Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Many of us have family or friends suffering hardship and anxiety as floodwaters have devastated the Houston area and the Texas coastline. Some members of our own parish have been stranded there as well. Please be assured of my prayers, and those of our clergy, staff and fellow parishioners as we respond to this crisis.
We are blessed with an extremely adept Mission & Outreach team with hands-on experience in disaster relief efforts in New Orleans, Galveston, Joplin, Moore, and Tuscaloosa. Using their firsthand knowledge, they are diligently outlining an action plan to respond appropriately to this catastrophic event. (One of our Outreach staffers, Erin Pendleton, is herself caught in the floods outside of Houston).
Recovery from a disaster of this magnitude will not be a matter of months, but years. Incarnation continued to send teams to Louisiana for five years after Hurricane Katrina, and that could well be the case here. However there are things we can do immediately.
What we can do today
Today we pray. Relying solely on God’s provision and mercy, we trust in His power and guidance through all circumstances.
Here are two prayers to use daily:
O God, our heavenly Father, behold, we beseech thee, the afflictions of thy people. Preserve them in every peril of flood and tempest. Bear their sorrows and their cares; supply all their manifold needs; protect and prosper all those who work for their relief; and help both them and us to put our whole trust and confidence in thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.
Give to Incarnation’s Hurricane Relief Fund
These funds will be used to administer relief efforts both now and in the coming months when we send teams down to the affected areas.
Buy School Supplies for Displaced Children
DISD has designated these schools for Southeast Texas evacuee students: JFK Elementary, Spence Middle School, and North Dallas High School. These are all schools in the feeder pattern that we currently serve with various ministries—Reading Buddies, Men’s Mentoring, Incarnation House for homeless teens, etc. These schools are estimating at least 1000 children coming through their doors in the next few weeks and need our help. Please drop off requested items in the baskets around the church.
- $25 gift cards to Academy, Wal-Mart, and Target for school uniforms
- Socks and undergarments
Please fill out this form if you have someone you would like us specifically to pray for by name and situation. We have a prayer team who will add them to their list, and they will be prayed over twice a day, in the morning and the evening services as well.
Short-term Plan of Action
The Mission & Outreach team and executive leadership at the church have initiated a task force to strategize how we can most effectively steward our resources. We have been in communication with City of Dallas officials to determine a suitable course of action locally if possible. I have personally reached out to Episcopal parishes in the affected areas, and we shall coordinate with Bishop George Sumner and other local parishes. Based on the feedback we receive, our task force will develop our plan of action and keep you informed of opportunities to serve.
Long-term Plan of Action
Over the years, we have worked with several different organizations and other churches to coordinate efforts when disaster strikes. As we discern the most effective long-term approach for assisting our brothers and sisters in Southeast Texas, please know that we will send in a mission team at the right moment.
We will continue to communicate with you about the timing of such trips as we learn more about the level of destruction in this great state. We will post opportunities to serve on our site and through our eNews. Be sure to sign up for the weekly eNews if you have not already.
In times of trouble, I find it worthwhile remembering these words of St. Paul:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-8).
Disaster Relief Opportunities
2nd Mission Team Forming
25 Volunteers Needed for September 22-24 Houston Mission
Incarnation’s Disaster Relief Task Force has added a new mission trip to Houston. Matthew Bomberger participated in the trip last weekend and will led this team to assist St. Martin’s in Houston. We are looking for 25 volunteers to join this effort. We depart on Friday, September 22 and return on Sunday evening, September 24. Cost is $100 per person. We will stay at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, so bring your sleeping bag and a pillow. Our work will involve clearing/moving debris and mucking homes that have flooded.This is for the hearty and adventuresome looking to make a difference!
Items Needed Now
School supplies for student evacuees in Dallas:
$25 gift cards to Academy, Wal-Mart, and Target for school uniforms, socks and undergarments, belts, backpacks, binders, pens, pencils, notebooks, paper, glue, highlighters, scissors
Items for gutting flooded homes:
bleach, N95 face masks, wheel barrows, gloves (rubber and work), crow bars, cleaning products, and dollies
** Collection baskets are located around the church. **
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September 8-10 Houston Mission
A team of volunteers is forming to travel to Houston for September 8-10. The rector of St. Dunston’s in Houston (and former staffer at Incarnation), Fr. Rob Price, has asked for assistance for 27 parish families with homes flooded in 6-8 feet of water. Our team will help with demo work similar to the work we did after Katrina and Ike. Bring your sleeping bag, we will sleep at the church – this is for the hearty & adventuresome!