Lamplight: Louisiana Flood Update 


Issue #42 | September 2016

A Note from Katie

Hi All,

I am hearing from church leaders around the country that they are eager and ready to volunteer in Louisiana. I’m so moved and grateful to see how willing The Episcopal Church is to serve in this way, and I want to be sure that our folks are helping in the most effective ways that support, rather than overwhelm, local efforts. Thus far, the churches in Louisiana and Western Louisiana have been able to respond with their local members and friends; people who can return to their own homes and don’t need to be housed or fed! It’s amazing to see neighbors helping neighbors.

The Diocese of Louisiana is now at a place where it is ready to start booking out-of-area volunteer groups for the coming months. If you would like to volunteer doing clean-up work in the Diocese of Louisiana, please go to this page and sign up.

Leaders in the impacted area appreciate the spirit of giving that so many people exhibit in these times. However, receiving, storing and distributing donated goods can be a huge drain on time and financial resources that are most needed elsewhere; please do not send in-kind donations without being specifically requested to do so. Monetary donations are very much needed; please consider giving financially using the links below.

We know that disaster recovery takes many weeks, months and years, and help will be needed down the road. Would you like to receive information about upcoming disaster response mission trip opportunities around the country? Please sign up at Ready to Serve; we will share this list with leaders in the Diocese of Louisiana as they ramp up their volunteer program, and will keep you informed about other ways you can help respond to disasters around the United States.

In Peace,

Updates from Flood Response in Louisiana

The Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana is partnering with Episcopal Relief & Development to support local congregations around the impacted region. These churches are responding in impressive and varied ways depending on the gifts, skills and needs in those communities: they are gutting homes; distributing gift cards for families for needed clothing; providing pastoral care in shelters and on the streets (in English and in Spanish!); feeding residents and first responders; and providing furniture and other supplies to particularly vulnerable families as they resettle in temporary apartments.

The Rev. Mark Holland celebrates the Eucharist with St. Francis Episcopal Church in Denham Sprints, LA, whose church building suffered flood damage. 
Photo courtesy of Karen Mackey
Gutting work has begun in communities across Louisiana, relying on friends, families and volunteers from neighboring communities.
Photo courtesy of The Rev. Tommy Dillon
The Rev. Canon Shannon Manning visited churches as they responded to the flooding last week, and wrote: “Today I witnessed two examples of the very best we are as a church. I began my day with the Rev. Roman Roldan, his wife Chris Roldan, the Rev. Peter Kang, and the wonderful people of Grace Church, St Francisville. House by house, person by person, they are making a difference in both providing and organizing relief in West Feliciana Parish.”
Photo courtesy of The Rev. Canon Shannon Manning
Volunteers from 10 congregations around the Diocese of Louisiana gutted homes, distributed food and supplies in five communities in the impacted region last Saturday.
Photo courtesy of Karen Mackey

Bulletin Inserts

Episcopal Relief & Development has developed several bulletin inserts to support the response efforts and to promote National Preparedness Month. The images are available in several formats and can be printed or shared on social media.

  • Responding to Louisiana floods in English: PDF | JPG
  • Responding to Louisiana floods in Spanish: PDF | JPG
  • Church Preparedness – Large:  PDF | JPG
  • Church Preparedness – Small:  PDF | JPG
  • Family Preparedness – Large: PDF | JPG
  • Family Preparedness – Small:  PDF | JPG

Around The Church:

Join “Ready to Serve”: Sign up here to offer your services to your vulnerable neighbors after a disaster.

Diocese of Los Angeles partners with Episcopal Relief & Development to respond to needs following Blue Cut fire. Read full article.

Projects supported by Episcopal Relief & Development in the US:

Disaster Response:

Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana
The Diocese of Louisiana is responding through emergency housing and gift card support after severe flooding in August 2016 led to widespread evacuations and damaged many homes.

Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana
The Diocese of Western Louisiana is equipping local shelters with necessary supplies and providing individual assistance for minor repairs and replacement of lost items, as well as temporary housing and temporary storage. 

Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles
The Diocese of Los Angeles is providing gift cards for immediate needs to two groups of affected people: those who are displaced either as short-term evacuees or longer-term due to the loss of their homes, and those who are newly unemployed due to businesses being lost or damaged in the fire.

Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi
The Diocese of Mississippi is responding to Spring 2016 flooding through assistance to repair damaged homes and meet unmet needs.

Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia
After severe flooding in West Virginia killed 24 people, damaged more than 1,200 homes and left more than 18,000 without power across the state, the Diocese of West Virginia is responding to needs through temporary housing assistance and gift card ministries for those impacted.

Episcopal Diocese of Texas
The Diocese of Texas is providing housing support and spiritual and emotional care in Houston after severe flooding in April 2016 led to widespread evacuations and damaged more than 1,100 homes.

Disaster Recovery:

Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan
The Diocese of Eastern Michigan is responding to the long-term effects of lead contamination in the water system in Flint by providing nutrient-rich foods that can help mitigate the effects of lead poisoning and cooking classes to teach residents how to best use these ingredients.

Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey 
The Diocese of New Jersey is aiding vulnerable individuals and communities by providing direct assistance, partnering with various long-term recovery groups and working with parish-based programs following Hurricane Sandy.

Resources for Disaster Preparedness and Response:

Visit Episcopal Relief & Development’s online Resource Library for numerous case studies and best practices in disaster response at the diocesan and congregational level.

Contact Us:

Katie Mears,
Program Director

Lura Steele,
Training Coordinator

Sara Lowery,
Program Associate

Tamara Plummer,
Asset Map Coordinator


Contact Us




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