The heavens declare the

glory of God

and the sky above proclaims

his handiwork.

Psalm 19:1

Lunch Bunch and Romeo's
Wednesday, February 28 at 11:30am
Dixie Fish
Fisherman's Wharf under the bridge
Call Jana for reservations 317-753-1510
February 19, 2024
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In his First Epistle, Peter writes to a group of Christians dispersed throughout the northern areas of Asia providing encouragement for all true believers. He encourages them to continue in the way that Jesus had laid out for all His followers. This is not too different than our St. Peter family who have been scattered after Hurricane Ian. Many times, unjust or unforeseen suffering can lead to frustration, anger, and uncertainty when unexpected events land on our doorsteps. It is during these most difficult moments of our lives, confusion reigns while contentment wanes and we find ourselves with more questions than answers. Peter reminds us however that God will make us whole again.

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

It has been a little over 500 days since Hurricane Ian changed our lives on Fort Myers Beach forever. Certainly, during that time, we have experienced many trials and tribulations. Each of us has had to make many difficult decisions and prepare for our lives ahead. For many, the future is still unclear, and we continue to pray for those who are recovering. I am writing today, however, to share some updates and inform you that the sun is shining anew, and the future of St. Peter is bright.

Your St. Peter Church Council has been working diligently behind the scenes, navigating the challenges of dealing with insurance companies, submitting necessary permits, hiring contractors, planning for the future, and rebuilding on a barrier island; all the while sustaining our church family. This has been a herculean task and there have been many moments of frustration, uncertainty, and difficult decisions. Progress, though slow, is being made. Below are some recent updates:

  •       To date $671,465.72 has been received in insurance funds. Council is working with Keys Claims Consultants, LLC to assist with furthering our wind claim. Citizens has offered additional funds to settle the claim, however we have not yet agreed on a settlement amount. We are hopeful we can reach a settlement soon.
  •       Don Griffin Appraisals, Inc.- Building Valuation Consultants was hired to complete an independent appraisal of our buildings. This was to ensure that necessary repairs fell below the 50% FEMA threshold.
  •      St. Peter, with the assistance of Pastor Stehr, has successfully transitioned to regular Sunday service under the tent. This has been well received and attended with an average weekly attendance of over 75 people.
  •       The demolition of Lau Hall was recently completed. This was not an easy decision but one that had to be made.
  •       Council hired David S. Moore and Associates to assist with the architectural redesign and required engineering of the front entry of the sanctuary, reconfiguration of bathrooms for ADA compliance, and replacement of the exterior ramps and stairways. Once plans have been finalized, renderings will be shared.
  •       We have voted to hire Valco Contacting, LLC, a general contractor, to begin the process of the repair and rebuilding of the sanctuary. A contract has been signed and building permit applications are being finalized. We are optimistic that construction should be starting in the next few weeks. Once timelines are finalized, this info will also be shared with the congregation.
  •       Council continues to engage with administrators from Chapel by the Sea and the Peace River Presbytery to envision how we can partner together on Ft. Myers Beach. A meeting was held on February 10 at St. Peter to further discussions and discourse regarding options for the future. A follow up session is scheduled for March 12.

We are appreciative for your support and prayers and thank you for your trust.

Your Council has been extremely diligent and fiscally responsible. Presently, we believe that the rebuilding of our sanctuary will be accomplished without touching the Enduring Gift Fund. St. Peter continues to be healthy and is financially able to meet its obligations and we are thankful for your gifts.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
In service,
St. Peter ELCA
Dr. Jason Kurtz, Council President

                                       Service Times

Join us every Sunday at 9:00am
at st Peter Lutheran Church
3751 Estero Blvd
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