We believe that God has called us to REBUILD.
St. Francis had a similar call. During a difficult period in his life, while he was suffering with anxiety and depression, he came upon an old church in ruins. While praying in the dilapidated church, he looked up at where the altar used to be and found a cross painted on the wall. It is then that he heard the words of Jesus call out, “Rebuild my church for my house is in ruin.” Those words changed his life. He immediately got up, started rebuilding the church, and in doing so, found that his own life was being rebuilt, too. That church became a center of revitalization for the community. Later in life, he realized that the primary rebuilding that God had called him to do was not just that physical church building, instead God had called him to rebuild the wider church and community.
Christ is calling to us in the same way.
We have come to understand this call in three ways.
First, God is calling us to REBUILD our church buildings. Our campus has been a hub for communal life in Port St. Joe for many generations. It is important that our buildings are restored, so that we can continue our ministry in the community.
Secondly, God has called us to REBUILD our lives. Most of our members had major damage to their homes. Now, much of our energy is in repairing and rebuilding our homes. However, this is just the external damage. Internal rebuilding of our lives is also needed. This is an opportunity for all us to reevaluate the foundations of our lives and make sure that we are building them on Christ. The Epistle of 1 Peter calls each of us “living stones” in Christ’s spiritual temple. The deeper rebuilding that we need to do in our lives is not just physical, but spiritual and psychological. We each need to be intentional about our personal and spiritual rebuilding plans, so that we can find healing and wholeness in Christ and be prepared for life’s future storms.
Third, we are called to REBUILD our wider community. Through partnerships with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) we will be working to make sure that none of the members of our community are left behind. We are setting up a REBUILD office to manage the rebuilding of Port St. Joe for many years to come. Furthermore, we believe that the rebuilding that we are called to is for the church universal, as we strengthen ties between other church in our community, work to revitalize our denomination, and ask the Holy Spirit to bring revival to the church across the world.
We hope that you will answer the call of Christ with us—“REBUILD my church for my house is in ruins.”