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. While the church is not a building, it is a cooperate reality that has a place in space and time. Our church buildings are part of our incarnational presence in our community and need to be restored, so that we can continue our ministry in the community.
Secondly, God has called us to REBUILD our lives. Many members of our churches and communities had major damage to their homes and businesses, and a lot our energy is in repairing and rebuilding these structures. 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. We seek to offer residency resources to help us as individual build back our lives on a solid rock.
Third, we are called to REBUILD our faith communities and the wider church. We have discovered that the crisis of a storm brings new possibilities for growth and vitality, and rebuilding is a path to revitalization. Crises like natural disasters offer opportunities to be in ministry to our communities. We believe that in rebuilding our churches both physically and spiritually, we can be a catalyst for change in the wider church and lead to reform and renewal in our denomination and the church universal.
We hope that you will answer the call of Christ with us—“REBUILD my church for my house is in ruins.”
Our mission-field is the Gulf Coast region especially the United Methodist Churches in the Alabama West Florida Conference.