Hurricane Rita E-Briefing – from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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“Hurricane Rita and Hillcrest Activities”
by Tom Goodman
September 22, 2005

Our staff has been carefully tracking Hurricane Rita, and here are four things you need to know as Texas braces for this storm.

First, our Sunday schedule will not change but our attire will.  It looks like the storm will pass well to our east and well before our Sunday activities.  So, come and worship.  However, though we’re not going to change our schedule, let’s change our attire.  Now, as you know, we don’t have a “dress code” at Hillcrest.  Every week we see everything from suits to jeans.  This week, though, I want you to join me in dressing casually.  Here’s why:  Lots of friends and relatives of our members have evacuated the Texas coast, and they are staying with our members.  We want to say to them “come and worship as you are,” and we don’t want them thinking they have to borrow a tie to join us.

Second, invite evacuees and neighbors to Sunday’s service.  Times like these are times to center our thoughts on the Sovereign God.  We need to get together and declare, “Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea—the Lord on high is mighty” (Psalm 93:4).  In addition, though, this kind of worship becomes a powerful witness to evacuees and neighbors who need to experience the Lord!  Don’t let them think they don’t have the “right clothes.”  Tell them, “Hey, our pastor’s going to be in jeans and a polo shirt, so just come as you are!”

Third, Saturday’s Leadership Breakfast has moved to October 22.  So many of our leaders have evacuees staying with them that I don’t think it’s practical to hold our annual Leadership Breakfast this weekend.  So, please mark your calendars for October 22!  You won’t want to miss this year’s Leadership Breakfast!

Fourth, join me in prayer:  “Father, we yield.  That’s our simple prayer:  We yield.  We ask that you calm this storm, but we give way to your will.  We know that Easter Sunday comes after every Good Friday, and so we know that your marvelous light is displayed best when life is darkest.  So, we yield to what you want to do in this storm.  Lord, we also yield to you following the storm.  Those of us who live outside of the path of this storm make ourselves available to help our Texas neighbors who may be impacted it.  Just as your Son said in Gesthemane, so we say, ‘I want your will, not mine’ (Matthew 26:39).  Amen.”