Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I continue to give thanks for all those around the world who are praying for South Texas and for this Diocese. It is of great comfort to us to know that we are connected to and supported by the larger Body of Christ.
As we move into the next days, many are beginning to ask how to help. The city is a mess, there is more to come, and there are advisories against venturing out onto the roads. Managing water levels in dams and levees is an unfolding issue. Flooding will continue to worsen in some areas. The Diocese expects to be hit on the east side again as Harvey moves back into the Gulf and advances into Houston. We do not want to jeopardize life, so until further updates, here is what you can do:
How everyone can help:
2. Pray for all who are in harm’s way, all responders, all who are displaced, all who have suffered catastrophic loss.
If you are local to the greater Houston area:
1. Organize resources you have in your congregation or community.
2. IF IT IS SAFE, be a neighbor and help a neighbor over the next 48 hours. Help your neighborhood. Gather people for prayer and comfort. Feed people if you have food. Hold a potluck. Let people charge their phones. There are many, many ways you can be a compassionate neighbor to those around you.
3. As long as the path is dry and safe, the George R. Brown Emergency (Convention) Center is in need of volunteers, particularly to prepare and serve meals. Information about volunteering may be found here. Several thousand people are sheltered there and more are arriving all the time. Check your route for water hazards before you go.
Once the waters have receded:
1. We will coordinate relief efforts and get them going as soon as it is safe, working collaboratively with our congregations.
2. Diocesan resources will be available for follow-up with churches whose buildings have been damaged.
We are focused at this time on the immediate crisis. We are, however, committed to coordinating a response for the long term — this is a marathon, not a race. Many additional needs will be identified over the days and weeks to come. As many of us return to our regular routines, we will keep those who don’t have that luxury in view through our prayers and service.