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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Dear FPC Family and Friends,

The uncertainty of the storm’s pace and strength has all of us distracted, and I want to assure you that I and the officers are keeping in close touch with our city officials, emergency management, and the Red Cross. 

At this point we feel confident about continuing with our worship services in the morning.   

We see great benefit to gathering for worship, encouragement, and mutual support. Projections show the weather becoming severe much later in the day.

We will continue to monitor the situation and update the website by 7:00 am if it seems prudent to cancel.  

I look forward to seeing you in the morning!

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble!"

Warmly,
in Christ
Tim 


Friday, September 8, 2017

Dear FPC Family and Friends,

Our Cuba team returned a little early out of concern for Irma only to find that there has been a run on water and batteries back home!

The storm is projected to affect our area, but according to our city council, the infrastructure is strong with redundant or backed-up systems.

Nevertheless, we do want to be prepared in the event that high winds and rain cause problems for our members and our community.  Let me offer the following, with assurances we will update the website regularly. 

1)  Worship on Sunday?
The timing of the storm as projected now should not affect Sunday morning services. If the forecast changes, then we will update the website and send a message Saturday afternoon or evening. 

Please download the FPC app to get direct messages by clicking here:   App Store    |    Google Play

2)  Responding after the storm
Please email us your name if you would like to be on a volunteer response team. Charles Balfour and Bryan Watt will help coordinate response efforts if any are needed. Please email Bryan if you would like to be on this team, bwatt@fpcthomasville.org

Even if our area does not have much need after the storm, we would like to know who might help where there is a need. 

3)  Information about preparing for the storm and updates:
Preparing: https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
Tracking: https://irma.weatherstem.com/
FPC site: https://www.fpcthomasville.org 

4) Shelters/Housing people at FPC
I just spoke with Terry Jenkins of the Red Cross for this area. She really appreciated me checking in with her before we took any action. 

Their protocol is to work with emergency services to make the call about whether to open up the official Red Cross shelter. In Thomasville, the shelter that would be activated is New Covenant Church.  

Currently there are shelters open in Cordele, Tifton and Macon. They have other places in town such as the YMCA, trained in the event that additional space is needed. "Community shelters” is their term for churches and the like who decide to house people on their own. 

Presently, our position as a church is to stay in touch with the Red Cross about the need in our area.  Our emphasis will be upon responding to people who are in crisis in the aftermath of the storm. 


5)  Please join with us in prayer for the following:
- The families in the Caribbean who have lost loved ones and/or homes.
- Our partners in Cuba who will be affected by the storm today. 
- Local churches throughout Florida who will have an important role to respond following the storm.
- For the military unit in this area which has been activated for deployment to south Florida (Note that Vic Whiddon of Golden Services is a part of that unit). 

It is good to be prepared and to remember the opportunities for our church to provide leadership and support in the love of Christ.

As we go,
Tim

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others…” (I Peter 4:10)

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  (Phil. 4:6-7)