The news of Hurricane Harvey is plentiful, alarming and sad. For many in New York and New Jersey it brings to mind Superstorm Sandy, with all the pain, fear and devastation of that storm, and the cleanup that is still ongoing in many places. As bad as the memories and this new experience may be, the news is also heartening. We see the footage of ordinary people helping out – small pleasure boats going to the rescue in unlikely places, people carrying children, the elderly, and pets on their shoulders or in their arms. Helping.

We know that this is only the beginning of the effort, and that recovery will take months and years. Immediate response is needed, along with long term commitment of aid and prayer. We continue to fill our quarter tube and send the proceeds to Christ Church in Toms River, where they continue to help those in their parish and community who are still recovering from Sandy. It all takes time, and faithful commitment to help.

People ask what to do for those dealing with Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, and how best to help. My first ‘go-to’ is always Episcopal Relief and Development – www.episcopalrelief.org . They work through dioceses and local churches to get help where it is needed most as quickly as possible. Diocesan infrastructures are already in place, and overhead expenses are kept to a bare minimum. You may have your own favorite charity. However we choose to help, our donations do make a difference.

Included in this eblast are messages from our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, and our own Bishop Stokes. See what they have to say, and act as seems most appropriate to you. I believe it goes without saying that prayer remains our first response in any case: for those in need, and for those helping in any way.

Let us pray:
Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

Peace and blessing,
Carol+