Dear St. Luke’s family,
I want you to know that we at St. Luke’s continue to pray for you, and strive to do whatever we can to be of help and support. Let me share just a few components of what we are doing to respond to this crisis.
1) We aim at helping one another. We are gathering the names and situations of those in need. Please send those to Dr. Linda Christians or any of our pastors or staff, and they will forward to Linda. Most importantly, just do it. Our mission is to put our faith to work in love. If you know of someone in need, just reach out and be the church!
2)We are collecting names of volunteers to help. Please go to the St. Luke’s website volunteer button to let us know you are willing.
3)We are planning on two basic phases to response:
a) Phase 1 is rescue and relief
i) Right now, we want to provide volunteers for the shelters. We recommend you volunteer through the Red Cross for George R. Brown and other Red Cross shelters. Sign up here or simply show up at GRB’s Exhibit Hall E.
ii) We opened up our Gethsemane campus for folks in that neighborhood on Sunday. We have offered our church as shelter to Red Cross, but they are looking for larger facilities.
iii) We are working on providing a daily meal at our Gethsemane campus every afternoon, and will need hosts and volunteers for this. We will reach out to those who have volunteered.
iv) We are collecting diapers, baby wipes, formula, feminine hygiene products, bottled water, and box fans. Please bring them to the church beginning on Wednesday. If you prefer to order through Amazon, click here for an expanded list.
v) We would love to have you help us call on members in the affected zip codes to check on them on behalf of the church. Email Linda Christians with your willingness to help.
b) Phase 2 is Recovery: Our next challenge is to move through the logistics of prioritizing the needs of folks and connecting appropriate volunteers to their need. In the weeks ahead, we will need people to help muck out houses, do laundry for people staying in hotels, and provide support for the work teams coming to town.
4)Please note: we all have an urgent need to help, but sometimes our need to help can get in the way of really helping. The real recovery work is in the long days ahead, after the experts are able to get things organized and resources directed in the right directions. After you reach out to volunteer, through St. Luke’s or anywhere else, wait for more information about how to help. It may be weeks away, after the cameras have left, but the mess still remains.
5)Financial gifts are always so helpful. To give to Houston Flood Relief on your mobile phone text ($ flood) to 832-263-6762 or simply write “Houston Flood Relief” in a check memo made payable to St. Luke’s. 100% of the gift will go toward flood relief efforts in Houston, either through our work or that of the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
6)I do hope you will come and worship with us this Sunday. While it is Labor Day Weekend, we will be gathering and thanking God for the gift of life, and for the amazing gift of the love of neighbor for neighbor, stranger for stranger.
7) Some of you have asked about the church facility. Both of our campuses fared well, with very little damage. We are very blessed in this regard. The church office will remain closed on Tuesday, with plans to open on Wednesday, based on future weather and impact.
Again, I do believe our prayers make a difference. John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, wrote “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you can’t do more than pray until you’ve prayed.” So join me in prayers for our city and our people.