Saturday, December 17, 2005

Gautier Presbyterian Church Rebuilds - December 16 Report


My dear friends,

Unfortunately, as I write you, I have found a way to contract the flu. While I have been humbled by this bout, it has also given me a lot time to reflect back on these last few months.

One of the things of which I am cognizant is that I am thankful for so much that many of you all have offered us, but wish I could note my/our appreciation better. Occasionally I note gifts in these journal entries, but for heaven’s sake, that barely scratches the surface of the kind of gifts that have been offered this church. We have been overwhelmed by the beautiful and thoughtful letters you have written us individually. We have more generally realized with awe, the sense of caring that so many of you have shown in just calling us and letting us know you were keeping us in your prayers, and asking us how you could help. The sheer number of volunteers who have come and worked at the church and in the community has probably forever changed our lives as disciples. These are my thoughts as Christmas approaches.

We are slowing down for Christmas now. We are hiring a site coordinator to coordinate incoming volunteer work crews that heading here in the New Year (if interested, email Pam Martin: pamgpc@cableonen.net). In the New Year, we will be looking forward to hosting work crews at the church to volunteer in the community.

In the midst of all of this, if I forget something you have shared with me, please be patient with me, remind me again because, as we continue to recover both from Katrina and the flu, I will also be getting married mid February, and surely, most of my attention will turn towards this event as it approaches.

May the Lord bless and keep all of you during this Christmas season.

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)
www.GautierPresby.com

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Gautier Presbyterian Recovers from Katrina December 1 Report


Dear Friends,

I hope you all were blessed this Thanksgiving, and like us, are preparing anew for the coming of Jesus Christ. So many beautiful things, each one a wonderful blessing, have been offered to us this holiday season: Trinity Presbyterian Church in Pensacola, is coming over next weekend to offer us a Christmas Cantata; other churches are reaching out to our children; we will hopefully be taking a trolley ride through the community caroling; and there are other ways churches are partnering up with us to help us and our community have a blessed Christmas.

We continue to host work groups. We are delighted that while the PDA camp is moving off the church property, they are staying very close - in Gautier - and we know that together, we can continue to minister to the community. While they are leaving, we are also gearing up to begin to host groups by ourselves at the church. Many of you have already signed up to stay at the church. We are delighted that a group from Kentucky is working with us to create a structure to house showers and the washer/dryer so that you all can be more comfortable in your stay here (by the way, we already have showers, but they are housed on a trailer that will eventually leave us).

If you would like to bring a work group directly to the church, we will most warmly welcome you. I encourage you strongly to contact church member Pam Martin
pamgpc@cableone.net , who has wonderfully coordinated such groups for us. We have also been given funds to hire a Site Coordinator for the church who'll be here to walk with the groups that come into the church each week.

Friends, in conversation with a church in Floria this week, I began to think about where we are as a church these days, and I came up with the following, which I think fairly accurately offers where we are as a church:

As Gautier Presbyterian moves forward as a church, we are prayerfully seeking God’s will for us. We had over 3 feet of water throughout the church and it has caused such damage that we have gathered on several occasions to ask ourselves, what is the next step? We are likely going to have to build a new sanctuary/facility and then, we have wondered whether we might need to move to a new location. We would love to partner with churches to help “rebirth” Gautier Presbyterian Church as a vital Reformed Christian presence in this area. We'd also love for churches to bring mission teams down to work in the community. We believe that we will be sheet rocking/painting houses and other such stuff for some time to come - indeed, for many years. The major damage in Gautier was extensive flooding. Most of the homes, like our church, were above the 500 year flood plain and so did not have flood insurance. Most of these folks are not able to afford the cost of repair for their homes.

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/