It might seem unusual for a small church in a rural community to purchase an apartment complex in order to offer homes to people but that is exactly what we have done at St. Columba Episcopal Church. You may be scratching your head and asking yourself why we have taken on such a large and daunting project in the midst of a situation that has strained our resources. Jesus calls us to minister to our neighbors and we are answering that call.
When Hurricane Irma swept through the Florida Keys last September 10th, the storm destroyed homes, buildings, lives but not our community. This past year has been one of great challenge as we have sought along with many others to do the things which we have been given to do. To serve our family and our neighborhood as many amongst us are still faced with the seemingly unending and certainly unrelenting task of rebuilding our own homes and lives.
The lack of housing for our workforce and families in our community many have caused many to have to move. Services like Police, Water, Electric, Retail and Hospitality as well as the schools, non-profits and other workplaces are struggling to maintain strength and service with smaller staffs working night and day to and past the point of physical, mental and spiritual exhaustion.
That is not say that we are without hope and energy…. Because in spite of suffering, hope and energy abound most days. In the words of the famous song, “We can see clearly now that the rain is gone,” and we are moving forward with confidence and spirit to serve others in the path of hope and light. In the practical with housing and in the profound with love.
We are deeply grateful for all the help, love & prayers.
St. Columba Episcopal Church
451 52nd Street, Gulf Side
Marathon, FL 33050