Dear Colleagues and Friends:
 
Our hearts are heavy with sadness and grief from the devastation from the tornadoes that struck many of our communities yesterday. Bishop Graves and the Cabinet were in constant communication yesterday afternoon as the tornadoes were in process. Our hearts go out to all who have lost loved ones, those who have been injured, and those who have lost their homes and businesses. Many of our pastors in the Auburn/Opelika area went immediately to the hospital in that area to offer pastoral care. The hospital was overwhelmed with all the injured and deaths being brought in. Please pray for those pastors as they now have to process what that saw and experienced.
 
Dr. Jeff Wilson is out this morning assessing the damage and needs in his District. We are anxious to hear from his assessment. Please be in prayer for him and all of those who are working to aid those who are in need. Right now, we are in the assessment mode. The affected area is in the search and rescue stage. We will notify you when teams are allowed in. Right now, I would ask you to encourage your churches to send in money to help. You may want to take up a special offering this Sunday for this purpose.
 
Friends, our Conference has experienced grief upon grief. With the deaths of several of our pastors, the devastation of the hurricane, the sadness and grief of General Conference, and now this. This is a reminder that we all need each other. Ministry can be lonely. We spend our time ministering to others and we often fail to minister to one another. Please, please, please, reach out to one another, be in fellowship and prayer with and for one another. Let’s be a true brotherhood/sisterhood and take care of one another.
 
Please be in prayer for Bishop Graves and the Cabinet. Our plate is full right now, trying to deal with all that is and has gone on. We begin our Cabinet meeting tomorrow and we will start making appointments. It is a difficult year with some challenging decisions to be made. We spend a lot of time in prayer and I ask you to join with us. We need all the prayer we can get.
 
Remember, our ministry consists of both clergy and laity. This is a time for us to truly be in partnership with one another. It is a time for us to be in prayer with and for one another. It is a common grief and sadness that we share together so may we be there for one another.
 
As I learn more, I will pass that information on to you. Keep an eye on your e-mails as we keep you informed. God bless you all for the great work you are doing. Remember, we are all in this together, both clergy and laity. May we be there for one another. God Bless!
 
Dr. Tim Trent
Pensacola District Superintendent