When I visited Christ Church in Mena this past Sunday I saw a brown collection plate being passed through the room. It was a wooden plate that was in addition to the brass plate that is the usual way to collect offerings.
The brown plate was for donations to help victims of the recent tornadoes in Alabama. Having been through their own disaster in Mena, the folk in that town wanted to help others who are suffering.
The members at Christ Church knew how they wanted to donate their money, particularly for victims in Arkansas. Some of you have been asking how you might give to help disaster victims. If you want a way to do so but have not been able to make a decision on where to send the money, here is a way to do so: you can send it to the Diocese of Arkansas and mark it for disaster relief. Your money will be used for that purpose only; as our disaster relief team members notify my office of needs, I will make certain that the money is sent as requested by the team. If your wish to help people out of state, simply state that preference, and I will get the money to the appropriate Episcopal entity in the area where devastation has occurred. Of course, if you wish to make a more general offering, Episcopal Relief and Development is responding to many of these emergencies.
Floods and tornadoes have been far too commonplace this spring, and I thank all of you for your continued concern for others.