Helping Victims of Hurricane Harvey

Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:10-15)

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

Over the last week, we have seen and felt the impact that Hurricane Harvey had on our region, devastating many lives across the state of Texas.  While our communities have largely been unaffected, many of us know others who have been, and are trying to determine the extent of the damage and how we should respond.

In Romans 12, Paul points to the reality that as Christian people, we are called by Jesus to care for those who are hopeless, suffering, and weeping. When we see those who are struggling and grieving from incredible loss, Jesus invites us to respond with love, hope and strength; to be with them through joy and sorrow.

The effects of this storm will be felt for a long time, and therefore, the needs will change as we learn more and begin to help our sisters and brothers rebuild their lives.  For now, we are planning to take up a special offering that will be split between the Southwestern Texas Synod Hurricane Harvey fund, which will help pastors in those areas respond to immediate needs, and  Lutheran Disaster Response, who have an incredible reputation for long-term care in helping resettle people and rebuild homes. Please mark “Hurricane Harvey” on your gifts, and we will pass it along. As other needs and opportunities to serve arise, we will make you aware.

In a letter this week, Bishop Ray Tiemann of the Southwestern Texas Synod detailed the impact this storm has had on communities and Lutheran congregations in our synod, notably major damage to Holy Cross in Rockport. You can read this in full on our website. Bishop Tiemann closed with these words:

“Always remember that we do not walk down these difficult roads alone.  Whether in storms or life's turmoils, God walks beside us to give courage, hope, and strength for our work.  As we partner together to address this crisis called Hurricane Harvey, I pray you will all be upheld by the Holy Spirit.”

Thank you for your generosity as we follow Jesus Christ together!

Peace,

Our Mission: "We grow in Christ to serve others.”
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