From the Moderator
Our prayers are ongoing for those who have suffered damage and loss in the wake of Hurricane Ian this past week. The devastation has been horrific and it is not finished as I write this. We pray for the people of North and South Carolina as they also face Hurricane Ian this weekend.
I have also received reports from the Maritime ARP Churches in Canada regarding Hurricane Fiona which hit Atlantic Canada last week. Fortunately, the Canadian ARP Churches were relatively spared as Hurricane Fiona crossed into Nova Scotia north of any ARP Churches but did cause huge devastation in Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island and especially in western Newfoundland where a good portion of a major port town (Port Aux Basques) was swept into the sea by the waves.
In these past 2 weeks, we have now twice witnessed the raw power of nature unleashed as man is once again humbled in his pride of thinking he is in control of any and all things. And in seeing the raw power of nature through the wind and the seas, we realize once again that all of that power is contained in the control of a sovereign and all-powerful God. We are reminded of this power through Jesus silencing the wind and calming the storm. We join with all of the church in praying for all of these communities in Canada and the United States which have suffered terribly through these storms and that this witness of God’s awesome might will drive people to seek Christ.
Moderator Bill McKay
The Good Samaritan Fund
The Good Samaritan Fund has been activated with an online giving link for Hurricane Ian Disaster Relief. You may click here to give online or mail a check to the ARP Center, 918 S. Pleasantburg Dr., Ste. 127, Greenville, SC 29607. Be sure to include Hurricane Ian in the memo. If you have any questions, please contact the ARP Center 864-232-8297.
We will update you here as we receive more reports. Thank you for sharing this with your church members.
Renew ARP Church in Fort Myers, FL
This is from Steve Reynolds, pastor of Renew ARP Church in Fort Myers, Florida, which was just directly hit by Hurricane Ian at a Category 4.
Overall, we are doing well at Renew Church. We have a small number of people that this disaster has really put in financial distress – these are primarily ones that worked in hospitality or worked in the beach area. They certainly won’t be going back anytime soon. We’ve had a couple of people whose homes were damaged one that lost her roof and sustained much damage. Most weathered the storm well.
The church building structure is good, but water did get into the nursery, part of the foyer, and part of the worship space. We will have to work with the landlord at this point to see where we go from here. There is carpet in that space so we will end up having to do mold remediation and probably replace the carpet.
Rachel and I are doing well. We had very minimal damage to our home – just a ton of yard debris and limbs. I appreciate you checking and praying. Pray that we can show the love of Jesus through all of this.
Canadian Presbytery Updates
Rev. Martin Dendekker (Covenanters Presbyterian Church (ARP)
Where we are in the Annapolis Valley, we were mercifully spared from the harsh effects of the storm. Unlike many in the east we didn’t have any damage within the congregation that I’m aware of. Not all lost power and those who did had it soon restored. Lots of wind and rain causing a lot of branches and a few trees to come down but that’s about it. The Hogeterp apple crop was also spared with much less loss than anticipated. We’re very thankful for the Lord’s mercies in all this, even as we pray for much harder hit areas such as Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland.
Rev. John Shearouse (Covenanters Reformed Presbyterian Church)
We are thankful to report that we know of no injuries among those in our circle of acquaintance, however, there are a fair number of families that had extended power outages and several who are still without power. There is also some property damage. Here are the particular families to pray for:
– Jim and Mary Leggate. They are an older couple who had attended the church at Glenholme (and stopped due to Jim’s dementia and Covid). They had a little shop and tea room on their property that they ran for years and still use to store items they sell. This building had extensive damage from a tree that crushed the building. We just found out about this. One of our deacons is planning to stop by to see what we can do to help out.
– The VanderZwaags. Jason VanderZwaag is a godly young man who is dating a young lady in our church. His family has a large dairy farm on PEI that had extensive damage to several of their buildings. Their main barn which has 200 cows and robotic milking machines had the roof completely blown off. Please pray for this family. They are members at the URC and have had many trials.
– Our church building at Glenholme had some shingles blow off and a fair bit of water came in. Some young men in our church are going over tomorrow to repair the roof. Please pray for their safety as it is a very high roof. The power will be off there for a while because not only is it still off in the surrounding area, but also the line to the church had to be removed until they can repair it. We were presently only having services there twice a month on Sunday evenings, so our scheduled service this week will be cancelled.