Out of Deep Waters: Louisiana church provides radical hospitality to evacuees

From Episcopal News Service:

Tirelessly reaching out to a community shattered by the aftereffects of Hurricane Katrina, the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana has temporarily relocated its offices to St. James Church in Baton Rouge, which is operating as a major distribution and sorting center and where staff and volunteers are working around the clock to meet the immediate needs of local evacuees.

“St. James is open 24 hours day and night so that evacuees can come here and take a shower,” said Bishop Charles Jenkins of Louisiana. “We are in the process of gathering food and essential items to take to our evacuation shelters. ”

The priests in Baton Rouge, especially those who’ve been trained by the Red Cross, have been working 24 hour shifts as chaplains in the shelters. St. James is coordinating with all the downtown Episcopal churches in providing ministry to those shelters.

“The Episcopal Church is like a good family,” Jenkins said, “and when a crisis comes a good family pulls together.”

Locally, West Suburban PADS is looking for shift volunteers, and there are other ways you can help people in need, such as donating personal care items, school supplies, and transitional housing “move-in” packs.

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