Dear Calvary-St. George's Family,
This summer (and entire year, for that matter) we've seen a great deal of turmoil in our country. The month of August alone has felt like a roller coaster on its way to hell: racial tensions in Charlottesville, distress in our government, threats of war on the Korean Peninsula, and now Hurricane Harvey.
Hurricanes and natural disasters cause tremendous damage and even take lives. As New Yorkers we are no strangers to the devastation of a hurricane. Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters profoundly remind us that as humans, we are unified by our collective need and helplessness. Hence, oftentimes natural disasters bring out the best in humans as we care for each other in acts of what theologians have called, "common grace."
Common grace often manifests itself in our conscience and desire to care for our neighbors in need. It is an expression of the fact that we have been created in the image of God. Our Lord works through common grace, not necessarily unto salvation, but that we as humans might live together in a generally cooperative manner.
Distraught by the reports from friends and the media, many of you have asked how we at Calvary-St. George's might be an expression of God's common grace to the people of Houston by giving financially. I want to encourage you to give to two very specific churches whose rectors are friends of Calvary-St. George's.
The first is St. Thomas' Episcopal Church. This church and their community was hit particularly hard. Harvey flooded their church and destroyed their school. Their rector David Browder, actually contributed to our discretionary fund during Hurricane Sandy so that we might help with the relief effort. To donate to their relief effort, click here. The second is Holy Spirit Episcopal Church. This church suffered quite a bit of damage and the rector, The Reverend Josh Condon, is at the heart of much of the relief effort going on in Houston. You can give here. There will also be an option to help this Sunday by giving to Episcopal Relief and Development. There will by a flier in your bulletin.
Finally, pray the Prayer for a Person in Trouble or Bereavement found on page 831 of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP):
O merciful Father, who hast taught us in thy holy Word that thou dost not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men: Look with pity upon the sorrows of thy servant for whom our prayers are offered. Remember him, O Lord, in mercy, nourish his soul with patience, comfort him with a sense of thy goodness, lift up thy countenance upon him, and give him peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
We will see you this Sunday.
The Reverend Jacob Smith