Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Gautier Presbyterian Rebuilds after Katrina November 29 Report

We had a most happy Thanksgiving and we pray that all of our volunteers and friends around the nation did as well. We especially pray for the residents of the Gulf Coast unable to be warm and well-fed because of the terrible impact of Katrina on us all.

Karen, my fiancé brought this slideshow to my attention. I think it worth a watch from us all.

http://www.pensacolanewsjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050926/NEWS01/50926004/1006

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Gautier Presbyterian Rebuilds November 22 Report

Dear Friends,

I write this on the Monday night before Thanksgiving. I just had a great dinner with our volunteers. They obviously had worked very hard, for they looked exhausted. Mostly, I believe, they are sheet rocking and mudding (the name for ripping out wet sheet rock).

We are beginning to adjust to the latest transition: The PDA folks informed us late last week, they were removing the Camp from the Church property to another location. It was a bit of a shock, but the more the time has gone by and the more we have thought about it, it probably is for the best. It was stressful trying to manage so many people on the church property all the time (most of the time over a 100 folks every day). This way, we can continue to host smaller work crews within our church facilities but also spend some of our energy working towards the future of Gautier Presbyterian Church. As I have noted, we have all sorts of challenges as a church.

1. With so much that has changed in our community and along the Gulf Coast, what will our ministry look like in the future?

2. As many of you know, we had considerable damage to our facilities, and in the aftermath (unfortunately, we did not have flood insurance and that was the majority of our damage), we are prayerfully considering building a new sanctuary and/or moving to a new site. In this process, we have hired Tom Bandy of Bandy & Easum and associates to come in and do a consultation with us in January to help us answer some of these questions.

So, as we move into the Holidays, we begin a new time for us of discernment and ministry,

1. Continuing to host work crews so as to reach out into the community and help those who are struggling to rebuild (and receive funds to facilitate this work), and

2. Beginning to prayerfully consider the long term Ministry of Gautier Presbyterian.

I am so thankful for the ways all of you have blessed us during this time. Your prayers, your gifts of time, talents and money, your letters…., have helped this congregation, have helped me personally in my ministry, and helped this community.


May God Bless you all. May you all have a Happy Thanksgiving.



Grace and Peace,

Rev. Chris Bullock
Gautier Presbyterian Church
1009 Highway 90
P.O. Box 340
Gautier, MS 39553
(228) 497-1706 (o) (228) 355-1138(c)
http://www.gautierpresby.com/

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Gautierpresbyterian Church Rebuilds November 19 Report

Dear friends,

I know it has been several days since I last wrote. It has been another incredible week. I’m not sure I have a clear idea how many houses we were roofing/sheet rocking and mucking, but it seems to have been staggering. Judging from the eyes and faces of the volunteers, they were very, very hard at work.

I must confess, as no great surprise to any of you all, I am sure, I am weary. I hope to take a little time this weekend and next, during Thanksgiving. Yet, it was a blessing to have a group from Palma Ceia Presbyterian in Tampa volunteer to come over to my house and repair my fence. Very helpful with the dogs….

I am not sure how much I have shared our current focus: I and the session believe that it is time to try very hard to bring some wholeness to the members of the church. So….we are sheet rocking houses, looking at furniture needs, painting (a group from Trinity Presbyterian in Pensacola will be painting tomorrow), just about anything that needs to be done.

I love having the work crews participate in our worship service on Sunday morning and Wednesday night. It is a blessing to our members, to feel so visibly the presence of Christ amidst all that we daily go through. It is a joy to incorporate many of the worship gifts that the crews bring with them.

I know that many of you have spent some time on the phone with Pam Martin, and most of you know that she had surgery this last week. She is recovering well. Please continue to keep her in your prayers. We also had three others surgeries this past, even one…..in New Orleans (which continues to stun me). Please keep them all in your prayers.

I have noted maybe once or twice my current understanding of how you all might facilitate work in the community. $1,200 is about enough to insulate and then sheet rock a person’s house (reasonable size dwelling). It is a joy to offer this gift in the community. Any of you who would like to contribute to this, please just send it to the church. We have a serious agreement with Home Depot that keeps prices down.

I'm glad you are here to check out http://gautierpresby.blogspot.com/ It is a wonderful resource that is being coordinated by Wes Carter, from First Presbyterian Church, Salem, Oregeon.

Are there folks that are not receiving this journal that you believe should? Just send me their email address.


Grace and Peace,

Rev. Chris Bullock
Gautier Presbyterian Church
1009 Highway 90
P.O. Box 340
Gautier, MS 39553
(228) 497-1706 (o) (228) 355-1138(c)
http://www.gautierpresby.com/

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Gautier Presbyterian Rebuilds - November 13 Report


Sunday afternoon, November 13th.

