Hope In a Time of Crisis – Katrina

An open letter from our bishop:

Dear clergy and people of the Diocese of Chicago,

Many of you are concerned about how we can best and most effectively respond to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. There are unlimited needs and many groups are mobilizing to bring aid. While numbers of churches have been totally destroyed and others badly damaged, existing churches and congregations are being used to feed and house refugees from the storm.

Most needed at this time are prayers and cash. I would encourage each congregation to raise a special offering for the U.S. Hurricane Fund of Episcopal Relief and Development. Also, please print the following and publicize it as widely as you can.

To make a contribution to help people affected by Hurricane Katrina, please donate to the US Hurricane Fund by credit card at http://www.er-d.org/ or by calling 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to: Episcopal Relief and Development, c/o US Hurricane Fund, PO Box 12043, Newark, NJ 07101.

As is so often the case, long after the TV cameras leave, the needs will continue. Also, persons who are poor, who lack resources and insurance, will continue to suffer greatly. As part of the Episcopal Church, we have a special responsibility to care for our brothers and sisters whose lives have been so shaken. Of course, our love and care extend from them to all who need our prayers and support. I am confident that the people of our diocese will be generous in responding to this disaster.

Thank you and God bless you as you help to focus our response.


William D. Persell Bishop of Chicago

From Forward Movement/Day by Day:

God of goodness and love,
In whom we can trust in every hour of need;
Have mercy on all who are faced with fear and distress.
We ask that help may be given to them speedily,
And that this emergency may be turned into an opportunity
To strengthen the bonds of love and service
Which bind men and nations together;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and beyond who are forced to flee home and property from the raging aftermath and continuing peril of Hurricane Katrina.

Episcopal Relief and Development, an official agency of the Episcopal Church, has been working to mobilize help and aid for those affected by the hurricane, and donations can be made via their website at Episcopal Relief & Development. Also, a list of needed supplies is available on the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi website. And further news and resources are available from The Episcopal News Service.

Additional information about help and support can be found at the websites for the Diocese of Louisiana, the Diocese of Western Louisiana, the Diocese of Central Florida, and the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast.

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