Dear Disciples of Christ who are called to be Neighbors to the World,
As we continue to hear the news coming out of Texas, it is clear that the effects of Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall as a category 4 hurricane and is now a tropical storm, are devastating to catastrophic for so many and will mean years of recovery efforts.
Our denominational disaster response arm, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), has begun working with New Covenant, Mission, and South Louisiana Presbyteries to begin forming disaster response. PDA expects to deploy National Response Teams when it is safe to do so.
In the meantime, here are some thing you can do to neighbors and Christ-enfleshed for those affected by Harvey:
- For those who wish to support the response and recovery effort led by PDA, you can offer gifts designated to DR000169-Harvey. You can give online here
- You can call PDA Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST), at 1-800-872-3283 and donate by phone.
- Or you can mail a check to the following address with the designation in the memo line:
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
PO Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA, 15264-3700
You are also invited to pray for those affected by Harvey. If you don’t know how to start or what to say, below is a prayer written by PDA Coordinator Rev. Dr. Laurie Krauss.
For updates, please go to pda.pcusa.org
God of our life, whose presence sustains us in every circumstance,
in storm and distress, we welcome the restoring power of your love and compassion. We open our hearts in sorrow, gratitude, and hope: that those who have been spared nature’s fury as well as those whose lives are changed forever by ravages of wind and water may find solace, sustenance, and strength in the days of recovery and rebuilding that come.
We are thankful for the generous grace of days of preparation; for the wise counsel of experts and the generous collaboration of so many communities, that in the face of the storm kept many out of harm’s way, and lessened the effects of wind and water on others. We pray for those yet in harm’s way; who wait in neighborhoods while the waters rise, who pray for the rains to cease. We pray for those huddled at home or among strangers while wind ravages, for those who have fled from home and wait and wonder. We ask for sustaining courage, for the kindness of strangers, for hope that does not disappoint.
We open ourselves to listen with compassion to the stories of those whom Hurricane Harvey has not spared: communities deeply affected, whose livelihood, homes and stability have been destroyed. We pray in grief, honoring the lives, shattered and the livelihoods, homes and businesses for whom recovery seems an insurmountable mountain. We lift our voices in sorrow and compassion for families who have lost loved ones, homes, or livelihood.
We ask for sustaining courage for those who are suffering; wisdom and diligence among agencies and individuals assessing damage and directing relief efforts; and for generosity to flow as powerfully as rivers and streams, as we, your people, respond to the deep human needs beginning to emerge in the wake of the storm.
In these days of relief, assessment and response, open our eyes, our hearts, and our hands to the needs of your children and the movements of your Spirit, who flows in us like the river whose streams makes glad the city of God, and the hearts of all who dwell in it, and in You.
In the name of Christ the Healer we pray, Amen.