Note particularly that this statement by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and House of Deputies President Gay Jennings contextualizes the disaster of Hurricane Sandy within our global family and incorporates the challenge of our call to be stewards of the planet. If you would like to donate to the good work of Episcopal Relief and Development you can do that online here or at the Action Table on the All Saints lawn on Sunday.
The storm called Sandy has wrought havoc northward hundreds of miles from its first Caribbean landfall, killing and injuring dozens of people in Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, the Bahamas, United States, and Canada. The destruction left in its path has deepened the misery of those still recovering from the 2010 earthquake in Haiti as well as hurricanes earlier this season. It is always the poorest who are most affected, although the news media have shown only a little of that reality. The impact in a principal metropolitan area of the United States has brought an unimagined level of destruction, and suffering that will long continue in the mid-Atlantic region. It has also brought home the reality of changing global weather and the kind of extreme climate events that are increasingly likely to confront us all. The effects of this storm are being felt far beyond the lands over which it has passed. May this remind of us of our shared community and tenancy on this fragile earth, our island home.
This is a time for reaching out to neighbors next door as well as farther abroad with solidarity and offers of basic human hospitality – food, water, electrical connections, showers and shelter – as well as money to assist the lengthy recovery that will be required everywhere this storm has moved. Episcopal Relief and Development began preparations with dioceses before the storm made landfall, and will continue to respond in the days and months ahead. Please be generous in prayer, and with funds and neighborly hospitality. Our Anglican neighbors gathered in New Zealand for the Anglican Consultative Council have been profligate with their prayers and expressions of concern. We know that God is with us in the midst of this suffering; you can help others to discover that reality through your own response. May the light of Christ shine through you, and may his light shatter the darkness.
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings
President of the House of Deputies