Dear St. Paul Family,
We are praying that everyone weathered the storm without injury or serious loss! As I’m sure you are aware (even if you are evacuated), both within and outside metro New Orleans many people are still facing substantial hardships, including the lack of power, communication services, and potable water. There are very long lines to obtain groceries, ice, and gasoline from the few stations and stores that are currently open.
The good news is that gradual progress is being made to restore these essential functions. It appears that metro New Orleans is on track to become more livable during the next few days and weeks.
The St. Paul building did sustain damage to portions of its roof and exterior. The major damage was to the bell tower and steeple. In addition, rain water entered the building and caused limited damage to the interior. It appears that the organ did not suffer water damage; however it hasn’t been powered up yet due to the lack of power. We have filed a claim with St. Paul’s property insurer and expect the adjustment process to commence soon. In addition, St. Paul will file with FEMA a claim for deductible or other losses that may not be covered by insurance and also pursue repair grants that may be available from church and other non-governmental organizations.
We are truly blessed that the public area of the sanctuary appears to have avoided any obvious damage and should be usable once power is restored. The church offices, Sunday School classrooms, basement, and space leased by the Roots of Music appear to be in a similar usable condition.
Power restoration is the big issue not only for the church plant, but also for the dwellings of Pastor Andrew, Linda, Zeal, and our dedicated volunteers who are essential in making St. Paul “hum”. Currently, Entergy is projecting (but not guaranteeing) that absent specific site damage (e.g. downed trees damaged grid connections) power should be restored to buildings in Orleans Parish on or before September 8, 2021. Until some reasonable time after actual power restoration, the Church building will remain closed and St. Paul will need to function as a “virtual community”. We will notify you when the St. Paul is ready to reopen.
Pastor Andrew and Elder Woody Keim are currently working on producing a weekly virtual worship service that can be accessed via Facebook. We will notify you when that service will be available for viewing. In the meantime, we ask for everyone’s prayers, as we work to reopen St. Paul as soon as is reasonably practical.
St. Paul Lutheran Church in the Marigny
2624 Burgundy St.
New Orleans, LA 70117-7304