Monday, August 28, 2006

Recovery Is On-Going

It is hard to grasp exactly what has transpired this past year. Such an outpouring of care, concern, prayer, contributions and personal visits by all the inspiring volunteers has truly made the difference between a permanent catastrophe and a devastating one-time event..

As we continue our transition from recovery to rebuilding and growth, we ask that you continue as you can with what you have already begun - a demonstration of what the Spirit moving in each of us can do. We are very, very grateful for the difference that has been made in the lives of everyone on the coast - the ones who suffered and were comforted and also the ones who may not have lost as much but were inspired by your help to reach out to their neighbor.

Yes, there is a tremendous task remaining ahead with a lot of time, effort and money to be expended on rebuilding. But bit by bit, house by moved-into-house, vacated trailer by empty FEMA trailer, the task is moving ahead and we give thanks that it is so.

We had a momentary pause this past week as Ernesto churned its way northwest. As much as we are relieved that the Mississippi Coast is NOT in its path (at the moment), we do not forget that there are others who are indeed IN its path. Our prayers lift up those communities, churches and families that its passing may be milder than expected. We particularly remember those in Florida who have been so generous in helping us and pray for their safety.

We will try to keep postings coming to let those who log in know of our situation and we again thank all who keep us in their thoughts and prayers.

Grace and Peace,

George Duffee-Braun
Gautier Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A Blog from our Friends at Church of the Palms in Sarasota, Florida


"I who made the stars of night, I will make their darkness bright. Who will bear My light to them? Whom shall I send?"

Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night; I will go, Lord, if You lead me. I will hold Your people in my heart."

About 150 people in the intimate confines of Gautier Presbyterian Church sang these words energetically on Sunday morning, June 11, 2006. They were Presbyterians from Gautier, from Ocala, from Tampa and from Sarasota. The work teams that day replaced others from Portola Valley, Ca., and Jacksonville, Fl., who left the previous Friday. Presbyterians from Chicago were in transit to Gautier on that Sunday morning.

Brad and Patty Wilson and Joan Geyer helped touch up sheetrock and paint a home that was inundated with five feet of water after Katrina.


Asked what had impressed her most about her time in Gautier, a young college student from Jacksonville said, "The thing I will remember most about this trip is what a joy it was to get to know the people we came to help and what a joy it was to be able to help them. I am exhausted after spending the better part of a week here, but even as tired as I am, I will always think of this as a joyful trip."

All of us at Church of the Palms can be proud of our contributions to PDA Hurricane Relief, and members of the 50/50 Club can be especially proud of enabling our covenant with Gautier Presbyterian Church. The Holy Spirit is at work on the Gulf Coast thanks to the loving hearts and physical presence of Presbyterians from all over the country. Thank you for being part of this ministry.

Monday, June 12, 2006

June 12th


We had a wonderful Church Picnic last Friday night. We really haven't been able to gather for good fellowship since the storm. I thought I'd share a few photos from the event.

June 8th

My Dear Friends,

The Lord is very good. We continue to help folks, in the words of Jeremiah, to tear down and build up. It has also been somewhat amazing to all of us that volunteers continue to come.

We will house well over 100 folks at least one week in June and the other weeks are almost that many.

You all have been such a blessing to us, help us bless you all in some way. Let us know if there are ways we might offer ourselves to you.

We are also in continuous need of long term volunteers (at least a month) who have a pop up or RV. We’d love to have folks like that. We have full hookups here at the church now to make things a bit more convenient.

o If you know of someone who feels called to come down for that sort of thing, please give me a call.
o Even if it is in the fall or winter, we’d love to go ahead and speak with them and see if some tentative arrangements could be made.

Grace and Peace,

Rev. Chris Bullock
Gautier Presbyterian Church

June 6th

Our Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Just to let you know a few things about the Hurricane Relief Ministries that continue at Gautier Presbyterian Church:

1. Gwyn Ewing has been hired as Site Coordinator. She replaces Susan Duffee Braun, who finished her time with us at the end of April. Gwyn’s email is
2. We strongly encourage anyone who is looking to bring a team to our Church to contact Gwyn to schedule your group. I know we have tried different things in the past, but we believe this is the way to go. Just contact Gwyn.
3. Folks, if you are still working with us and have not adopted a family, let me encourage you to do so. One Church to One Family has been a real blessing for the churches/families that have participated. Email me back if you are interested.
4. We are still in need of work groups – there are some houses that we are just getting into, this many months after the storm.
5. Please keep our church and community in your prayers as we prepare for a new Hurricane Season.

