The Anglican Church in North America is calling on its parishioners and member congregations to join in prayer for those affected by the devastating tornadoes that ripped across six states, causing over 340 deaths. News reports indicate the storms resulted in the highest U.S. death toll from tornadoes since April 5-6, 1936.
Alabama was struck the hardest with 250 deaths and more than 2,000 injured or hospitalized. The Anglican Church has 18 member congregations in the state and while reports from clergy and staff are still coming in, no injuries or fatalities within our parishes have been reported. To our knowledge, none of our member churches in the South was completely devastated, but several experienced property damage, including torn off roofs and fallen trees.
While we are fortunate, many others are suffering and we will answer the call to help those in need regardless of whether the individuals and churches are part of the Anglican Church. We humbly request your prayers for all who have been affected and for our parishes as they not only discern what must be done within their own bodies, but reach out to help the grieving and assist in the relief efforts.
For those who would like to contribute financially, Bishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Diocese of the South and Holy Cross Anglican Church in Loganville, Ga., the cathedral church for the diocese, have set up this online donation page. If youâ€™d prefer to send a check, it should be made payable to ADOTS (for the Anglican Diocese of the South) with a â€œtornado victimsâ€ notation in the memo line. The mailing address is ADOTS, PO Box 776, Loganville, GA 30052.
Prayer from Archbishop Duncan: Gracious heavenly Father, creator and savior of this mortal world, we ask your help for those who are grieving and those faced with damage and destruction following the storms that swept across the South. Comfort those whose loved ones have died, bring swift rescue for those who are missing, and strengthen those who are injured. In this crisis, empower your people to be vehicles of the Holy Spirit as they aid in relief and recovery efforts. Let the work of their hands bring Gospel love and courage to those in need. All these things we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Photo caption: Overnight tornadoes show destroyed homes and vehicles in Pratt City, a suburb of Birmingham, Ala. Credit: Marvin Gentry/Reuters