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Wednesday, August 31, 2005  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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“We have not journeyed across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy.” –Winston Churchill

The number of blogs that will be spending all or part of tomorrow urging readers to give to disaster relief is growing by leaps and bounds. N.Z. Bear’s special page is up and running for sign ups. Instapundit has a great list of organizations if you don’t want to search one out. Just a Woman captured an Austen Bay quote from yesterday’s interview on the program which sums up the situation pretty well. HedgehogBlog has the info on LDS-related relief efforts.

Given e-mail responses to the idea of churches/parishes/synagogues around the country “adopting” a church/parish/synagogue in the devastated region, I will be asking my readers tomorrow to send a check to the First Presbyterian Church of New Orleans, 5401 S. Claiborne Ave. New Orleans, La. 70125.

The Church has burned to the ground and rebuilt in 1854, been blown to the ground by a hurricane in 1915, and rebuilt, and has a broad mission in the city. They’ll know what to do with checks marked “for the relief of the needy and rebuilding of the community.”

Longer term, I hope my own congregation finds a partner church with the idea of staying the rebuilding course with that church, offering much more personal care over the long haul, and that Catholic parishes from far off states do the same for Catholic parishes throughout the region, West LA synagogues for synagogues in the Gulf region hit by the storm, etc etc. The student body president of a Catholic high school wrote me last night to say that his school was hoping to partner with a Catholic high school they had identified but could not contact. From such connections long term commitments will spring.

While their loss isn’t physical or financial, I do feel for the high school seniors whose special year has been smashed up in a blink, but whose loss is probably not even polite to mention as folks struggle for their lives and survey lost businesses and homes. It is hard to think about football seasons and championships, homecomings and cheerleading when the devastation is so great, but those smaller losses matter a great deal as well. Though it probably isn’t high on anyone’s list, I do hope someone is trying to figure out how to put some normalcy into these students lives asap.

Here’s one of the church-related e-mails. It would be great if a Catholic parish or two (or three) from across the country thought about teaming up with St. Anthony’s:

Hugh,
Ever since I discovered your show here in Houston on 1070AM, I have
enjoyed your wit, wisdom, and rational discourse.
I thank you for organizing some of the aid effort going into the
disaster area. I am from there, with family in New Orleans and
Mississippi deeply affected by the storm and its aftermath.
My brother in law is a priest at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in New
Orleans on Canal St. He stayed behind during the storm, offering shelter
to locals who could not flee. He was so happy on Monday afternoon. The
storm had passed, the Church had suffered only minimal damage. The power
was out, but his cell phone was working. He called very early this
morning with a far different story. The levee breaches had by then
started flooding his area of town, forcing him and a few dedicated souls
to start trying to save what they could by moving things up to the
second floor. I have heard nothing since then, because the cell phone
towers near him seem to have lost their power. The rebuilding, from what
I know of the area and what water damage can be like, is going to be a
national test. But it is a test I believe we will pass. New Orleans has
survived storms, crooked politics, the French, the Spanish, the
Confederacy, war, flood, disease and more. We must not let it go now. I
think your idea for Churches to adopt Churches in the affected region is
brilliant in its simplicity, and can make a huge difference.In New
Orleans, St. Anthony’s would be a wonderful recipient of any charity. If
I may, I would also suggest adding one other town to your list of towns
in need: Pascagoula, Miss. It is a lovely little town and from what I
have been able to determine has suffered greatly. There is a wonderful
Presbyterian Church on Pascagoula St., First Presbyterian Church
http://frstpres.org/welcome2.html.They are deeply involved in the local
community and would be worthy stewards of any giving. I mention this
because Pascagoula is not one of the big resort or casino towns, but it
is a gracious, quiet little town and was really whacked hard by Katrina.
They can use all of the help we can get them.
Thanks again for your great words and good works.
Morning Glory and Evening Grace to you,
Ed Nelson

And if you are close by or want to organize a caravan of relief supplies, or can send a check, a mega church in Baton Rouge, Healing Place Church, is getting organized:

With hundreds of thousands of people displaced in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Healing Place Church is transforming itself into a relief center to receive and distribute items and services and has already begun to give aid to the people of south Louisiana.

Healing Place Church, in alliance with hundreds of national ministries and organizations including John Maxwell, Joyce Meyer Ministries, and Operation Blessing, is encouraging everyone to join together to help meet the needs of the millions of people whose lives have been devastated by this destructive storm.

The following list of items will be crucial in our efforts to meet the needs of people who will be without homes and income for weeks, possibly months.

Items Needed:
Bottled Water
Clothing
Pillows and Blankets
Diapers
Hygiene Items (deodorant/toothpaste/toothbrushes/etc)
Hand Sanitizer
Toilet Paper
Non-perishable food items
Wheel chairs

If you would like to donate money to help with the effort, you can do so at www.healingplacechurch.org or by calling 225-753-2273. We are asking all who can to support the efforts by bringing any of these items to:

Healing Place Church
19202 Highland Rd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

For more information, please contact Healing Place Church at 225-753-CARE (2273) or www.healingplacechurch.org .

Media Contact: Emily Morrow 225-806-5581

Burke’s “little platoons” are assembling.

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