Rising Waters

Walter Cantwell

As I write this note to you (on Tuesday morning), there is still uncertainty about the impact the rising waters will have on our community. Neighborhoods have been warned; water is beginning to encroach on a few roads near the rivers; and schools are closed. The waiting and the unknown have been challenging, to say the least.

But I am certain of this: our church and our community are made up of amazing and wonderful people! The outpouring of love shown to our neighbors has been inspiring. On Sunday in worship, you gave generously to help those in need.  $33,935.97 was collected to help people in our community impacted by Hurricane Florence and the floods. What I marvel at is that many of you gave in a moment when you did not know if your own home or livelihood would be impacted by the rising waters. You simply gave out of faith. Thank you!

If you are still interested in contributing to this special offering, please visit the “Giving” page on our website, www.belinumc.org, select “Give Now” and note your donation for “Hurricane Florence” Or you can write a check with “Hurricane Florence” in the memo line item and place it in the offering plate on Sunday.

The church office received an urgent call from Georgetown Hospital on Monday. Because of the forecasted floods coming their way, the hospital was forced to evacuate and temporarily move patients to Waccamaw Hospital. With the bridges expected to become impassible, staff members were looking for a place to stay, and they were hoping to be able to use our facilities. Without hesitation, the church opened the Family Life Center to host and to house hospital employees while they care for their patients at Waccamaw. Even though many of Belin Memorial’s own events and programs were impacted, the church opened its doors because we are to be radically hospitable!

Earlier this week you received an email informing you that Home Gatherings have been postponed until the flood waters recede. After people in our community received reverse-911 calls, the leaders of the Transform Project decided it was best to put our Home Gatherings on hold. This allows us to spend more energy, resources, and time on helping those in need. It was a difficult decision to make because everyone involved on the Building Team and the Transform Project are excited about the future of the church. Delaying Home Gatherings until current flood conditions have subsided will allow us to focus solely on hearing the exciting news at these gatherings. Please stay tuned for more information about when they will be rescheduled.

I am looking forward to our upcoming sermon series, The Good Life: Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Clyde Penry will be preaching this Sunday in The Harbor, and Mike Alexander will be preaching in The Sanctuary. Both of them are exploring the Beatitudes.

Belin, you are a blessing to so many in our community, and you are a blessing to me. I am away on a family vacation that was planned well before Hurricane Florence. I feel unsettled leaving you in this time of need, but I know you are in good hands. I am telling myself that, and I invite you to remind yourself of that daily. We are in good hands because we are in the loving embrace of God.

Continue being a blessing!
Walter