We have all been shocked and concerned about the terrible flooding situation in Texas, centered on the greater Houston area. Many of us have family and friends in the affected areas and know that the scale of this crisis is such that it will take months and years to recover.
I would call your attention to several statements which have appeared in the last few days. First, the word from our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry. Second, an appraisal of the situation by Bishop of Texas, Andy Doyle, and finally, the information from Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD).
There are several things that we can do here in Arizona.
This coming Sunday, I would ask that prayers be made at all Sunday services for those affected and that a special offering be taken for Hurricane Harvey relief. This is most easily done through ERD (either online or by sending a check to Episcopal Relief & Development, P.O. Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058, noting “Hurricane Harvey Fund” in the memo line). They are working closely with the affected dioceses as well as other relief agencies, such as the Red Cross. Donors will know that their gifts of cash will get quickly to where they are needed with little overhead. As you may already know, we have been asked not to collect materials such as clothing and food, but rather to send money.
I suspect that there may be opportunities in the future for some of us to travel to Texas to help with recovery work. If you are interested in serving in that capacity, ERD asks that you register on their “Ready to Serve” database. That list of volunteers will be shared with the impacted dioceses once they can use and support volunteers. We have been asked not to send unorganized workers, who at this point are more of a burden than a help.
I know that you will join with me in holding our brothers and sisters in Texas in our hearts and in our prayers.
The words of the psalmist come to mind:
For the waters have come up to my neck…
I have come into deep waters
And the flood sweeps over me.
But the Lord hears the needy…
God will save Zion
And rebuild the cities of Judah. (Psalm 69)