This afternoon, the weather forecast has us bracing for more rain and, in some parts of our state, more flooding. Property damage in many places is extensive, and some of our family, friends, and neighbors are doing the difficult work of recovery while grieving places and things that were dear to them.
Our diocesan Disaster Recovery Team is hard at work, working with Episcopal Relief & Development and Church Insurance and organizing support for congregations and diocesan ministries contending both with flood damage and with enormous needs in their communities. I am especially grateful to the team and to our leaders who helped mount the diocese’s 2011 response to Hurricane Irene and are sharing with us the lessons they learned. You can read more about our initial recovery work and the visits that Canon Brownridge, Trustees President Sarah Cowan and I are making to our hardest-hit ministries in this story on our diocesan website.
We will have more news about our recovery efforts to share early next week, including details about how you can contribute to congregations that are facing daunting insurance deductibles. In the meantime, please join me in prayer. Tomorrow evening—Sunday, July 16, at 8 p.m.—I will lead the Green Mountain Online Abbey in praying for God to grant comfort and safety to those who are still in harm’s way and for those in the aftermath of devastation. Everyone is invited to join us on Zoom using this link or by dialing in at 646-876-9923, code 531110497#. If you are asked for a password, it is RockPoint.
Between now and then, I offer this prayer for all those facing the floods:
O God, our times are in your hand. In the midst of uncertainty lead us by your never-failing grace as we seek to be agents of healing and hope. Walk with us through difficult times; watch over us in danger; and give to us a spirit of love and compassion for those who suffer and mourn. And finally remind us that you have promised never to leave us so that even in the valley of the shadow of death your love may be felt, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.
— The Rev. Lyndon Harris, Episcopal Diocese of New York
I look forward to seeing you online tomorrow evening. Until then, may God bless and protect you.
Peace and blessings,