My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Like you, I have been stunned by the images of the devastation in Texas and Louisiana. Yet what is truly horrifying is that for many communities the worst is still to come as the rains continue to fall and the waters keep on rising. As Christians and as fellow citizens, it is our obligation to care for our neighbors in their time of need.
Episcopal Relief and Development has created a special fund specifically to help the victims of Harvey. Please use this link to give as generously as you are able to assist those who have lost everything to this disaster.
For additional information from ERD, including a bulletin insert that you can use on Sunday, please scroll to the bottom of this email.
We will continue to update you on ways in which you can help but in the meantime please pray for the victims and for the first responders who even now put their own lives at risk to assist those in need.
A Prayer for First Responders
Blessed are you, Lord, God of mercy, who through your Son gave us a marvelous example of charity and the great commandment of love for one another. Send down your blessings on these your servants, who so generously devote themselves to helping others. Grant them courage when they are afraid, wisdom when they must make quick decisions, strength when they are weary, and compassion in all their work. When the alarm sounds and they are called to aid both friend and stranger, let them faithfully serve you in their neighbor. We ask this through Christ our Lord. AMEN.
– Adapted from the Book of Blessings, #587, by Diana Macalintal
The Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. Gutiérrez
XVI Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania
Dear Network Colleagues,
As Hurricane Harvey continues through the US Gulf Coast, Episcopalians are asking how to respond. Episcopal Relief & Development is working closely with our partners in the region to reach the most vulnerable.
We have created this bulletin insert so that you can share information and an opportunity for compassionate response with members of your congregation.
For the most up-to-date information about Episcopal Relief & Development’s response to the hurricane, please visit our Response to Hurricane Harvey web statement page.
Check out the latest blog from Rob Radtke as he explains the three R’s of a disaster and how you can best help during this time.
The Presiding Bishop has also recorded a message regarding Hurricane Harvey.
Please continue to pray for all those impacted by the hurricane, for first responders who are conducting rescue operations and for church communities who are reaching out to care for their most vulnerable members and neighbors.
For those wishing to volunteer for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts, please direct them to our Ready to Serve database.
Contributions to the Hurricane Harvey Response Fund will help Episcopal Relief & Development support Church and other local partners as they provide critical emergency assistance to those most in need.
We ask that you distribute this information to all of your Network Representatives, Seminaries, and Diocesan connections.
Throughout the response to Hurricane Harvey, we are here to help you. Please let us know if we can be of assistance.
Wishing you peace,
Program Officer, Engagement
Episcopal Relief & Development