Preparing for Idalia

Dear Florida GMC Family,

By now you have likely seen the news that Tropical Storm Idalia is in the Gulf of Mexico and headed toward Florida likely to make landfall sometime on the morning of Wednesday, August 30. It’s currently predicted to make landfall in the Crystal River area and then head towards Jacksonville.


At the moment Idalia is still a tropical storm, but the National Hurricane Center believes that later today it will become a category 1 hurricane. By early Wednesday morning, it is expected to strengthen to a category 3 storm/major storm as it travels over the warm Gulf of Mexico.


Please know that your Florida GMC Cabinet and leadership are closely monitoring the storm. We are ready to help coordinate assistance in the aftermath. The Rev. Laura Lambert who has so ably coordinated Hurricane Ian recovery has already offered to do so for Idalia. Thank you, Laura!


As we determine the needs after the storm we will be in touch with ways your church family can help. I have been asked by some churches if they can continue to give money to UMCOR, and the answer is yes. In the GMC, our local churches are free to support whomever they believe best fits their missional priorities.


That said, the Florida GMC will be encouraging churches to give assistance gifts to the Florida Conference of the GMC and we will coordinate assistance through Pastor Laura and other Christian disaster recovery ministries. We will also help partner churches with other Florida GMC churches that need help so that relationships can be directly established between church families.


Lastly, please be aware that as of Friday, our Cabinet will have new email addresses, and we ask you to use them and not any old email addresses that you may have:



I realize that none of us need a hurricane heading our way. Please be in prayer now for all those in Idalia’s path. Remember that we worship Jesus Christ who walks beside us through everything. As it says in Isaiah 43:1-5:


Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.


When you pass through the waters,

    I will be with you;

and when you pass through the rivers,

    they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire,

    you will not be burned;

    the flames will not set you ablaze.


For I am the Lord your God,

    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

I give Egypt for your ransom,

    Cush and Seba in your stead.


Since you are precious and honored in my sight,

    and because I love you…

Do not be afraid, for I am with you;


Amen! God bless you!

All God’s love,
Jay Therrell 
President pro tempore-Designate

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