Grace and Peace,

Rev. Chris Bullock

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Chris' Journal

My brothers and sisters in Christ,

Before I get hitched next weekend (I’m getting married, for those of you who didn’t know), I thought I’d give you an update on what’s going on with the relief ministry at Gautier Presbyterian Church:

1. The adopt a family program is something I am asking each church (especially those coming down here to work in the near future) to pray about. If you need more information, email Daphne Henne at

2. Many, many lovely folks have helped us make our church look better. (The cabinets just got put in the kitchen). If you have only seen the CD we send out or early pictures, that is no longer what we look like. God is good!

3. For groups coming down, please remember that we need your help to continue this ministry. Please prayerfully consider making a donation towards our cost of hosting groups and a donation towards supplies needed. You will soon be getting a letter to this effect.
a. What has happened recently is that as we come out of the fog of Katrina, we have begun to think about what it is going to take to continue to host teams and facilitate their work in the community, and have realized that we cannot financially sustain this ministry without you all.

4. It is a joy to welcome you all here. As someone noted at a meeting I attended last week, we look at our houses, our churches and we can take it, but when someone comes and offers us a gift, it always moves us to tears. Such is the joy of being loved by a brother/sister in Christ

Friday, January 20, 2006

Other Links

I have been trying to find collection of images/information about our Church. Here are a few:

1. Ed Brenegar as put together a nice collection of early photos from around the church

2. Evergreen Presbyterian Church in Dothan, Alabama has come over numerous times to help repair the church and community. They have many photos at their site:

3. The Milwaukee, Wisconsin Group of churches recently added a blog

4. For More Pictures from Groups.

Please let me know if there are other sites I should add.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A group from Trinity Presbyterian Church, Pensacola, Florida with members of Gautier Presbyterian Church

Current Projects at Gautier Presbyterian Church

Current Projects and helpful information

1. We have hired a Site Coordinator, Susan Duffee-Braun. She is now the primary contact person for relief work here at Gautier Presbyterian Church. You can reach her at the church at (228) 497-1706 or We encourage the use of email due to heavy phone use at the church. We know it is sometimes difficult to get through.

2. We are preparing for a church consultation with Tom Bandy in late January to help us figure out where to go as a church from here.

3. We now have 4 showers courtesy of Mid Kentucky Presbytery. We also have a washer/dryer for our work teams.

4. We have begun an adopt a family program: one church would adopt one family and help them get their lives physically (could involve helping them with furniture/flooring or other items) and spiritually back together. If you are interested, please email Daphne Henne and she will put you on the list. We are excited about the potential here to develop deep relationships between families here and our sisters and brothers around the country.

Please email these folks directly if their position addresses your question:

To Schedule a Work Team, please call the scheduling office and ask to come to Gautier Presbyterian church:

Susan Duffee-Braun: Relief Teams of all kind.

Gerry Anne Woodward: Immediate Needs

Daphne Henne: Adopt a Family Please try Daphne via phone first (228 497 1626)

Pastor Chris Bullock: Church Partnership and Covenants.

Rick Torgerson: Work needed around the church itself.

January 18, 2006

Dear Friends,

The work continues in Gautier. We are hosting work crews continually and they are working all over the city. They are also blessing our congregation, bringing the hope of Christ to our Worship in new ways, and ministering to us with their love and concern.

1. As we continue rebuilding, I might note that while all sorts of folks are needed for rebuilding, there is a special need, among all our work crews, for teams that have skills in sheetrocking/flooring/light plumbing and electrical.

2. I will also note that Susan is overwhelmed with the phone these days and it would be very helpful if you could email her instead of calling (it is hard to get through on the phone anyway). Her email address is Hopefully we will install a dedicate phone line for her/you all in the coming weeks.

3. I want every congregation to please prayerfully consider adopting one family in Gautier to support/help rebuild/provide spiritual care. I think this program of adoptions can be a wonderful way for a church to offer one family long term support and spiritual care and for all of us to better minister to those in need in this community. Please email me with “adopt a family” in the subject line if you’d like to consider participating in this new program.

4. Although we really do try to keep you all informed about current goings on in the rebuilding effort, please feel free to email me if you have some specific information we could offer you or if you have suggestions.

5. If you do not have a copy of our CD movie about the first few weeks after the storm around the church and community, please email me with “CD” in the subject box and your address and we will get one to you. We also really need to do an update movie because so much has changed around the church since those early weeks.

a. My office, for instance, looks great and so does the Session room, primarily due to gifts from various churches.
b. The sanctuary as well, while not really all the way there, at least looks pretty nice these days.
c. We are still waiting to see the Stained Glass company maybe next week, to make significant repairs on the stained glass window at the front of the church.
d. One of the other things that has happened in the last few weeks, is that Mid Kentucky came down and built showers and a building for our washer/dryer. We now have 4 showers and the washer/dryer for our volunteers.

When we have a bit of free time, I will try to get you all some visuals of all this.

6. If you would like someone to receive this “journal,” just place the word “email” in the subject box and place the email address in the text area and I will add it.

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: 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)