LCMS churches and members in Kansas, southern Missouri and Illinois seem to have escaped major damages in a deadly Feb. 28-29 storm that killed 12 people and injured more than 100 others.
The Rev. Glenn Merritt, director of LCMS Disaster Response, said his office has been in contact with Synod congregations, pastors and districts in the areas affected by the storms.
“While there are no reports of LCMS members being injured or losing homes, there is a great need for mercy to be shown to their communities and surrounding regions,” Merritt said. “As local congregations determine an appropriate response, assistance in the form of grants and on-site visits has been offered by the Synod in Kansas, Missouri and Illinois.”
Pastor David Otten of Faith Lutheran Church in Eldorado, Ill., said his congregation is ready to do whatever is necessary to help nearby residents of Harrisburg, Ill., where at least six people were killed by tornadoes.
The storms also took the lives of three people in Missouri and three in Tennessee, according to news reports.
Also hard-hit was Branson, Mo., where a tornado caused three dozen injures and significant damage to tourist-area hotels and theaters.
In a March 1 interview on Synod-owned radio station KFUO-AM, the Rev. Darwin Karsten, interim pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Branson, said a couple of member families reported storm damage to their businesses. Assessments are continuing, he said.
Karsten said a group from Faith is scheduled to volunteer in Joplin, Mo., in two weeks — to help with rebuilding efforts since the May 22, 2011, tornado there.
“One of the first calls we got at [Faith Lutheran] church was from the Lutheran pastor in Joplin — to see if they could do anything for us,” he told KFUO’s Paul Clayton. To listen to the interview, click here.
Merritt asked Lutherans to pray for the storm victims and their families, as well as for the LCMS response of mercy for the affected communities and surrounding areas.
The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod Tornado Relief Fund allows us to hit the ground running when disaster strikes. Following the unprecedented number of tornadoes in 2011, we are entering the 2012 storm season — which on Feb. 29 brought deadly tornadoes to several Midwestern states — with limited funds. Your contribution today will enable us to respond in Christ’s name when and where there is a need following a tornado or other damaging storm.
- Give online (click here).
- Mail checks (noting “Tornado Disaster Relief” in the memo line) to The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-6861.
- Call toll-free 888-930-4438.
Any funds not needed for this relief effort will be used for other disaster purposes as determined by Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod Disaster Relief. Your gift is tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Posted March 1, 2012