As we witness the devastation that Hurricane Harvey has brought to the people of Texas and Louisiana, we are called to respond with generosity and compassion. Any natural disaster like this has three stages: rescue, relief, and recovery. First responders and military personnel have been focused on saving lives and getting people out of harm’s way. At this stage, our best and most appropriate response is prayer: for the dead, the survivors, and the first responders.
The relief stage is generally focused on the giving of cash to help local communities address their emergency survival needs of food, drink, shelter, and critical care. I encourage you to support Episcopal Relief and Development, who has been directing donations to disaster areas for a long time. Your donation is guaranteed to go where it is needed most. To donate to Episcopal Relief and Development’s Hurricane Harvey Response Fund, drop your donation in the designated basket at the church entrance or go online and visit: www.episcopalrelief.org/hurricane-harvey-response.
The recovery stage is focused on helping communities to rebuild and become self-sufficient. Over the coming weeks, as impacted communities identify their most pressing recovery needs, we at St. Paul’s will have opportunities to respond. We are exploring the possibility of a mission trip, parish-to-parish partnerships, and other avenues to help in the rebuilding effort.
After each service, we invite you into the parish hall to write a prayer and place it on our Prayer Net. We also invite you to join us in Bush Hall after each service for a caring conversation about the impact of Hurricane Harvey and our response.