We are seeing the news stories this week. Fifteen years ago, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and Louisiana. 1,800 people died, tens of thousands of people were displaced, and billions of dollars were needed for clean-up and rebuilding. In the midst of the devastation, we can recall the outpouring of goodwill, and how neighbors – near and far – made room for the Katrina refugees. Mission trips numbering in the thousands came to New Orleans to help with the repair and rebuilding.
Today, we are just beginning to read the news about the destruction in Hurricane Laura’s path. The devastation pictured in photos and videos is sobering. The awesome power of natural forces takes a terrible toll on human lives and communities – and we are compelled to respond with compassion and love.
We will know more about how we can respond in-person in the days and weeks ahead. Until that time, we are invited to support those organizations and agencies that are already on the ground helping to alleviate suffering. Here are some possibilities for your consideration:
- The United Church of Christ’s primary disaster relief fund in the United States is the Emergency USA Fund. You can find more information about how to make a donation and designate it for Hurricane Laura Relief at this link: https://transactions.ucc.org/CampaignForm/UCChrist/donate Please make sure to designate your donation to the Emergency USA Fund, Disaster Ministries or One Great Hour of Sharing – each of which responds to Hurricane Laura Relief. Additional information: https://www.ucc.org/disaster
- You can make a monetary donation to Church World Service and/or assemble a “cleanup bucket” for those working on rebuilding in disaster zones. More information may be found at: https://cwskits.org/
- Our South Central Conference will support local UCC congregations affected by Hurricane Laura in Louisiana and Texas. To designate a donation for local UCC support, please visit this link: https://secure.usaepay.com/pay/9nkt6jmxzj8m4wm83/Hc4YwGWE
Please make sure to write “Hurricane Laura” in the “Comment” box and choose “Other” in the “Designation” box.
In the midst of a disaster, a caring response is called for before there is conversation about climate change, disaster capitalism, and environmental racism. Those topics can be discussed later. For now, let us join together in doing what we can to reach out to those in need. Thank you for your love of neighbor as we respond with prayer, care and sharing.
With you on the Journey,
Consulting Conference Minister