IMMEDIATE SUPPORT FOR HURRICANE HARVEY – The torrential rains are still affecting parts of Texas and Louisiana. Historic flooding has forced rivers and streams from their banks and submerged homes, churches, businesses and roads, stranding thousands of people. We are relying on the generosity of Presbyterians to provide financial and hands-on support to help the whole church stand with these communities and the Presbyterian family as it responds to its neighbors. God’s people are once again called on to stand in the “GAP” – Give. Act. Pray. GIVE: Checks can be made out to Highland Presbyterian Church with “PDA-Harvey” in the memo. ACT: When the church made hygiene kits in April, that effort supports people affected by such disasters.
PRAY: God, our Shelter, be a strong presence in the lives of neighbors who, having survived the winds and rains of Harvey, now face grief, uncertainty and weary days. May our generosity in prayer and in tangible signs of support overflow more than floodwaters, to sustain your work of healing and rebuilding and to bring comfort and strength to those who suffer. Amen.
Keep up to date on long-term recovery efforts at http://pda.pcusa.org/situation/tropical-storm-harvey/ or facebook.com/PDACARES.
If you would like to offer prayer and need guidance, consider praying this prayer written by Rev. Lauri Kraus:
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.
the Rev. Dr. Laurie Ann Kraus
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance