Hurricane Ian Update #3 from Pastor Samantha

Date:  November 2, 2022

Dear Beach UMC Family and Friends,

I want to give you an update on what’s happening with the church and our faith community.  The cleanup is continuing on Fort Myers Beach.  This is a huge effort and it’s encouraging to see so many helping and working together to restore our community.  Praise God for all this help!

I am working with the Ministry Protection unit within the Florida Conference and our insurance adjuster for our damage claims.  We’ve received bids from firms who will secure the church property, inspect damaged areas, remove debris/damaged items, and clean up the church (and parsonage).  Several people have offered to help and we appreciate their offers but the damage is beyond what volunteers can handle and the clean up work is hazardous.   That’s why we’re engaging a firm who specializes in this type of work.

While the cleanup is taking place, our District Superintendent, Rev. Debbie Allen, requests that the church undertake a Local Church Assessment Process as outline in the Book of Discipline.  A task force consisting of leaders from our church, the district, and the Florida Conference will be formed to study the future and potential for our church.  With God’s help this process will determine what’s next for Beach UMC.

On a personal note, with the help of the Florida Conference, I’ve secured a temporary living space that is off the island. Its just a few miles away and will be my home for the next couple of months.

I’m continuing to stay in close contact with our church members and meet weekly with our church leadership team.  Many in our church family who live on the island are displaced and have suffered substantial losses.  We continue to rely on God’s help to console us and guide us in the rebuilding.

Please join me in continuing to pray for those suffering from this catastrophe.

May God’s peace be with you.

Pastor Samantha

Click on this link to see a copy of the full email update – Hurricane Ian Update #3 – November 2, 2022