Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
For as long as people have lived on the Gulf Coast of Florida and the Tampa Bay Area, hurricane season has brought anxiety and fear of destruction. For more than one hundred years, Tarpon Springs has been spared a direct hit from hurricanes. For us Greek Orthodox Christians, we know why. Saint Nicholas watches over us. Year after year, the storms approach. Storm after storm, by the grace of God, avoids Tarpon Springs.
In the news, on social media, and even the grocery store check-out lines, everyone credits Saint Nicholas with our protection. If the hurricane avoids Tarpon Springs, someone else is in the path of destruction. Hurricane Ian was no different. Our neighbors to the south have experienced severe destruction, while we were spared once again. Now it is time for us to express our gratitude by helping others.
I have been touched by so many prayers and offers to help our neighbors. Therefore, this past week the Saint Nicholas Parish Council established a permanent Saint Nicholas Hurricane Relief Fund. With this fund, we will be able to express our gratitude to Saint Nicholas and have funds available when hurricanes affect our neighbors.
I am asking every member of our Saint Nicholas Cathedral family to make a contribution to this fund. I invite you to consider how much money you save every time a storm avoids Tarpon Springs. Think just how much ‘clean-up’ money we save! Think about how much ‘deductible’ we don’t have to spend to fix our homes.
Now remember how our neighbors suffer every time we are spared from a hurricane. Surely, we can help those who have lost their homes and businesses. We cannot keep praising Saint Nicholas for keeping us safe, and not be generous for others who are struggling to rebuild their lives.
You will be receiving information soon about how you can help with this important project. If you wish to ‘get a head start’ by making a donation, please contact the Cathedral Office or you can also make a donation on our website at StNicholasTarpon.org/give. There will be plenty of ways to help, and we are asking everyone to help. Together we will honor the protection of Saint Nicholas.