From your pastor…
Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6: 31, NRSV
This teaching of Jesus is known as “The Golden Rule.” If only we could follow it as well as we can recite it! The recent flooding of Baton Rouge and Hammond and other places near us has brought flashbacks to many people from the disasters of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Thousands of people suffered and lost so much in those disasters. And then came recovery. And then came thousands of people, strangers who came to Louisiana and Mississippi and Texas and beyond to work to rebuild alongside us. They were angels. They applied the Golden Rule for years and years of recovery work.
Now it is our turn to “pay it forward.” We are strong enough that we can lend our time, our talents, and our financial resources to help our neighbors to rebuild their lives. We learned so much after Katrina and Rita that has helped us in preparing for hurricanes and in what to do after the disaster strikes. About 20,000 people were rescued from rapidly rising waters. Pets and other animals were included in the rescue efforts this time. We are still seeing videos of people helping strangers in need to escape from drowning or starvation. It is encouraging to see how people want to help.
On Communion Sunday, Sep. 4, we will be taking a special offering to help those in Louisiana with flood recovery. All of these funds will be distributed through the United Methodist Church. We will put a basket on the communion rail for the “LA Great Flood Recovery Offering 2016.” You can make checks payable to the Algiers United Methodist Church, and our treasurer Paul Clayton will write one check to the LA Annual Conference. Also, you can find out more about the recovery work and the needs of people in LA at our conference website: la-umc.org There are several videos and articles about churches and communities in need and stories of how people are responding. For those interested in helping to “muck out houses and clean them,” there will be some training available in our state. Right now, the greatest need has been money and water and food. Clothes are not needed right now. Prayer is always needed. Let us pray for all of the people impacted and pray for strength and for the faith needed to rebuild for thousands of our neighbors. It is now our turn to become angels!
Grace and peace,