Thursday, September 08, 2005

Katrina Blows In On The Church of the Apostles

All of us have been staggering under the blow of Hurricane Katrina, and suddenly the whole business landed right in the front yard of our little congregation. Here we are worshiping in an old boot warehouse and suddenly the city of Franklin, TN, the Red Cross, and Lasko Products, agreed to house 500 evacuees from New Orleans in the facility immediately opposite our church.

We have prayed for visibility in the community: we now have it in spades! Yet it is stretching our slender resources - human and financial - to the limits, and we are attempting to draw on other parishes and other denominations to help us.

We have offered the Church of the Apostles to the community as a place where volunteers, all the churches, etc., can hang out, see folks, and perhaps even be a "safety valve" from the institutional living of the Red Cross Shelter for the folks who will be there 90-180 days.

God is being wonderfully good, however. This afternoon our volunteer who is there at the moment had to leave and I found myself wondering how we would have the place covered. At that very moment that I winged an (angry) prayer to the Lord, my computer intimated an email, and I hear from a college student from St. Bartholomew's, Nashville, saying he has time right now, can he help for the next few hours!

We believe that God has given us a great opportunity, right now we are working out how to use that to the glory of God, as well as in the service of those who have experienced the loss of everything. I have during the last 48 hours been heartened by the kindness of people as well as infuriated by some of the meanness we have seen.

We don't know what this means about how Church of the Apostles develops in the future, but it does mean that we have more than we are able to say grace over for the present. Please keep us in your prayers.


Karen B. said...

Richard, may the Lord bless you and your congregation. I've posted this as a prayer request on Lent & Beyond.

Richard Kew said...

Let me provide an update on this. We are right now awaiting another group of evacuees to arrive in the shelter -- these are folks from N.O. who are being moved from out of the line of fire of Hurricane Rita. They will arrive on Saturday and I am sure there will be a lot of "fun" in the wake of this. In addition, we have been carefully building relationships with some of the guys, who have now expressed a desire to worship with us on Sunday, and have taken all the calling cards I had with me today to share around the shelter and invite others.