Dear New Life People,

The tent is standing firm! Everything looks good out on the New Life land as we weather this tropical storm.

I have intended to be out on the land in the morning for prayers of thanks and protection, communion and a couple of short songs for whoever wants to venture out.

HOWEVER, safety is our primary concern: Hays County Office of Emergency Management has advised that people not drive tonight or tomorrow morning, as has Dripping Springs Emergency Management.

Hays County Office of Emergency Management

There is a high probability of intense rain during the night-time hours continuing into tomorrow and the next several days. The conditions of this tropical storm will likely bring a high volume of water into our already saturated area. Although we have seen few road closures today, it is expected to change overnight. Much of this information is not certain but it has been evaluated as “highly likely” based on the history of these types of events. It is safer for all of us to anticipate and plan for worst-case scenarios.

It is recommended that people stay off the roads and maintain high vigilance. It is always difficult to see water over a roadway. There is concern that people may think the worst is over and venture out tonight and tomorrow. It is much safer to avoid travel at this time.

We will continue to reevaluate and keep you informed.

In almost four years of outdoor worship, this is the first time we will cancel due to weather (we have abbreviated our outdoor services twice, and had indoor celebration sites already reserved two different Pentecost Sundays when flooding and lightning caused us to move indoors). Being in the path of a post-hurricane tropical storm is a special situation. We also have concerns about our parking lot, which is already fairly wet and may be fragile for driving if we receive expected rain amounts tonight.

It may be a nice morning to stay inside, and stay safe. I will post my sermon online, and may also post a video sermon (you can worship in your pjs with pancakes!). Please feel welcome to join us at the Mercer Street Dance Hall on Thursday at 6:15 pm for Word & Wine, where we’ll discuss the upcoming readings and share communion, and you can be in worship with our community this week in a different way.

Many other area churches are canceling, too- with buildings. There is no denying that weather can be a greater challenge for a church that worships out in nature, AND I believe there is good in remembering that God is God and we can’t control the weather. There is no other church in which I’d rather lead worship, and no other community with whom I’d rather give God thanks and praise.

May the God of all creation bring you a safe night’s rest, peace and safety,

Pastor Carmen

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