Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Wake of Florida's storms in UU circles

Here's some news from Florida sent by the UU minister of Jacksonville:

Hello Everyone,

I mentioned during Joys and Concerns this past Sunday my concern regarding our sister congregations who were in the direct path of hurricane Charley. There is a UU congregation in Port Charlotte with about 85 members, mostly elderly and retired. Our Florida District Executive, the Reverend Mary Higgins, has communicated that the congregation members in Port Charlotte
are accounted for and OK and that their building did not sustain any structural damage. However, the parking lot and grounds are covered with broken limbs and downed trees. I understand that congregational members from the nearby areas are already arriving to help out with the clearing
needed so the Port Charlotte UU services may continue.

I also expressed concern regarding the UU congregation just north of Port Charlotte in Venice. They recently completed a brand new building for worship and RE space. I have spoken with them, too. Their building was not damaged.

Below is a message sent from the UUA:

Florida UU's Come Together in Charley's Wake

(Boston, August 16, 2004) -- Hurricane Charley cut a devastating path across Florida, leaving at least 17 people dead and billions of dollars in property destruction. The Rev. Mary Higgins, the UUA's Florida district executive, said Monday afternoon, "Thankfully, as of 1:00 pm today, we have no reports that any UU's were severely hurt or killed. All of our church buildings came through intact, although most will require extensive clean-up efforts."

What is not mentioned in this message from the UUA is that Mary herself at the district office in Orlando, is without power or access to the Internet. However she was able to send the following message from her home, which I want to share with all of you who are concerned:

Sara Zimmerman, minister of the UU Fellowship of Charlotte County, is deeply appreciative of those who have called to inquire about the congregation, and have expressed concern about the state of affairs following Charley's devastation. Most of the members of the Charlotte County congregation are safe and have been accounted for. So far as we know, the most seriously
affected congregations (Charlotte County, Fort Myers, and Orlando) have had no structural damage to their buildings. However, the homes of many members in Charlotte Country have considerable structural damage. If there are members of your congregation that can go to Charlotte County (Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda) one day this week, please call Mary at home: 407-648-0043 so that these efforts can be coordinated!.

Rev. Ann Marie Alderman
Associate Minister, Unitarian Universalist
Church of Jacksonville office (904)725-8133
cell (904)xxx-xxxx, fax (904)725-8561
SNIP--- @uuma.org


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