee meetings. Other things are more important at present. Jeff and I are making the decisions that need to be made for now.
• There will be no Life Groups. Instead, spend your time serving in our community. I encourage Life Group Leaders to stay in contact with their members. It may even be possible to gather together for work, prayer, and encouragement.
• We will have one worship service on Sunday mornings for a while, and it will likely be outside. We will make other arrangements when we can. This is the time to come together as God’s people to worship Him. This is not the time to be distracted by worship styles, songs, instruments, and so on.
• There is work to be done at the church. Stop by to see how you can help.
I love all of you and I am so proud to be your pastor! I am also proud of our church staff who have been working sacrificially and tirelessly.
Concerning my family: my mother is living with her sister in north Texas for now. Her RV sustained very little damage. The rest of us will live in Corpus Christi and begin to figure out the school situation. Our house had only minor damage and we have much for which to be thankful.
I believe as we walk in faith and obedience with Jesus Christ in the coming days we will be overwhelmed by the goodness of God.