Long ago the prophet Malachi taught that we are all children of God by virtue of our creation by the same God. “Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us?” he asked (2:10). Jesus taught the same thing when he told a story about a Good Samaritan. We are indeed all the children of God. And if we are all God’s children, then we are all brothers and sisters.
As you know, our brothers and sisters in Texas now need our help. Our support of Episcopal Relief & Development is a tangible, practical, effective and reliable way to do that, not just in the short term, but for the long haul. Thank you for whatever you can do for together we are the human family of God.
Many of you have heard me laud the work of Episcopal Relief and Development. It does an especially good job responding to disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey.
I urge you to consider giving generously to ERD because it is such a good steward of our gifts. If you designate your gift to a disaster response 100% of that gift goes to that effort. Nothing is taken out for promotion or administration.
Further, the gift is secure, because generally grants are made to the Bishop's of affected dioceses (in this case the Diocese of Texas, and likely Louisiana. No Bishop wants to have the reputation of wasting the church's money. They must account for every dollar.
Note also that giving objects--clothing, water, tools--are rarely useful. First, in the case of Hurricane Harvey you can read for yourself the reports that rescue efforts are still in place, and there is no way to get physical donations into the disaster area. Second, physical gifts undermine the local economy: no one has money to spend, and outside givers are providing items that would normally be purchased locally.
The faith communities do a very good job of focusing their efforts and coordinating response. I am a very strong supporter of ERD, especially during disasters. Please consider giving generously to this terrible disaster. And remember that our informal motto as a parish is Nourishing souls. Saving lives. This is a concrete way you can help.
~ The Rev. Peter J. Van Hook, Priest-in-Charge
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