We just had another fabulous worship service. Volunteers from Tampa (Palma Ceia Pres.), Vienna Va., Salem, Oregon, Brevard, North Carolina, and Columbus, Mississippi joined us. It was such a blessing, a full house. Joan Carter from Oregon joined us on the piano for the hymns, and it was so moving, closing with “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

We have had a lot of folks here these last two weeks and it is simply wonderful. One of our newest joys is hosting all of the work crews on Wednesday night for a dinner and a vespers worship service following.

A word about teams bringing tools and other materials to help in our PDA tent city. We do encourage teams to bring their individual work tools, such as drills and wallboarding gear. We don't however, need any more generators, cooking equipment, bedding, toys or the like. We need funds to help with purchasing rebuilding supplies so gift cards for Wal-Mart and Lowes are perfect. So are your checks, and you can consider the list I presented in yesterday's blog entry. We're grateful for everything and cautious in our requests.

Needed skills: We certainly could use more electricians, licensed or not. Plumbers, wallboarders and the like are all going to find work here! If you don't have a skill, you'll certainly find a coach or a team expert to guide your work.

Regarding weather: We've been experiencing both warm and cold evenings so bring clothing for both. We've been dryer than normal...very little rain.

Last week Scott, a minister from the Beaver Falls, PA, Presbyterian Church, helped me with all sorts of praise music. It was such a worshipful experience.

Finally, it seems each week, more and more members of our own church jump into the volunteer effort and are finding ways to minister around here.

I pray God’s blessing upon all of you.



Grace and Peace,

Rev. Chris Bullock

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Gautier Presbyterian Church Rebuilds - November 12



Dear Friends,

Many of you have asked recently what our current needs are, at the church and in the community. I thought I’d list these needs as I know them:


In the community:

1. We need sheet rock to start putting people’s houses back together:
A donation of $7,918 will buy sheet rock for 9 1500-1800 sq ft homes. We buy it in bulk from Home Depot. $7.40 /sheet = 1,000 sheet at $7,400. A house of this size normally requires 110 sheets.

At the church:

1. Contributions towards the Sanctuary we are going to build (total cost: $750,000)
2. We will need to replace our playground equipment (it was destroyed) for our children (total cost? $10,000)
3. Shelves for our Library.
4. Pews (ours were destroyed) $1500 for a pew for our new sanctuary.
5. New or fairly new LCD projector
6. We also eventually have to purchase a piano suitable for our sanctuary.

Our sign is now lighted again, inviting all who pass to enter and find the peace of the Lord.



Grace and Peace,

Rev. Chris Bullock
Gautier Presbyterian Church
1009 Highway 90
P.O. Box 340
Gautier, MS 39553
(228) 497-1706 (o) (228) 355-1138(c)
http://www.gautierpresby.com/

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Gautier Presbyterian Rebuilds November 8 Report



Dear Friends,

I write to you on a Tuesday night. It has been a whirl wind of a week. Friday and Saturday I was in Sandestin for a short break (folks in Florida Presbytery – First Pres. Destin - were awesome in finding this place for me). I drank in the ocean breezes.

I returned Saturday night, knowing that the week ahead would be a bit overwhelming. We have had a ton of folks in our “camp” this week and they are out doing all kinds of stuff. The atmosphere is great and people are doing wonderful things. It is also nice that a seminary colleague is here this week with his church and we were able to catch up.

The other thing happening this week is that some of us just realized that the holidays are coming and that we need to prayerfully consider our worship/other elements of church life during Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas. It is an engaging thing to figure out how to offer folks the Gospel this year during Advent and Christmas. How do we celebrate the gift of Christ this year? In many ways, we are working with a blank slate here at Gautier Presby and all that we do in preparation is new.

We do keep you all in prayers and continue to be very thankful for your prayers and support/care.

May God bless you.


Grace and Peace,

Rev. Chris Bullock

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Gautier Presbytierian Church Rebuilds - November 3 Report


To all our friends driving in to help us on our rebuilding after Katrina. We're back in the high tech age to everyone's great relief. We have installed high speed internet so you can easily stay on line using one of our computers or your own laptop. For your viewing pleasure, we even have a little movie room with an LCD projector, so bring your favorite DVDs if you wish.

Our church web site is http://www.gautierpresby.com in case you haven't visited it.

Drive safely! We're eager to welcome each of you to Gautier!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Gautier Presbyterian Church Rebuilds November 1-2 Report

After "resting" for the weekend work continued here in the church and throughout Gautier and Mississippi. With years ahead, this task would be overwhelming but for our faith. And our friends, who've been so wonderful about helping us these past two months.

Send help. Send prayers. Come down and put your shoulder to the wheel with us. Rejoice in this happy work.