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Friday, September 02, 2005

Katrina Response

Dear friends,

In lieu of a Friday round-up, I want to share with you an e-mail I received from Ring member Jody, whose blog is Quotidian Grace, this morning. Knowing that she lives in Houston, I had asked how my church might help her church as that community ministers to Hurricane Katrina evacuees. If you're like me, you're wondering how to help in a way that feels direct and meaningful. If a small church can raise $400 (about what Small Church did for the tsunami), how can that be spent in a way that we know will help someone? This is not to take away from the good work being done by the American Red Cross and other relief organizations, or any of the efforts of our denominations. I am feeling an imperative to do something personal, to remember that the individuals and families affected are just that, not some general collective of anonymous victims.

The information in Jody's e-mail will also be on her blog later, where she has been blogging for several days about the Houston community's response to the Hurricane.

Blessings to all involved in this effort,
Songbird

Jody's e-mail:

As evacuees continue to pour into Houston our church has been asked to help a sister congregation, St Paul Presbyterian, a few miles away that is temporary shelter for 50 people. This congregation is much smaller than ours, but has shower facilities which we don't have so we can't be a shelter.

They are asking for in-kind donations, but not clothing. Shipping these items that are readily available here is expensive and not necessary. If you and your church are interested in helping a specific congregation like ours and St. Paul's care for these people that St. Paul's is housing, I think the best option is to send gift cards for gasoline or food. That is one of the things they are asking for.

Since most of our grocery store chains here are regional I would suggest getting gift cards from the national chains like Target and Wal-mart which are easily accessible here and you can get food at all of them. As for gasoline cards, Shell, Exxon and Texaco are the most common national retailers here.

Our church is collecting the items and gift cards and will get them to
St Paul's. You can mail them to me:

Jody Harrington, Director of Christian Education
Southminster Presbyterian Church
4200 Cartwright Road
Missouri City, Texas 77459

It is truly a blessing to know of your concern and desire to help. I'm
going to volunteer to help bring and serve food and St Paul's so I
will be personally involved in this effort.


7 comments:

  1. Thank you for the great option!

    Is anyone else stopping and starting on their sermon like I am? The good news is that I do have something on paper... the bad news is I actually have about three starts on paper... no answers. no finishes.

    sigh

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have about .5 of a sermon down on paper--the easy half!

    The finish will be the toughest, I'm sure. Oh, well, that's why God invented Saturdays, I guess!

    ReplyDelete
  3. We have Communion on the first Sunday of each month, so I'm moving toward the table thematically--that is, if I go with what I have so far!

    ReplyDelete
  4. On top of the normal pressures, we are celebrating a man's 70th anniversary of his ordination. 70! So most of his family will be there wanting some sort of 'tip-of-the-halo' to him in my sermon.

    Maybe I'll go have communion at songbird's church and call it a day!

    ReplyDelete
  5. It finally occurred to me that all the writers of the Scripture this morning (at least on the Episcopal lectionary) knew something about disasters and the end of the world, and I'm going from there. Like songbird, and being Episcopalian, I'm sure I'll end up at the table.

    ReplyDelete
  6. In the end, it's going something like this:
    1) Several stories of things that happened in the wake of the hurricane this week.
    2) Questions about God's presence/involvement in this mess.
    3) No questions about where we would find Jesus
    4) Knowing that, our call to serve and aid others
    5) Appreciation for the opportunity to gather together at Christ's table
    I think, friends, this is the first sermon I'm going to preach from notes and not from a complete text. It just seems like the wrong week to be addicted to my pretty, pretty phrasing.

    ReplyDelete
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