Take a second or two to think what it would mean to be a priest the least of whose burdens is that the parish church was just washed out to sea.

[From the Times-Picayune website this report: “Long Beach: Most buildings within 200 yards of U.S. 90 disappeared …” — my emphasis.]

We’re thankful that David and his family survived the hurricane in good shape — but my mind reels at what David will be facing as the waters recede and his congregation comes to grips with what just happened among them.

[In case readers here don’t know where to make donations, here’s a link to Episcopal Relief and Development, where you can make send money designated for Katrina relief. Just don’t try to explore the site; I’ve hit a lot of 404 links there. Richard has an eerie picture up here.]

4 thoughts on “Proportions

  1. The Governor has called for a worldwide day of prayer and there is a prayer service at 8:30 CST in Baton Rouge, the Louisiana capitol. that is just about one hour from now.

  2. When the great 1998 Nashville tornado leveled my parish, taking the 1881 nave but leaving the ’50s Christian ed wing, we thought life might be back to normal in 6 months. My lightly damaged house wasn’t even repaired in 6 months. And the church was not back to normal for three years. That’s peanuts compared to the situation in the Big Easy.

    But there was a gracious upside. The disaster brought the parish together in ways that we could not have imagined. And the loss of the historic nave saved us much agony: There was simply no functional way to rennovate it without destroying it’s character, and years of feuding would doubtless have preceded and followed anything we did.

    Our rector, Lisa Hunt, was asked by a local reporter whether God’s hand was in the tornado (local conservatives had intimated that this was God’s way of dealing with a gay-friendly parish). “God’s hand was in the response to the tornado,” she said in a headline-grabbing quotation. Today, I see the hand of God in both.

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