Bishop Ward toured Ocracoke with Pastor Susie Fitch-Slater. Because of the connection of The United Methodist Church, Disaster Ministry staff and volunteers will be with the people on the island until everyone has a safe and clean place to live.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
It’s a beautiful day on Ocracoke Island and Susie Fitch-Slater is our wonderful pastor here serving and leading in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.
Bishop, thank you and thank you for being here today with us. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has lifted Ocracoke Island and the church and myself in prayer, for the wonderful support and sacrifices that have been made on our behalf. It is heartwarming and spirit-encouraging to know that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. When I’ve been writing thank-you notes and letters to everyone who has been so generous in their support, I’ve included the scripture from Philippians 4 that says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, however, it was good of you to remember me in my trouble” and that is what resonates in me, that we can do this, that our God is good, our God is great. However, we’re not alone in this and we’ll begin this rebuilding process. It’s not about just us here. It’s about the connection, it’s about the bigger picture, and about the kingdom. God is moving so strongly, so strongly in us.
We are engaged in long term recovery here on Ocracoke. Over four hundred homes have been badly damaged. The parsonage that Susie lived in, the Ocracoke church sustained severe damage. Your gifts, your volunteering, your presence, and your partnership is a great gift.